02 Jul Latest news, analysis and data on online & offline retail
The future of voice commerce in FMCG
A look at the actions undertaken by the food industry in France. As part of its strategic partnership signed in June 2018, Carrefour has announced its voice ordering tool with Google. The group is pursuing the development of its omnichannel offer by being the first retailer in the world to offer its customers the new Google Assistant voice shopping service. A technology which is progressing rapidly, already adopted by 46% of French people (source: CSA and Hadopi study, Voice Assistants and connected speakers, May 2019).
The E.Leclerc teams have also been working on the project since the beginning of the year with a shopping basket function. This new function is accessible via the Google Assistant, after having asked to “Talk with Leclerc” and linked the Google and Leclerc accounts. In addition, the retailer can obtain new information on the purchasing behaviour of its customers, such as the customer’s preferred drive or recurring purchases, which allows it to adjust the assortment in real-time.
According to Maud Funaro, the payment is not completed in the Google assistant, “we don’t share any data, you have to access the Leclerc Drive program to find your shopping basket and complete the payment process”. The integration level is not the same as the Carrefour solution but the objective is the same, to use voice to simplify online grocery shopping.
Walmart’s digital acceleration to compete against Amazon
Over the last few months, the world’s leading food retailer has seen a boom in e-commerce sales (+74%) in the United States. The retailer has increased its initiatives with the rapid deployment of express home delivery, or shipping orders directly from stores to maintain rhythm.
Following the digital acceleration wave, Walmart has announced an alliance with the Canadian platform Shopify, which is used by more than one million businesses worldwide. The goal of the partnership is to integrate Shopify’s 1,200 vendors into the brand’s marketplace, starting this year. The strategic alliance will considerably extend participating brands’ reach by placing them in a virtual shopping experience, representing 120 million monthly visitors to the Walmart Marketplace.
In addition, the partnership also aims to compete against Amazon in the grocery market. The Seattle-based firm has promised these third-party vendors the potential to reach more than 300 million customers worldwide. In addition, it offers shipping, returns and customer service.
Spotlight on Picnic, the Dutch pure player on a meteoric rise
Founded in 2015, the Dutch e-commerce retailer deploys its services in the Netherlands and Germany and shows continuous growth. In only five years of existence, the pure player has grown from €5 million to €350 million in turnover in 2019 and expects to reach half a billion euros by the end of 2020.
Adopting the traditional codes of the old-fashioned mobile grocer in electric vans, the e-commerce retailer is already number three in the Netherlands behind Albert Heijn and Jumbo (according to Nielsen). The concept is based on a free delivery subscription that includes a maximum of 100 customers per area. Once the necessary number of subscribers has been reached, potential customers are placed on a waiting list.
The company owns its technology, fleet and distribution centres. In this way, it controls its investments. It prioritises short circuits: it delivers its customers according to the producers’ capacities, which avoids food wastage, and it has no physical stores. The pure player strategy is therefore based on a principle of scarcity on offer and exclusivity, which is encouraging a significant increase in demand.
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