3 Things Grocers Should Look for in their “White Label” E-Commerce Solution

Grocers should view their e-commerce platform as an asset, not an obstacle. By understanding the hallmarks of a good system ahead of time, retailers can accelerate implementation and focus on maximizing value for their customers.

Your guide to finding the right solution

Grocers are back at the wheel – they’re taking control of their digital channel and shifting away from solely relying on 3rd party marketplaces. Still, 2 out of every 3 grocery retailers feel unprepared to deal with the projected growth of e-commerce over the next few years. Learning how to identify which solutions are best suited for their businesses ahead of investing resources and staff into new projects will restore the confidence grocers currently lack. With that in mind, here are 3 essentials grocers should look for in their “white label” e-commerce solution.

The first filter should be ease of adoption. The software landscape is cluttered with bundled, specialized, and stand-alone solutions. Filtering out the noise can be hard. As a general rule, grocers should look for a tool that simplifies their primary function: delivering high-caliber products to customers.

Solutions tailored to the grocery retail industry will do just that. These will come with “out of the box” features that can be implemented quickly, reducing many barriers in deployment. Within these specialized solutions, retailers should search for platforms that have merged advanced functionality with grocery proven tactics. Powerful search functionality that can merchandise shopper paths, or complex promotions are just two examples of that.

The solution should be simple to manage. If the platform requires a large technical support team to run it’s outdated, and it will quickly become a balance sheet headache. Finally, the best options will have a relevant set of standard integrations ready. These integrations save significant time and money, and their return on investment cannot be understated.

The second hallmark to look for in a white label solution is scalability. Scalability is crucial because regardless of a retailer’s size, their technology has to be flexible enough to adapt to the needs of their business and the market – both of which change rapidly. MACH architecture is the premium choice over legacy or monolithic solutions because of the flexibility advantage it grants.

A good example illustrating this is the difference between a “Headless CMS” (the H in MACH) and a typical CMS. A single headless CMS instance allows users to manage as many digital channels as they want (mobile, desktop, etc.), while previous CMS solutions (i.e. WordPress) required multiple parallel instances and more extensive management. On top of that, the headless option utilizes API-delivered content, which is easier to integrate and manipulate, and a single source of content (i.e. a product description) will automatically adapt to different publishing environments.

MACH platforms come with many benefits. They are cloud-based, composable, and API-first, which means they won’t collapse from spikes in demand and users can pick and choose the features that suit their businesses. The main takeaway is grocers need to find a flexible platform that is resilient enough to endure the diverse challenges they’ll face.

The third essential is partnership. Software providers should be trustworthy enough for grocery retailers to lean on as they develop their e-commerce and fulfillment operations. That partnership begins, on the provider’s side, with a long-term commitment to improving the platform. Without continuous development and prompt, attentive support, grocers will find that their investment can rapidly fall behind. Upgrade cycles should be seamless and non-disruptive, which will depend completely on the development methodology of the software provider. Grocery retailers should partner with agile businesses that operate by CICD (continuous integration, continuous delivery) practices to ensure that they are investing in a platform that will be able to keep pace with their demands.

On top of the technical commitment, grocers will be best served by a partner that can provide the operational support needed to maximize the performance of their e-commerce channel. The provider should have a demonstrated expertise in the industry that grocer retailers of any size can lean on, across e-commerce and fulfillment. They should also have reliable account managers in place who will act as a grocer’s advocate within the company. If any of these resources are missing or seem unreliable, grocery retailers should steer clear.

There are many challenges in front of grocery retailers who seek to establish or grow their e-commerce offering. Their platform shouldn’t be one of them. Grocers who settle for outdated or generic technology and don’t vet the scalability of their platform will soon find themselves looking for a new provider. Those who seek out robust technology and a reliable provider will be armed to win wallet share and customer loyalty.