Compensating for the challenging economics of online grocery, brands are finding new ways to monetize the eyes on their platform.
Carlisle, Pennsylvania-based Ahold Delhaize subsidiary The Giant Company, which includes 190 stores in Pennsylvania and nearby states, stated in a Monday (Jan. 31) press release that its endless aisle marketplace, originally announced in early December, has launched. The initiative, named Ship2Me by GIANT, follows in the footsteps of Ahold Delhaize brands’ marketplace initiatives overseas in European markets.
“Ship2Me by GIANT is a natural extension of our current grocery delivery options,” said The Giant Company Senior Vice President of Omnichannel Merchandising John Ruane in the release. “By offering access to complementary products not traditionally found in store, we are adding endless aisle shopping options for today’s busy families, all with the convenience of being delivered right to your door.”
The initiative comes as many online grocers take a related but different tack, investing their resources in marketing, similarly driving revenue from their site traffic. For instance, Instacart announced Wednesday (Feb. 2) a partnership with WPP to bring in more value from the eGrocer’s ad capabilities.
Online Grocer Zero Announces $11.8M Seed Funding Round
In additional online grocery news, Northern California-based sustainability-focused eGrocer Zero has raised $11.8 million in additional seed funding, bringing its total funding to $16.5 million, as Progressive Grocer first reported Thursday (Feb. 3).
In January, the company announced that its digital shop was opening to consumers in select markets in its home state — Los Angeles, San Francisco and the East Bay — no longer requiring memberships. More on-demand than online grocery services that require ordering the day before and less so than those that get orders to consumers’ doors within minutes, the company promises delivery in under two hours.
“We started off as a membership business, designed for early adopters, which was a great foundation for us,” Zero Founder and CEO Zuleyka Strasner said in a statement. “Now, as we’re moving into the next growth chapter of the company, our focus remains on servicing our customers in the very best way possible.”
The company woos climate-conscious shoppers with its promise of only using reusable or compostable containers.
“We believe in the mission of this bold and nimble startup that aims to reshape the grocery delivery market by ticking all three essential boxes for a successful delivery service model: sustainability, speed and affordability,” said Ken Denman, general partner at lead investor at Sway Ventures.
Good Eggs Expands to Los Angeles
Zero is not the only eco-conscious online grocery startup coming to Los Angeles. Oakland, California-based eGrocer Good Eggs announced in a Tuesday (Feb. 1) press release its expansion to LA, similarly promising the use of reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging.
“With the rise of the modern supermarket, its miles of aisles and limitless processed foods, it has somehow become acceptable to prioritize cost-efficiency over freshness and flavor,” Good Eggs CEO Bentley Hall said the release. “We are pioneering a new approach — one that is designed to deliver quality without question and convenience without compromise.”
The services join a range of other online grocery options in California, including not just nationwide leaders such as Instacart and Uber Eats, but also a handful of local options.
“I think in five years, [we will be] talking about how Good Eggs is a platform for good food and is an amazing connection point to good food and food experiences,” Hall told PYMNTS in an interview last year. “We’re not Amazon by any means, but I think, in the early days of Amazon, people thought it was just a bookseller. It’s obviously more than that. I think Good Eggs has a chance to do more than just what we’re doing.”
Misfits Market Adds Wine
A big week for sustainability-focused digitally native grocers — Misfits Market also announced a new expansion, not geographically but in terms of its offerings. The Delanco, New Jersey-based eGrocer shared in a blog post Wednesday that it is adding wine to its online shop.
“Our approach to wine is similar to our grocery sourcing, for which we leverage direct partnerships with farmers and food producers to source organic produce and other high-quality groceries at a discount,” the post stated. “By searching high and low to find quality wines in places others don’t often look, we’re able to pass along savings directly to the consumer.”
According to a PYMNTS survey of nearly 2,000 U.S. adults last year, almost half of all consumers reported purchasing alcohol online more than they used to before March 2020, both buying in advance for delivery at a later date and buying for same-day delivery. Since then, the options for buying online have only grown, with leading grocery and restaurant aggregators expanding their beer, wine and spirits offerings.