TECHNOLOGY

Amazon reportedly dropping local third parties from fresh grocery program

BY CSA Staff

The Amazon Fresh program is phasing out its local partners.

Amazon’s Fresh service, which enables shoppers to order from a selection of fresh and frozen foods, and some general merchandise, is dropping local third-party vendors from the platform. The program closes on May 30, according to Business Insider.

Vendors were previously allowed to enroll in Amazon Fresh’s Local Market Seller initiative, which supplemented Fresh’s offerings with locally sourced items. Instead, the program will be more retail-based, with Amazon buying product wholesale and selling it to consumers, much like a typical store, the report said.

According to a source Business Insider only identified as “Freddy,” the change was disclosed in an email to vendor partners on May 11.

Amazon declined to comment on the business change.

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Study: In-app ads spur in-store customer spending

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Digital ad exposure, especially those found in retailer apps, is successfully driving store visits.

In-app ads were much more effective than Web ads in driving uplift last year, a key performance metric that helps advertisers understand the impact of ad exposure has on driving store visits. Specifically, in-app ads generated between 19% and 49% in sales uplift in 2017, compared to the 10% to 33% lift driven by web ads, according to “Trends and Benchmarks for Marketers Leveraging Location Data,” a report from location intelligence company Cuebiq.

In-app ads were clearly the most effective channel for driving in-store visits, compared to those customers who were not exposed. While web ads were not as effective, these campaigns generated additional lift when paired with in-app promotions, the study revealed.

When looking at where these ads made the biggest impact, general retail showed the highest median cost per incremental visit (CPIV) of $54.51, followed by home appliances at $52.29, and automotive at $36.64. In contrast, convenience stores ($1.81), finance ($4.48), and electronics ($8.70) all had median CPIVs below $10.

Overall, retail (which includes big-box, discount stores, pet stores, and sporting goods, among others) struggles to increase its footfall traffic from advertising, along with quick service restaurants and automotive (under 40%). Despite these challenges, the electronics category had the greatest lift, seeing gains between 40% and 94%. Yet, telco and financial services are booming through digital advertising (with traffic improvements ranging between 30% and 90%).

“Our analysis of hundreds of campaigns that ran in 2017 provides granular insight into what is really working for driving retail traffic and what the actual cost and ROI for marketers is,” said Antonio Tomarchio, CEO of Cuebiq. “This analysis is helping brands better understand and plan campaigns, while giving an unparalleled view into how they stack up against category averages and their competitors.”

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Target rolling out same-day delivery nationwide, lowers fees

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Target Corp. has made a big move against its rivals in the home delivery war.

The discounter is rolling out its next-day delivery service of household essentials, Target Restock, nationwide. It’s also reducing the delivery cost, with the service now free for all Target REDcard holders, and $2.99 for all other orders (down from $4.99) — with no membership fee.

“Our guests love the speed and convenience of the service,” said Dawn Block, Target’s senior VP of digital. “And now that Target Restock is an even better value, we think the service will become increasingly popular.”

The program enables customers to choose from an expanded online assortment of 35,000 national-brand and owned-brand essentials. Customers can order up to 45 lbs. of merchandise (an online capacity tracker keeps shoppers abreast of available space), and all orders are fulfilled directly from the shelves of local stores. Orders can be placed up to 7 p.m.

To speed up the ordering process, the company recently launched a voice-activated Target Restock experience that enables customers to place orders through Google Home or a smartphone with the Google Assistant app, according to Target.

The expansion comes less than a year since the company introduced Target Restock in its Minneapolis-St. Paul hometown market. In June, the program launched with an assortment of approximately 15,000 items. Since then, the company has rapidly been rolling out the service to additional markets.

Last fall, the company estimated that Target Restock would reach 70 million people by October, or about one-fifth of the United States’ population. The nationwide expansion will now reach more than 75% of the U.S. population, according to the blog.

The program gives competitors a run for their money — literally. Amazon’s Prime Pantry also boxes up customers’ orders of everyday essentials, however the program is reserved for Prime members. Also, orders also have a $6 fee, and are delivered between one and four days.

Walmart is also testing grocery delivery. This discounter’s goal is to offer the service across 800 stores by the end of the year, a move that will serve more than 40% of U.S. households. The program, which is currently available in six markets, will grow to serve more than 100 metro areas across the country.

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