Online technology and services giant Google is now offering a tool called Pickup with Google Maps at most of The Kroger Co.’s supermarkets.
For customers making online grocery click-and-collect transactions, Pickup with Google Maps enables them to monitor and coordinate the process with the selected store from ordering to collecting, speeding fulfillment. The tool, accessed via the Google Maps app, is now available for more than 2,000 Kroger Co. store locations in over 30 states, including such banners as Kroger, Fry’s, Ralphs and Mariano’s, according to Amanda Leicht Moore, director of product for Google Maps.
“Once you place your order from the retailer, Pickup with Google Maps lets you track your order status, share your ETA and let the store know you’ve arrived, all from the app,” Moore said in a blog post on Tuesday. “People who use pickup with Google Maps typically wait less than five minutes for their groceries, meaning you can grab exactly what you need and get right back to your day.”
The rollout of Pickup with Google Maps follows a pilot over the summer with Kroger’s Fred Meyer division in Portland, Ore., to make grocery pickup service easier.
“After you place an order for pickup on the store’s app, you can add it to Maps. We’ll send you a notification when it’s time to leave, and let you share your arrival time with the store,” Dane Glasgow, vice president of product for Google Maps, wrote about the Fred Meyer pilot in a blog post earlier this year. “Your ETA is continuously updated, based on location and traffic. This helps the store prioritize your order so it’s ready as soon as you get there. Check in on the Google Maps app, and they’ll bring your order right out for a seamless, fast, no-contact pickup.”
Pickup with Google Maps enables customers to track the entire grocery pickup process with the selected store, from ordering to collecting.
Moore reported the Kroger rollout of Pickup with Google Maps in announcing new Maps tools, including Area Busyness, which spotlights busy parts of an area or town so users can avoid crowds and traffic, and an expanded Directory tab on Android and iOS for all airports, malls and transit stations globally to provide more information on businesses. Also, for foodies in the U.S., Maps will begin providing prices for dining spots as well as more detailed reviews.
“We’ve all been there: You spend weeks writing a grocery list to prepare for a big holiday feast, only to realize that you’ve forgotten a key ingredient. Not to worry — pickup with Google Maps is here to help,” Moore wrote.
The technology stems from a major partnership that Cincinnati-based Kroger and Google unveiled in late 2017 to expand the retail grocery giant’s use of the Google Cloud Platform for cloud computing services to help advance its e-commerce initiatives, among other efforts. The partnership paired the nation’s second-largest supermarket retailer with one of the world’s largest IT companies, with leadership positions in search, online advertising, cloud computing, applications and hardware.
This past March, Kroger rival Albertsons Cos. — the second-biggest U.S. supermarket operator — also entered a sweeping partnership with Google to create a more interactive and convenient shopping experience. Through the alliance, Albertsons will leverage such technologies and services as Google Search and Maps, Google Pay, Google Business Messages and Google Cloud artificial intelligence.