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Kroger, GE Launch In-Oven Shopping as Grocers Tap Contextual Commerce

GE smart oven

As grocers increasingly tap contextual commerce, Kroger is making it possible for consumers to place orders for ingredients directly from their ovens’ touchscreens.

GE Appliances announced Wednesday (Dec. 13) a collaboration with the grocer, introducing a new feature for select Wi-Fi-connected wall ovens and ranges through which the LCD screens display recipes from Kroger and select consumer-packaged goods (CPG) brands. From there, consumers can choose to see the ingredients and the cooking instructions, with the option to add all items to their cart in one tap.

“Kroger’s technology-driven approach to creating convenient and seamless shopping experiences for its customers aligns with our vision to support our consumers throughout the meal preparation process,” GE Appliances Chief Digital Officer Viren Shah said in a statement. “We are thrilled to collaborate with Kroger and use our combined expertise in the food ecosystem to deliver experiences and features that truly resonate with consumers.”

The move follows on other smart kitchen contextual commerce integrations such as the connected refrigerators that offer shopping capabilities. PYMNTS Intelligence reveals that 9% of consumers own smart fridges, up from 5% in 2019.

Many consumers are shopping for groceries via smart devices. According to the survey “Consumer Interest in an Everyday App,” a PYMNTS Intelligence and PayPal collaboration that draws on responses from more than 2,200 U.S. consumers, 61% of those who had shopped for groceries in the previous month did so via connected devices at least some of the time. Typically, this largely has meant phones and computers, and maybe some voice assistant device ordering.

Yet digital channels continue to make up for only a small share of total grocery purchases. PYMNTS Intelligence’s study “Tracking the Digital Payments Takeover: Catching the Coming eCommerce Wave,” created in collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS), which drew from an April survey of nearly 2,700 U.S. consumers, revealed that only 12% of grocery orders are placed via digital channels.

Overall, contextual commerce is on the rise. In an interview with PYMNTS last month, Nick Minnick, vice president of strategic partnerships at contextual commerce platform Chicory, said it will become more popular as regulations on how companies use consumer data evolve. Specifically, it presents an opportunity to offer targeted advertising, reaching consumers at high-intent moments — such as when they are in their kitchens, thinking about what to cook — without relying on this kind of information.

“We see increasing interest in some of the solutions that we’ve built,” Minnick said, “where we’re able to target campaigns based off of the content that users are looking at, whether it’s a particular type of recipe or even delivering an ad targeted to a specific ingredient, … to be able to reach shoppers in a cookie-less fashion.”

The conversation came on the heels of Chicory’s partnership with grocery giant Albertsons. Meanwhile, other grocers have been tapping shoppable live streams and other commerce-integrated culinary content, in an effort to drive sales while consumers are already engaging with food-related media.