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LIBERTYVILLE, Ill. -- Online shopping provider MyWebGrocer here saw record levels of interest among supermarkets in 2004, the company said yesterday.
New grocers are initiating online shopping, while those who currently offer online service are making it available in more stores, according to MyWebGrocer president Mike Spindler. Meanwhile many grocers are revamping their Web sites and adding applications to make in-store shopping easier.
"We haven’t seen this much online grocery service expansion since 2001. Some of our new clients include Key Foods, Harvest Markets, V.G.'s, Walter Stewert, Lee's Markets, and many more. In addition, we have seen current clients expand rapidly -- Lowes Foods, ShopRite, Harris Teeter, Valu Markets, Farm Fresh, Sentry Stores, Dorothy Lane Markets, and others are adding service across more and more stores," said Spindler, who estimates that same-store sales growth for MyWebGrocer customers is more than 35 percent.
Grocers are also making changes to their Web sites, with an emphasis on aiding consumers in their shopping preparation, according to Spindler. "Most retailers built their Web presence five to eight years ago. There wasn't much information available back then about what consumers wanted, and so most grocers loaded their Web pages up with dozens of applications. That approach proved to be unhelpful for the customer and not a very useful tool for most grocers."
To help its clients meet customer needs, MyWebGrocer offers Web site, e-marketing, and consumer trip-preparation tools. Clients such as Thriftway, D&W, Quillans, and United Texas have opted for some or all of the new solutions offered by MyWebGrocer, said Spindler.
Finally, United Texas and D&W have joined the list of clients deploying MyWebGrocer's Endless Aisle product, according to Spindler. The service allows customers to search for favorite or hard-to-find items using the grocer's Web site. The items are then found by the Endless Aisle fulfillment house and shipped directly to the customer in a box bearing the label of the grocer.