Retail giant Ahold Delhaize wants to create an online “ecosystem” where customers can move seamlessly between its different brands, its CEO told the audience at the FT Future of Retail Summit this week.
Asked by InternetRetailing about recent moves to consolidate the user bases of major brands such as Delhaize, Albert Heijn and bol.com, Frans Muller shared details on the company’s strategy.
Most importantly, last year the company introduced a single sign-on which allows customers of Albert Heijn to automatically log into bol.com using the same account and vice versa. More recently, the company has surveyed customers to determine whether each brand could host the goods of the other. Albert Heijn is a physical and online food retailer while bol.com sells a range of general goods such as books, toys and electronics.
This combination of different product lines is a key part of the ecosystem vision. Muller cited the frequency of food shopping as a way to hook customers to buy other types of product.
“Food has much higher [shopping] frequency than non-food. That’s why a lot of non-food retailers are looking at launching food options. It creates traffic.”
Muller said the initial stage of introducing a single sign-on for shopping channels was “not so difficult” but the next stage would look for efficiencies further down the line in fulfilment.
He said the company hoped to get a much more efficient last mile by “combining different flows in one truck”, addressing government environmental regulations and consumer frustrations. New subscribers to Albert Heijn’s home delivery service AH Bezorgbundel will also get a free subscription to bol.com’s Select service.