In a triumphant partnership, Wave Grocery empowered Kritikos, a leading Greek supermarket chain, to overcome delivery challenges exacerbated by the pandemic. This case study unfolds the story of how we streamlined operations, harnessed technology, and catapulted Kritikos into a thriving online and offline grocery retail force.
Background and Objectives
The Greek supermarket industry is worth $14.4 billion and has an annual growth rate of 1.2% per year. This sizeable sector serves well over 10,000,000 people, demonstrating the need for flexible, accessible, and modern e-grocery and supermarket systems in the country. Competition in this sector relies heavily on customer satisfaction, with grocery brands that please their clientele securing larger portions of the market share.
Kritikos Supermarket is a grocery chain located in Greece that has over 450 branches. Although they had successfully franchised the brand into a thriving enterprise since its earliest origins in 1948, Kritikos sought to:
- Enter the online grocery space with comprehensive web and mobile systems.
- Cultivate alternative ordering channels to boost revenue and online presence.
- Leverage existing stores as fulfillment hubs to support online orders.
Wave Grocery empowered Kritikos to:
- Enhance delivery accuracy and efficiency.
- Streamline delivery and pickup services.
- Launch the "Express" delivery service, turning small Kritikos stores into micro-fulfillment centers.
- Manage courier partnerships for operational efficiency.
Through Wave Grocery’s comprehensive solution, Kritikos achieved an enhanced online presence, happier customers, and increased sales.
Approach and Solution
Wave Grocery was Kritikos Supermarket’s first choice for its unique selection of problems due to Wave's expansive history of ordering solutions and experience in food-related industries.
Once Wave Grocery and Kritikos Supermarket began to work together, they outlined the specific problems that Kritikos was facing and then created a manageable roadmap to overcome them. As Wave Grocery addresses the major issues of all grocery e-commerce brands, Kritikos was able to access a dynamic solution for their problems without the costly customizations that generic e-commerce platforms require.
The e-commerce grocery industry is notoriously difficult to manage due to the complexity of product inventories, continual price variations, the need for special relationships with suppliers, order fulfillment requirements, instant replacement systems, and low-profit margins. Wave Grocery has direct solutions for all potential problems that Kritikos outlined, including a range of operational optimizing strategies that helped Kritikos to scale faster.
Wave Grocery also offers the ability to transform every store into a fulfillment & delivery center. Supermarkets can radically reduce delivery time by taking this diverse approach and setting up many delivery sites across a geographical area.
For Kritikos, the Wave Grocery Platform offered:
- Dynamic time-slot management for flexible deliveries
- Comprehensive courier partnership program for efficient delivery networks
- Creation of delivery hubs for localized inventory and collections
- Various delivery mechanisms (express, curbside pickup, scheduled)
- Rapid customer onboarding via phone number, loyalty card, or OTP
- Integration with Kritikos' loyalty program and launch of digital loyalty cards
- Showcase bundle offers and weekly discounts
- Promotional spaces for content, product depictions, and marketing banners
- Communication about out-of-stock items and replacements
- Multiple payment options (cash on delivery, debit, credit)
- Precise search engine for seamless browsing
- Mobile app purchasing channel
- Product and customer e-grocery personalization
- Complex inventory monitoring and management
- Support for product replacements
Implementation and Execution
To smoothly integrate Wave Grocery's capabilities into Kritikos Supermarket's workflow, a collaborative approach was adopted. Working closely with Kritikos' team, a comprehensive timeline was created, with core milestones marking the completion of key tasks.
By analyzing Kritikos' existing features and systems, Wave Grocery customized its platform to align with the store's specific requirements. Over the years, additional integrations and features were introduced to strengthen Kritikos' offerings.
Wave Grocery, as pioneers of grocery ordering via mobile apps in Greece, streamlined the mobile channel's use. The mobile app underwent improvements in user experience, feature expansion, and performance optimization, offering a world-class mobile shopping experience.
In response to growing customer engagement with mobile and web stores, Wave Grocery introduced an extensive partner application. The picking application empowered Kritikos stores to efficiently manage orders, products, and in-store order fulfillment. This resulted in increased order fulfillment rates and improved picking accuracy. The transition to a mobile device and application system brought a 30% decrease in operational costs by eliminating the need to train workers on legacy ERP picking devices.
Wave Grocery integrated with its delivery partners. Each partner had access to distinct delivery software and fleets, giving Kritikos flexibility in choosing specific delivery partners for different stores. This integration significantly boosted delivery efficiency, reduced fulfillment costs, and enhanced fleet management.
Despite minor challenges, the implementation was successful across all fronts, leading to significant improvements in Kritikos Supermarket's operational structure and efficiency.
Result and Benefits
Following a streamlined integration process, Wave Grocery substantially improved Kritikos' operational efficiencies, impacting every aspect of supermarket management.
Kritikos became one of Greece's first supermarkets with a mobile app, securing a market lead. Despite substantial changes to internal systems and features, Wave Grocery maintained an average user satisfaction rating of 4.7 out of 5 across all stores. As pioneers in online ordering, Kritikos achieved year-on-year sales growth of 50-100%, capturing approximately 5% of the online market share.
The picking application simplified order management, enhancing new channels introduced by Wave Grocery. It increased the rate of successful order fulfillment and overall picking accuracy. Wave Grocery played a crucial role in scaling online order fulfillment by sevenfold. The streamlined mobile device and application system reduced operational costs by 30%. The Picking application was set to become fully operational by the end of 2023.
Restructuring and adding new features to the delivery application resulted in a 35% boost in delivery efficiency. It also gave users greater control over their preferred delivery time slots, increasing customer satisfaction. Wave Grocery responded to the surge in e-grocery orders during COVID-19 by establishing over 40 mini-distribution centers in just three months. The introduction of the Express service, along with its motorcycle delivery fleet, enabled deliveries within an hour. This, combined with serving 350% more prefectures, contributed to a 50% year-on-year increase in sales.
A diverse range of additional features further fueled the integration's success. Kritikos leveraged Wave Grocery to:
The close partnership with Kritikos allowed Wave Grocery to gain insights into the grocery sector's unique challenges. Dealing with extensive inventories, sensitive products, complex operations, and nationwide logistics, this collaboration demonstrated the power of data analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning in addressing these challenges. It emphasized the importance of selecting a platform that aligns with the business's specific needs and challenges, as Wave Grocery seamlessly assimilated into the grocery platform workflow.
The partnership's ultimate takeaway was the need to adapt to evolving customer preferences in the grocery industry, exemplified by the surge in e-grocery during COVID-19. This adaptability enabled Kritikos to not only meet but surpass initial expectations.
- Importance of open communication
- Pinpointing issues together
- Joint problem-solving approach
- Leveraging data analytics
- Integrating AI and ML insights
- Data-backed strategies for success
- Selecting the right platform
- Customizable features
- Platform's fit with business needs
- Responding to market changes
- E-grocery demand during COVID
- Catering to evolving customer needs
The case study of Kritikos Supermarket and Wave Grocery highlights how modern practices, digital platforms, and data-driven decision-making can revolutionize the supermarket business. By offering flexibility and fostering close collaboration, operational efficiencies and customer satisfaction improved significantly. Kritikos' success following the integration of Wave Grocery demonstrates how any grocery business can transform its operations, scale to meet growing customer demands, and leverage innovative grocery-oriented features across its operations.