As online shopping becomes more and more integrated into consumers’ routines, more and more shopping categories are being introduced into the digital space. While online options have become prevalent in grocery stores, most customers who enjoy farmers’ markets continue to shop locally.
Kroger, the largest pure grocer in the United States, is looking to compete in those markets in person. Online farmers market company Market Wagon announced on Thursday (June 2) the launch of a delivery-only local food market in partnership with grocer Kroger Farmers Market in Atlanta.
“Kroger’s new digital farmers market pilot is part of the evolution of our fast-growing and innovative e-commerce business,” Felix Turner, director of general affairs for Kroger’s Atlanta division, said in a statement. . “This partnership reinforces the importance of buying local for customers, powered by modern, cost-effective and efficient last-mile solutions. We are excited to launch this service in partnership with Market Wagon in Atlanta.
The offering spans a 60-mile radius, encompassing 28 counties and offering more than 1,150 products from local vendors. Much like an in-person farmers’ market, it’s only available on certain days of the week, delivering on Tuesdays and Fridays.
“Our mission is to enable food producers to thrive in their local market, and I’m thrilled to partner with Kroger to make it happen together,” Market Wagon co-founder and CEO Nick Carter said in a statement. a statement. “This partnership is a tremendous opportunity for the farmers and food producers we serve in the Atlanta area.”
The focus on local manufacturers could help create a sense of connection and trust with consumers, usually a major hurdle for new online grocery marketplaces. According to data from PYMNTS’ May study “Satisfaction in the Age of eCommerce: How Trust Helps Online Merchants Build Customer Loyalty,” created in collaboration with Riskified, two-thirds of customers who bought groceries online online with a given merchant for less than a year have “little or no confidence” in their e-rude. On the other hand, only 36% of customers who have been buying from a given non-food e-merchant for less than a year say they have little or no trust in this merchant.
Read more: eGrocers risk losing new customers due to lack of trust
Additionally, while virtual and physical grocers face supply chain challenges, those who focus on local growers and sellers have the advantage of working with a shorter, more direct chain, such as Vineet Mehra. , Head of Growth, Product and Customer Experience. officer at Good Eggs, a California-based online grocer and meal kit provider focused on local produce, told PYMNTS in an interview in March.
“Because we’re locally sourced, we don’t have these big supply chain issues,” Mehra said. “I think a lot of companies are trying to adapt to supply chain challenges, but are almost too big to adapt because their supply chains have been ingrained for so long.”
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In addition to partnering with Market Wagon on this Farm Market initiative, Kroger has also expanded its own e-commerce order fulfillment capabilities, opening new automated Customer Fulfillment Centers (CFCs) for digital orders across the United States in partnership with a UK-based grocery technology company. Ocado, most recently announcing the opening of a 61,000 square foot facility in central Ohio in late May.
Read more: Kroger opens new e-commerce fulfillment center