Kroger adds third-party online marketplace
In 2018, Kroger launched Kroger Ship, an e-commerce platform that took Kroger’s offerings beyond what was available on the in-store shelf. Today, the retailer has expanded the platform further by integrating more than 50,000 items from third-party sellers.
The platform will compete with Amazon and its massive online marketplace of nearly 2 million sellers, a platform under fire for how Amazon has allegedly used third-party seller data to enhance its private label lines. Walmart has delayed Walmart+, a marketplace that comes with an annual fee of around $120.
Kroger marketplace integration expects to launch in the fall and will be powered by Mirakl.
"Our customers are increasingly turning to our e-commerce solutions provided at Kroger.com for their grocery and household essential needs. 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," said Jody Kalmbach, Kroger's group vice president of product experience. "Leveraging Mirakl's best-in-class marketplace solution, we are broadening Kroger's ship-to-home capabilities by offering more relevant products for our customers through exciting new partnerships with reputable third-party sellers."
Eligible Kroger.com orders earn loyalty rewards like fuel points, enhancing customer engagement with the platform. Digital sales for Kroger have been surging, seeing a 92% increase in the first quarter.
"The expansion of our Kroger Ship platform will continue to bring together our industry-leading customer insights and merchandising data to offer our customers a digital shopping experience that includes staples available in our physical stores as well as products that are exclusive to Kroger.com," said Stuart Aitken, Kroger's senior vice president and chief merchant and marketing officer. "As part of our continuing transformation, we look forward to accelerating the development of our e-commerce platform and providing our customers with even more choices."
The new online marketplace is part of Kroger’s ongoing strategic investments in e-commerce over the last two and a half years, part of its Restock Kroger strategic initiative, but the increase in the consumer need for digital offerings during the COVID-19 pandemic have clearly accelerated digital plans and sales.
"Kroger has long been a retail giant, and by integrating an online marketplace into its leading eCommerce experience, Kroger is continuing to lead from the front," said Adrien Nussenbaum, CEO and co-founder of Mirakl. "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."