Monthly E-Commerce News Brief – May 2021

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Instacart Introduces Self-Serve Content Tool

Brands are now allowed to directly edit Instacart product content through a new self-service tool. The Library Manager features are available to manufacturers who are not already partnered with a Content Service Provider (CSP). Brands see their products currently carried on Instacart in the “Instacart Ad” portal and may request product edits by uploading high quality images and product attributes and by modifying product titles as needed. All submitted edits are reviewed by an Instacart representative to ensure it meets all required quality guidelines. The new tool means brands have the opportunity to update their product content in one location rather than working directly with each retailer.

The tool offers brands not working with a CSP the opportunity to manage and improve the quality and accuracy of product content on the Instacart marketplace, providing an improved customer experience for those browsing digital storefronts on Instacart.

Our Take on the Opportunities

  • The update to the Instacart platform opens big doors to suppliers who do not have an existing contractual CSP partnership. It provides the opportunity to improve and own on-shelf digital product display pages (PDP) and the ability to control digital shelf presence. The change will ensure a brand can show up accurately and take control of its assets to best engage with the consumer shopping the category or brand.
  • The last phase of the consumer purchase funnel is the final click into the product page. Accurate and engaging content is beyond crucial to ensuring that purchase is captured. Studies show consumers quickly lose confidence in a product if digital content is missing or not up to marketplace standards and often move on. With this new solution in place, the supplier community must make a diligent effort to prioritize updating Instacart content as efficiently as possible.

    This update, along with many other advertising and merchandising initiatives being rolled out by Instacart, demonstrates Instacart’s continued effort to maintain its leadership position in the online grocery space. We believe this is just the beginning of more content and self-service updates the industry should expect to see over the next year.

Source: Instacart Ads

Uber Partners With Convenience Delivery App Gopuff

Uber and Gopuff are linking up to expand reach with consumers by launching an “everyday essentials” shop through the Uber Eats app. The deal is a first for both companies — a first for Uber partnering with an integrated delivery business and Gopuff’s first white-label offer for another organization, challenging competitors like Instacart.

The move follows Uber’s recent acquisitions of food and beverage delivery services Postmates, Drizly and Cornershop. This allows Uber to leverage the already hyperlocal logistics and convenience of retailers’ dark stores to fulfill consumers orders. The shop will offer a majority of Gopuff’s products, including snacks, pantry items, over-the-counter medication, alcohol and other everyday essentials. The collaboration between Uber and Gopuff is expected to launch in more than 95 cities in June and expand nationwide during the summer months.

Our Take on the Opportunities 

  • With more consumers shopping in micro moments and buying on mobile, virtually any product in any grocery category can become an impulse buy online. By investing media dollars in these instant fulfillment services and having a strong share of voice, brands show loyal shoppers their products are there for them to buy, regardless of channel or need, and drive a strong digital presence.
  • This partnership is a thought-provoking symbiotic relationship between two partners who both need to scale quickly as they pursue an aggressive growth trajectory. Flush with its latest Series G funding, Gopuff is seeking scale both in the U.S. market and other international markets. It recently acquired Fancy, a delivery service based in 4 U.K. cities that delivers items like alcohol, baby food and over-the-counter medications in under 30 minutes.
  • It will be interesting to see how the partners navigate categories such as alcohol, where they both have a strong individual interest, with Uber acquiring Drizly and Gopuff having purchased Bevmo!

Source: Progressive Grocer

Digital Commerce Takes On a Bigger Role in Foodservice

As more business continues to move online within the foodservice channel, quality digital content is increasingly important for operators who want to make confident buying decisions. Many distributors have instituted online content guidelines for manufacturers, beyond just GS1 minimum requirements, with some in 2021 implementing fees per item for suppliers with incomplete digital content on distributor portals.

Almost one-fourth of the foodservice operators surveyed in March by Waypoint and Food IQ report shopping more online for food and supplies than they did a year ago. Additionally, when ordering food online for their operations, 20% of respondents said product and packaging images is the No. 1 piece of information they look for on an online product page before making a purchase, second only to price.

But while foodservice e-commerce continues to grow, a third of survey respondents said their foodservice broker sales rep is still their No. 1 source of information for new products, menu concepts and recipes. Ensuring a strong balance between traditional and digital continues to be critical in this channel today, while planning ahead for the inevitable e-commerce evolution of the future.

Our Take on the Opportunities 

While this increase in operators doing business online is likely due in part to the pandemic, it’s also driven by many distributors’ ongoing investments in their online portals pre-COVID.

These survey results show the importance of product images to the online shopper journey and demonstrate why Sysco and others are putting a stronger emphasis on imagery on their sites. Waypoint can help manufacturers understand their current digital content compliance status and if they need to take action against these new standards.

The foodservice industry is typically two to three years behind their retail counterparts in use of technology for business, which supports the continued shift to doing business online that follows retail marketplace trends. As restaurant operators continue to age out of their decision-making roles, younger operators who prefer digital communication will help transition this channel online in the coming years.

Source: Advantage Solutions

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