How Mercatus is leading the way for grocers

Grocery retail is undergoing a rate of change more rapid than that of any other retail category that has previously experienced digital transformation. US online food and beverage sales will grow 18.2% to $19.89 billion in 2019 and grocery will rank as the fastest-growing product category online, reaching $38.16 billion by 2023, according to eMarketer.

This has led, understandably, to a great deal of unease. Often I am asked, “What is the single most important thing I should be doing right now to ensure the success of my grocery business?”

My response is unequivocal: The most important decision that you or any other mid-sized regional grocery retailer can make — after the decision to adopt eCommerce — is selecting the right partner to guide you through the transition into a digitally mature company with an end-to-end eCommerce offering that complements your bricks and mortar business.

Your partner must be an innovator — a company that is not just at the forefront of digital change, but driving that change. Your partner must be in it for the long haul, with a track record of service delivery as well as a game plan to continue that success well into the future. And your partner must put you, the retail client, first.

I am proud of the tremendous hard work and progress that has taken place at Mercatus over the past year to ensure that we are a strategic partner who delivers all this and much more.

A client-centric approach

At Mercatus, we know that digital transformation isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution.

As a company with more than 15 years’ experience in grocery retail, we have a deep understanding of the industry. We are sensitive to the fact that while retailers all strive to offer the best possible shopping experience, each one is completely unique in its history, operational capabilities, structure and vision for the future. That’s why we work closely with each client to develop a strategy and solution uniquely tailored to their business needs.

Last year we introduced the concept of a Client Experience Team. Each team comprises project managers, solution architects and application support experts who are dedicated to a particular client. This allows them to get to know the needs of that company and to work collaboratively to develop targeted, highly specialized solutions.

Our close partnership with clients continues throughout the entire planning and implementation process, right through to follow-up and beyond, to ensure that they stay on top of the technology curve.

We’re proud of the fact that our clients experience demonstrable growth and success when they implement Mercatus solutions. Recently, for example, we worked with Weis Markets to expand online ordering with in-store pickup and home delivery to 173 stores, which contributed to a 33.2% increase in online sales and an increase in overall annual sales for 2018 of 1.2% compared to 2017. We also successfully partnered with Texas-based Brookshire Grocery Co. to enable their online ordering with curbside pick-up at 100 stores under the Brookshire’s, Super 1 Foods and FRESH by Brookshire’s banners.

To us, being client-centric also means we are invested in helping our clients succeed. We’ll go the extra mile to find — or develop — a solution to solve any and every challenge.

Continuously innovating

One reason that we are able to achieve successes like Weis and so many others is that we know digital transformation isn’t something that happens once and then comes to a rest. It demands constant evolution as the technology changes, as the culture shifts and as customer expectations grow.

That’s why Mercatus has been constantly innovating ever since our company was formed in 2004, and why we will continue to do so. Already in 2019 we’ve achieved several major technology milestones, among them:

  • We released our white label delivery solution, Mercatus DispatchTM, which allows grocers to choose their delivery partner(s) and maintain the integrity of the shopper’s journey with the store brand.
  • We launched AisleOne™, our personalization solution that uses AI-driven predictive technology to provide relevant offers and content for each individual customer. AisleOne has already proven to increase basket size by $13 per week and deliver $700 more per year per engaged customer.

In addition, in just the past six months, we have delivered the ability to shop from flyers, released advanced KPI reporting capabilities and made continuous improvements to back-end infrastructure. We’ve also added language localization into our solutions — a critical function for providing increased access to a wider audience.

These, like all of our solutions, are developed with the purpose of helping retailers both increase margins and develop loyal clientele, both in-store and online. As well, all Mercatus solutions are designed to empower grocers by allowing them to retain control of the customer relationship, to help them achieve long-term success.

Leadership in action

As a company on the front lines of technology development, we feel it’s important to contribute meaningfully to the discussion around digital pathways, to help make the industry as a whole stronger. We understand there’s no short-cut to success in an omnichannel world. Grocers have invested much to grow their brands and develop lasting shopper engagement. At Mercatus, we’re committed to providing grocery retailers with the means to retain shopper affinity by providing the solutions and know-how for retailers to control the customer journey from engagement to fulfillment.

The industry is moving fast, and as a growing company, we’re also moving quickly. As the CEO of Mercatus, I know it’s equally important that we chart our own course to a successful future. That’s why we have a carefully planned roadmap aligned to a product vision that enables retailers to be successful in the short- and long-term. The entire company shares a deep commitment to helping our clients enjoy success through digital transformation — both today and well into the future.

Want to learn more about how Mercatus empowers grocery retailers to succeed? Contact me today.