Warehouse-style grocery chain Smart & Final has launched redesigned shopping websites for consumer and business customers.
Household customers can see weekly specials on Smart & Final’s digital circular and coupons, as well as add items from a shopping list or their virtual cart for delivery. They also can now shop by recipe for simpler meal planning and build and save customized shopping lists. Customers, too, can create a profile to reflect dietary allergies or preferences, and through their personal account they can manage subscriptions, payment options and purchase history.
Smart & Final said the website also offers more intuitive shopping suggestions based on each shopper’s views and previous purchases.
For business shoppers, the Business.SmartandFinal.com site enables users to create an account under their business name, apply for tax exemptions, receive tax exemptions for online orders, and complete online payment for delivery orders.
With the new online shopping experience, Smart & Final also has released two new mobile apps. The retailer said customers using the Smart & Final app or Smart & Final Business app can seamlessly switch between apps and websites, and their profile and cart will remain intact.
Smart & Final noted that pricing on its consumer shopping portal is consistent with the pricing in its stores, which offer discounts of up to 25% versus conventional supermarkets. Same-day deliveries are available in less than two hours for a $4.99 delivery fee and $6.40 service fee.
“With the new SmartandFinal.com, we set out to create a simple and customizable shopping experience that’s tailored to each person’s needs,” Ed Wong, executive vice president and chief digital officer at Smart & Final, said in a statement. “Our customers want the convenience of delivery combined with the high-quality products and great value from our stores, but in one seamless online experience. We are excited to be expanding and improving our online presence and will continue to listen, test and explore new ways to enhance SmartandFinal.com.”
To provide an enhanced experience on both websites, Smart & Final leveraged household and business customer data and insights, according to Toronto-based Mercatus, the retailer’s technology partner for the new online platform.
With the partnership, Smart & Final now offers delivery via Mercatus Dispatch, an integrated white-label, last-mile delivery solution that seamlessly connects household and business customers to third-party delivery providers. Smart & Final said customers are able to continue using current online marketplaces such as Shipt and Instacart.
A range of Mercatus partners also are providing functionality and services to Smart & Final, including AgilOne (customer analytics), Flipp (digital advertising), GK Software (virtual point-of-sale), TForce (logistics for business customer shipments), InfoSys (systems integration) and Tata Consultancy Services (digital commerce).
Smart & Final will also leverage new platform capabilities from Mercatus, including a bilingual English and Spanish shopping experience as well as call-center management and support in both languages.
“The ability to grow our digital offering, while maintaining direct contact with our customers, is essential,” Wong commented. “As we continuously strive to maintain a lasting relationship with our shoppers, partnering with Mercatus and other platform partners is the logical next step towards enhancing and ultimately owning our e-commerce experience. With the Mercatus platform, we believe that our online experience will serve the evolving needs of our valued customers.”
Mercatus noted that its platform brings Smart & Final a branded experience that can scale with the growth of its online shopping business.
“Today’s grocers are at risk of losing their shopper relationships. Many have unknowingly given up control over the one thing they can’t afford to lose: ownership of the digital shopping experience,” according to Sylvain Perrier, president and CEO of Mercatus. “With assistance from our expansive network of technology partners, we’re excited to work with Smart & Final to offer online shopping in ways that positively affect not only its bottom line, but also control over its digital future.”
Smart & Final, which went private in June, operates 324 stores, including 255 Smart & Final Extra! and legacy Smart & Final locations plus 69 Smart Foodservice Warehouse stores.
Smart & Final Extra! stores blend a wholesale club-style store — but no membership fee — with a traditional supermarket in a one-stop shop, including farm-fresh produce and natural/organic options. The Smart Foodservice stores, located in the Pacific Northwest and Northern California, offer a “no-frills” warehouse format that mainly targets business customers, such as restaurants, caterers and other foodservice businesses.
During fiscal 2019, Smart & Final plans to open one Smart & Final Extra! store and four Smart Foodservice Warehouse stores — including a 20,265-square-foot Smart Foodservice location on Nov. 2 in Idaho Falls, Idaho — and to relocate one or two Smart & Final stores.