Fresh market chain Stew Leonard’s enlisted e-commerce specialist GrocerKey to bring its catering business online.
The online grocery platform now drives StewLeonardsCatering.com, Stew Leonard’s new catering website. With the solution, the retailer aims to enhance the end-to-end catering experience for customers, from more responsive and personalized ordering to improved order management, fulfillment and analytics, Madison, Wis.-based GrocerKey said yesterday.
To that end, GrocerKey developed specialized functionality for catering meal solutions, including the ability for customers to choose side dishes, indicate whether they want items hot or cold upon pickup, and make off-menu requests. On the service side of the equation, GrocerKey bolstered its order management and fulfillment system with a mobile app to push out text message alerts with order and customer updates to the culinary and catering staff as well as to store greeters, enabling them to better assist Stew Leonard’s shoppers with order pickup.
According to President and CEO Stew Leonard Jr., GrocerKey’s technology provided a seamless extension of its in-store catering operation, from order placement through checkout and preferred pickup method.
“GrocerKey customized our new catering site from the ground up," Leonard said in a statement. “More importantly, they helped to translate our legendary in-store customer service onto an e-commerce platform.”
Known for its fresh and prepared foods and “family fun” shopping experience, Stew Leonard’s operates seven supermarkets in three states, including in Norwalk, Danbury and Newington, Conn.; Yonkers, Farmingdale and East Meadow, N.Y.; and Paramus, N.J.
GrocerKey noted that integrated analytics and reporting allow Stew Leonard’s to better track catering business performance and optimize operations and the customer experience. In addition, the platform facilitates digital merchandising of meal offerings, including special events and promotions; expansion of the online assortment and menu options; and more convenient checkout. Extended fulfillment windows enable customers to order up to six months in advance and edit orders up to 24 hours before pickup.
“Catering is a complex e-commerce offering, especially when delivering hot and cold meal items,” according to Jeremy Neren, CEO and co-founder of GrocerKey. “With Stew Leonard’s, we collaborated to develop an e-commerce platform that guides customers seamlessly through ordering to pickup and provides an optimal online experience that keeps the retailer top-of-mind for their catering needs.”
Going forward, Stew Leonard’s plans to offer local delivery for online catering orders and implement “smart kitchen” technology for more efficient catering operations, GrocerKey said, adding that it’s also working with the chain to launch an online gifting platform with similar capabilities.