The French supermarket giant is working hard at multichannel innovation on several fronts. In June 2018, it confirmed plans to establish an innovation lab alongside Google Cloud, with the objective of driving digital change and developing new customer experiences such as voice ordering and in-store shopping. Under this link-up, Carrefour goods are also being made available to buy via the Google Assistant in France, as well as through a new Google shopping website.
By early 2019, it’s expected that French users will be able to buy groceries via channels that include Google Home, the Google Assistant on their mobile phone or via a new Google shopping destination in France. Delivery will be to their home, or to pick-up from the store.
More than 1,000 Carrefour staff were trained in the second half of 2018 with the support of Google Cloud. Alongside this, more than 160,000 Carrefour staff are also now using Google G Suite solutions, from Gmail to Drive and Hangouts.
“This alliance makes Carrefour the first partner of Google on grocery ecommerce in Europe, creating a strong bond between the two companies,” said Alexandre Bompard, chief executive of Carrefour. “It also marks an important step in the new story written by Carrefour since the announcement of the Carrefour 2022 plan [in January 2018]. It allows us to accelerate our digital evolution and get a head start in deploying the omnichannel approach we want to offer our customers.”
Another project that illustrates Carrefour’s ambitions is on a smaller scale but still has the potential to scale up if successful. Carrefour Belgium has a programme underway that aims to combine the convenience of online retail with the quality and authenticity of local produce.
An ordering system is allowing customers who shop via the retailer’s site, or the Carrefour app, to type in their postcode and choose their nearest store. From there, they are able to browse a range of local products through a special tab on the site.
The products are then prepared in-store and customers can receive their shopping through delivery, if available in their region, or make use of the Drive offering, launched in Belgium in November 2013. This is a pick-up scheme that allows customers to collect shopping they have ordered online without having to get out of the car.
The initiative also ticks some boxes for Carrefour in relation to its 2022 manifesto. This public ambition includes a renewed focus on ecommerce, with the aim of becoming the “omnichannel universe of reference” in the future.