Kroger Heats Up the e-Commerce Grocery War

Amazon and Walmart have long dominated the online grocery ordering field, and the retail giants have been in fierce competition for years. The pandemic has only made digital marketplaces even more attractive for consumers looking for safe and convenient channels for grocery shopping, and despite the rise of popular alternatives like Instacart and Thrive, nobody has really posed a serious threat to either company. However, with the recent announcement that Kroger is launching a major expansion of their e-commerce platform Kroger Ship, we might finally see a significant shake-up in the industry.

Kroger Ship initially launched back in 2018. This new expansion will add over 50,000 additional items to the marketplace thanks to a new partnership with Mirakl, a software developer specializing in e-commerce. In Kroger’s official press release announcing the marketplace integration, the company’s vice president of product experience stated that “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.”

In the first quarter of 2020, Kroger’s digital sales ballooned by 92% — a shocking statistic under any other circumstances. Given the sudden intense interest in Kroger’s online services, it’s clear why they would want to invest in their e-commerce capabilities.  

Of course, Amazon is also making big moves to respond to the demand for online shopping. America’s malls were already struggling prior to the pandemic, and coronavirus has put them in an even more precarious position. In order to send out deliveries even faster, Amazon is in talks with the largest mall owner in America to convert many of these newly empty department stores into distribution centers. Walmart, meanwhile, is partnering with Instacart in order to offer same-day delivery to shoppers.

The fight to dominate the grocery e-commerce space is really ramping up now. The first few months of the pandemic left companies scrambling to keep up, doing everything that they could just to keep operations running smoothly and safely. Now that they’ve had a few months to learn and adjust to the new landscape, we can expect to see even bigger and more exciting developments in the next few months as they execute their long-term plans to respond to this growing influx of online shoppers.

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