By now, you’ve probably heard this story in the news: eCommerce has become a crucial service for shoppers looking to mitigate their time spent outside the home during COVID-19. In fact, Quotient’s data shows a 155%% lift in eCommerce dollar spend since the onset of COVID. And while big retailers like Albertsons have the infrastructure and resources to meet this need, it’s important to understand how independent retailers are adapting to this new landscape, too.
Today, we’re discussing just that with Rob Christian—the CEO at ShopHero. ShopHero is a grocery eCommerce platform that works with independent grocery retailers to facilitate the buyer journey, from their first encounter on a retailer’s website all the way to order fulfillment.
Read on to learn how independent retailers can win in this new COVID-driven landscape as well as the combined value that Quotient and ShopHero are driving for brands.
“I am excited to announce our partnership with ShopHero, It is an agile eCommerce platform that offers retailers end to end control using their own branding”Ken Platt, Managing Director, Quotient eCommerce
What was the initial challenge that led to the start of ShopHero?
When we first started, we saw a disjointed shopper experience online with high expense and a lack of agility for some retailers. The reality we saw was that eCommerce was the trend of the future, and there was a big opportunity gap. COVID-19 has now significantly accelerated the push towards digital. For independent grocery retailers to remain competitive, they had to find a way to bring their services to a digital audience. But they had to do it in a way that made sense for their brand. And practically speaking, they also needed to be able to do it in a way that was affordable. That’s where we come in.
ShopHero provides retailers with the freedom to control their own eCommerce platforms and customize their customers’ digital experience in a way that makes sense for them. One major advantage that independent retailers bring to the table is their locality. They know their customers and they know their neighborhood. We make it easy for them to leverage that locality and make it work to their advantage.
Beyond that, they can present a highly esthetic, well designed website that offers a fluid user experience. We help retailers connect with their shoppers across multiple touchpoints, and we make it easy for the retailer to add in important features like coupon integration, weekly ads and so on.
How has COVID-19 changed the way people think about local grocery retailers?
Retailers are embracing the fact that eCommerce is not a nicety but a necessity. COVID-19 has changed our world across the board, and shoppers are migrating to eCommerce capabilities at a very rapid rate. The industry is projecting that by 2025, 20% of a grocer’s total revenue will be with eCommerce. Our mission is to work with small to mid-sized retailers so when a shopper searches, they find an experience that is excellent. The battle that retailers face is to win the shopper’s hearts and minds at first search because if there is an underwhelming experience, or no eCommerce experience at all, that eShopper will be lost. The retailer who’s able to provide the superior experience at first visit is the one who’s going to come out on top.
There is a battle going on out there to win the shopper’s heart. The retailer who’s able to be when and where shoppers are looking for them is the one who’s going to come out on top.Rob Christian, CEO of ShopHero
Independents are also beginning to realize that locality is the way they win, but they also need to enhance eCommerce if they’re going to keep shoppers within the franchise. In order for independents to be the hub of shoppers’ bulk buy, and not just the place to get specialty products in local brick-and-mortar stores, they have to embrace this concept of locality and agility.
I think there always is going to be a hybrid online/in-store shopping solution. Shoppers like to have that type of flexibility. That’s why we make everything seamless. If shoppers start with a mobile app, they can go into their desktop when they get home. If they decide they want to go into the store, they bring the mobile app with them and essentially have a shopping list ready to go. That flexibility is key, and we want to help independent retailers facilitate agility and great user experience.
How does Quotient and ShopHero’s partnership create new opportunities for independent retailers?
Over the years, I’ve seen retailers struggle to provide various technologies that enhance shopper experience while creating a synergistic environment with CPG companies. But independents struggle with this because there is really no one central way of creating these CPG relationships. We see our partnership with Quotient as a way to bring independent grocers more national brand exposure through sponsored search in eCommerce.
Simply put, consumers don’t browse eCommerce sites as they do when they shop brick and mortar, and many shoppers limit their experience to what they are specifically searching for. Sponsored search enables independent retailers to take advantage of national brand exposure by getting major CPGs in front of consumers in the spaces where they’re already looking for them. Quotient also enables CPG relationships to mid-market and small retailers that don’t have that process already in place. The data overwhelmingly proves that this builds eBaskets, which is exactly what the small to mid-sized retailer should be aspiring to.
And what does this relationship mean for CPGs?
For CPGs, they have a seamless capability to bid on ad placements on the grocer site thanks to Quotient. CPGs are able to make sure that relevant ads are being served to the right audience. And they can do this across the entire ShopHero network, not just on a per-retailer basis.
Through ShopHero’s partnership with Quotient, CPGs get access to a segment of the marketplace that they traditionally have not been able to reach because it was too fragmented. In one action, CPGs can reach many different small to mid-sized retailers instead of going to each one and placing their ads individually.
What do you think the future looks like for mid-sized and independent grocery retailers?
I think there’s a tremendous opportunity for these verticals to excel through eCommerce. We’ve seen that grocery spend is up, and shoppers are being driven to eCommerce on a daily basis. Therefore, mid-sized and independent retailers can win more eBusiness if they leverage their intimate bond with their shopper base. This means agility, superior user experience and national brand exposure. By partnering together, ShopHero and Quotient are uniquely positioned to help independent retailers not only succeed but excel in the world of grocery eCommerce.
To learn more about this partnership and what it means for brands, contact us at [email protected].