Chief Digital Commerce Officer
Joe Scartz is an accomplished marketing executive, and as Velocity Commerce Group’s fearless leader, he is responsible for overseeing all digital commerce strategy and execution, including mobile, social, and traditional e-commerce.
Kroger is setting up an ecommerce marketplace open to third-party merchants, as the grocer continues to ramp up its ecommerce capability and offering.
Kroger’s ongoing desire to focus on digital commerce follows a first quarter where its digital sales grew a whopping 92%, but also increased costs. Kroger seems to be willing to accept those cost increases; however, as they look to capitalize on changes in shopper behavior.
The Kroger marketplace will be launched as a part of Kroger Ship. Third-party sellers will be able to sell non-perishable, non-grocery items via the Kroger Ship experience for the first time. Initially, the marketplace will offer more than 50,000 additional items across multiple categories, including natural and organic, international food, specialty items, housewares and toys.
Amazon is the absolute leader in the online marketplace in the US. Clearly, Instacart has made an impact in grocery but many of the general merchandisers trying to play the marketplace game have seen growth (Walmart, for example) but have failed to put a real dent in Amazon’s marketplace leadership. That said, Kroger is just the latest entrant, joining aggressive plans for marketplace growth by the aforementioned Walmart, but also Target, Ebay, Best Buy, Rakuten and others.
Brands and consumers are hungry for options. Whether or not they choose Kroger for general merchandise remains to be seen, but the competition is welcome.
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