Albertsons Cos. has partnered with immersive video specialist Firework to enable “shoppable,” TikTok-like video content across its online retail properties.
Plans call for Albertsons to use Firework’s “shoppertainment” platform to begin deploying short videos and cooking experiences on the websites of its more than 20 supermarket banners, with expanded offerings and content rolling out in 2022, Redwood City, Calif.-based Firework said Wednesday. The technology is designed to bring online shoppers a community-oriented experience via shoppable short-form and livestream video.
The nation’s second-largest supermarket operator, Albertsons marks the first U.S. grocer to adopt the Firework platform, Firework noted. The Boise, Idaho-based retailer operates 2,278 retail food and drug stores in 34 states and the District of Columbia under such banners as Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen, Carrs, Kings Food Markets and Balducci’s Food Lovers Market.
“This partnership is an important step in Albertsons Cos.’ digital transformation journey to redefine customer engagement in the grocery retail space,” Chris Rupp, chief customer and digital officer at Albertsons, said in a statement.
“This isn’t just about creating new ways to feature our products. This is about bringing delight and inspiration to digital shopping to make online experiences as fun as discovering new products in our stores,” Rupp explained. “With Firework, we found the first platform capable of digitally recreating the sense of freshness, discovery and community that you previously could only find within our stores, all using the video and livestream formats that our digital shoppers love most.”
Firework’s platform enables users to create, host and curate immersive short-form and livestream video on any website. That capability, the company said, allows any retailer, direct-to-consumer brand, media publisher or business to own, engage and monetize a community around short-form video. Firework reported that its short-form, shoppable videos generate 30% add-to-cart rates, versus an industry standard of less than 8%, while live shopping on a website boosts purchase completion fourfold.
The “swipeable, shoppable” interactive technology lets consumers engage directly with brand and product videos, Firework said. At the same time, on-site hosting gives businesses direct access to consumer data and monetization opportunities from their shoppable video content. Retailers, too, can sell “digital shelf space” — in the form of video ads — to brands that they carry, creating another revenue stream, Firework added.
“We're inspired by Albertsons’ dedication to being at the forefront of grocery retail customer experience, charting the path toward a new gold standard of online shopping and brand engagement,” commented Jason Holland, president of global business at Firework. “By hosting its own swipeable, shoppable video content to meet its customers where they are, Albertsons will lead the industry in preference-driven digital experience, turning customers into entertainment fans.”
Firework’s technology enables retailers and other users to create, host and curate shoppable short-form and livestream video on any website.
Firework said its short-video and livestream platform connects an ecosystem of more than 600 retailers, CPG companies, D2C brands, publishers and media buying agencies worldwide, with over 1 billion monthly active users. The company noted that it has experienced tenfold year-over-year growth — spurred by the pandemic — as its shoppable video content offer more engaging product discovery, seamless shopping experiences and a stronger emotional connection with consumers.
“The Firework platform gives brands the power to build a human connection with their audiences, within their own domain and on their own terms, using the most in-demand, modern and effective video formats,” stated Vincent Yang, co-founder and CEO of Firework. “Firework is redefining the future of video-first Web 3.0 with distributed, decentralized hosting and is here to enable every business to reclaim ownership of its brand, its community and the opportunities therein.”
Earlier this year, Albertsons unveiled two other major technology alliances aimed at making omnichannel shopping more seamless and engaging for customers. At the end of March, Albertsons and Google announced a sweeping partnership to create a more interactive and convenient shopping experience. Under the multiyear pact, Albertsons has been working with various teams at Google on a range of solutions to bring more efficiency to customers in-store and online.
Then in late April, Albertsons and Adobe expanded their relationship to focus on bringing more personalization to the grocer’s omnichannel shopping experience. Plans call for Albertsons use more tools and services within the Adobe Experience Cloud to better harness data, enable hyper-personalization, and tailor new services to its retail and grocery brands.