Rosie’s online platform is big draw for grocers
by Eric Pereira / staff writer
New developments and expansion of services continue to arise for Rosie, an Ithaca, New York-based online grocery shopping platform for retailers and wholesalers nationwide.
Dave Makar, chief customer officer, said the company has been steadily adding retailers for the past 18 months, operating in more than 40 states. Many joined during the peak COVID-19 months of March-May 2020.
According to Makar, Rosie’s platform is attractive because grocers have control over the site and the company is a good partner. Along with more customers, the platform continues to add features to make its retailers competitive.
One of the latest features Makar mentioned is the Hero Carousel, which allows retailers to customize the “hero image,” or the main full-size image, across their home pages. There will be three different rotating images which retailers can customize.
“It could be something local, it could be a group of products that they have. It could be the messaging that they want to have the day or the week, they can schedule those in advance,” Makar said.
“The big benefit for them is they can promote their high-margin items,” he said. “They can promote their local favorites, their specialty items, things that make them unique and different in their communities.”
In April, Rosie also announced enhanced functionality with one-click checkout, deep linking and collections.
Time-savings is key with the one-click checkout experience, allowing returning customers to place orders faster by saving payment details, addresses and preferred order fulfillments. According to a news release, the process “reduces abandoned carts and increases conversion and revenue by saving customers time and convenience.”
“Now you can check out in a quarter of the time,” Makar said. “Retailers benefit because they retain those customers for the checkout line. They’re there in a virtual checkout line.”
With deep linking (hyperlinks), the capabilities “transform retailers’ abilities to share specific departments or products on their respective websites, social media pages or via email – bringing products directly to consumer channels,” according to the news release.
Deep linking can also send customers to a collections page. Makar said the collections feature has been doing well for retailers, basically serving as a digital endcap.
“With the collections…we had a retailer who saw a 200 percent increase in the conversion of Easter collections when they focused the Easter collections in this hero image,” he said.
Retailers soon also will have the opportunity to have their own store branded mobile app.
“So, you can go to the App Store, type in the name of your favorite store that works with Rosie, download that app and have full e-commerce functionality with the retailers name on it,” Makar said.
The opportunities for retailers also involve shopper marketing campaigns. This consists of Rosie working with various national brands, with retailers being able to opt into these campaigns.
“We promote the brand’s products on the sites to the retailer, to the retailer’s customers,” Makar said.
It doesn’t clutter website space with advertisements either. “It’s really focused on the shopper experience, the retail experience and supporting the brands,” Makar said. “It’s very effective and helps the brands to sell more – we’ve seen some products have had 150 percent increase in sales of items during campaigns.”
He added that the shopper base currently varies from market to market. “We have retailers who have seen a huge increase and maintain that customer relationship with the 55 and older 65 [shoppers].”
In some parts of the country, the average Rosie customer continues to be the 37-year-old mother with two or more kids.
In terms of facilitating, Makar said much work is going into improving product data across the board. This way, shoppers can know exactly what’s in the items they’re ordering – making it easier and better to for them to find products.
For grocers in general, Makar said the priority in e-commerce needs to be launching a platform, if they haven’t already.
“Don’t wait another six months, don’t wait another three months. Select your partner and get going. Every day, people are deciding to go online,” he said.
The second priority would be letting shoppers know you offer the service through marketing. Thirdly, he said, make it “as easy as possible for your customers to get what they want.”