To integrate a digital marketplace into Kroger Ship, The Kroger Co. has teamed with the software-as-a-service (SaaS) marketplace platform Mirakl. The move will allow Kroger Ship to provide an expanded selection via a marketplace offering of third-party merchants, according to a Tuesday (Aug. 11) announcement.
Kroger Ship, which initially rolled out in August of 2018, will provide an extended roster of items via marketplace partners. Through the integration, shoppers will be able to access 50,000 more products in areas such as international food, housewares, specialty items, toys and natural and organic items.
"Our customers are increasingly turning to our eCommerce solutions provided at Kroger.com for their grocery and household essential needs,” Jody Kalmbach, Kroger's group vice president of product experience, said in the announcement. "To better serve our customers, we're continuing to invest in technology that enables us to expand our digital services to deliver anything, anytime, anywhere.”
The marketplace items are forecasted to roll out in the autumn, and shoppers can accrue loyalty rewards, such as fuel points, for eligible online orders.
Mirakl CEO and Co-founder Adrien Nussenbaum said in the announcement, "It's clearer than ever that digital marketplaces are the foundation of the next generation of commerce, and we look forward to supporting Kroger as it takes advantage of this opportunity."
Kroger said its investments in online shopping infrastructure and channels via Restock Kroger have “positioned the company to more effectively respond to the sustained, increased demand of delivery, pickup and ship-to-home orders during the COVID-19 pandemic.” The grocer’s digital sales jumped 92 percent in its Q1 2020 results.
In separate news, Kroger is launching a new contactless pay offering at Quality Food Centers (QFC) stores. The experimental effort, which will debut in the Seattle area, will let shoppers utilize their mobile phones for seamless payments. The method is popular amid the pandemic as individuals aim to avoid making contact with other people to avoid spreading COVID-19.