Wegmans has a better website, but did it need one?
Wegmans, one of the most respected players in the regional grocery game, is trying to stay ahead of trends by spiffing up its website and mobile app with a redesign.
The new website and mobile app feature improvements, such as the ability for customers to see digital coupons as they build their personalized shopping list, more personalized on-site search results and curbside pickup/delivery options, according to Progressive Grocer. The chain sent out an email last week to shoppers featuring a screenshot of some of the enhancements reflective on the site.
Wegmans has managed to garner a cult following with a legion of “Wegmaniacs” shopping its stores and singing its praises. This has continued to be the case as the privately-owned chain has expanded from its New York state base into New England and down the Eastern Seaboard. The opening of its first North Carolina location brought out huge crowds, with 3,000 people lined up before the store’s 7 a.m. opening. The chain estimated that 30,000 visited the location by the end of day one.
Surveys have attempted to identify what exactly it is that makes Wegmans so special. A 2017 study of 12,700 shoppers by Market Force Information found that it was the specialty departments and item availability that distinguished Wegmans from the competition. However even back then, the survey noted an uptick in the use of online ordering across grocers.
Around the time of that survey, Wegmans began piloting its grocery delivery services, utilizing Instacart as a delivery partner. Today the Wegmans website offers its Wegmans Unlimited Delivery service, which it describes at present as being a branded name for Instacart Express.
Digital transformation has become a major point of focus for the grocery world, with grocery chains of all sizes pursuing upgrades both to improve the e-/m-commerce experience and to facilitate new technologies that blur the line between digital and physical retail.
Some have gone even farther with how they’re leveraging customer-facing technology, as in the case of Stop & Shop. The Ahold Delhaize-owned chain has rolled out an in-store, googly-eyed robot named Marty to identify spills and alert store staff accordingly.
- Wegmans Kicks Off 2020 With a Digital Makeover – Progressive Grocer
- Do Carolinians have Wegmans on their minds? – RetailWire
- What makes consumers so loyal to Publix, Wegmans, Trader Joe’s and H-E-B? – RetailWire
- Is e-grocery less convenient than shopping in stores? – RetailWire
- Are store robots cute, creepy or nearly useless? – RetailWire
- Have grocers figured out how to successfully do business online? – RetailWire
- Instacart Express & Wegmans Unlimited Delivery – Wegmans
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What separates a strong website from a weak one in the grocery channel in 2020? Will the kind of improvements Wegmans has made be essential to its ongoing success?