“Our digital business is up 127 percent,” says Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen. “When you look at what our customers tell us and one of the reasons why our digital business is so strong is things that are personalized. We continue to look at what the customer wants and needs and then how do we serve those. What we find are our store teams, our pickup associates, and delivery is very important.”
“Customers are at the center of everything we do and, as a result, we are growing market share,” noted McMullen in their earnings release. “Kroger’s strong digital business is a key contributor to this growth, as the investments made to expand our digital ecosystem are resonating with customers. Our results continue to show that Kroger is a trusted brand and our customers choose to shop with us because they value the product quality and freshness, convenience, and digital offerings that we provide.”
Digital Business Is Up 127 Percent
Customers are continuing to shop in our stores. When they shop in our stores, the count is down but the amount they spend per visit is up significantly. Also, our digital business is up 127 percent. Customers continue to engage in that. What we’re finding is that in markets where COVID is having a lower incident rate or where it is having a higher incident rate, it really doesn’t have that much of a difference. The thing that’s exciting is that people are finding they enjoy cooking and they enjoy eating as a family. It’s really all those things together that gave us the confidence to go out with the (earnings) guidance that we did.
We’re really looking at this for the long term, what’s right for the customer today and what’s right for the customer two or three years out. The increased volume has allowed us to leverage some costs. What we’re doing is taking some of that and sharing it with the customer by waiving our pickup fee. Also, we’ve continued to do promotions throughout the pandemic and we continue to share some of that with the customer. We really do fundamentally just believe the customers will reward us once we get out of the pandemic as well. It’s just the right thing to do and it’s the right thing to do to help a customer’s budget go a little further.
Digital Business Is Strong Because Of Personalization
For us, it’s the whole total experience. When you look at what our customers tell us and one of the reasons why our digital business is so strong is things that are personalized. We also do incredibly well on fresh. Customers tell us and they expect that our fresh is really good and good relative to our competition. It’s really all of those things together. We’ve had a membership program for a long time and you didn’t have to pay for it. It’s fuel rewards and we do loyal customer mailings and all those things.
We continue to look at what the customer wants and needs and then how do we serve those. What we find are our store teams, our pickup associates, and delivery is very important. We are making sure we have that total balance of the experience both from a people standpoint, a price standpoint promotion, and then kind of sealing the deal with fresh products as well.