Whole Foods’ e-commerce sting

whole foods has had an advantage in e-commerce and omnichannel, but it may be a victim of its own success.

Why is it important: Throughout the pandemic, Amazon made it easier for Whole Foods customers to shop for groceries online. Now that the economy has reopened, it has seen a drop in traffic growth from customers returning to its stores, according to foot traffic analytics firm Placer.ai.

  • Shoppers value localized products and a unique customer experience when visiting stores, two things they get less at Whole Foods, said RJ Hottovy, head of analytics research at Placer.ai.

Catch up fast: Whole Foods is approaching the fifth anniversary of its merger with Amazon.

  • The relationship was symbiotic. Amazon leveraged information collected from Whole Foods stores to improve its own online grocery offerings and physical footprint.
  • Whole Foods has acquired the technological prowess to become an e-commerce player.

Our thought bubble: When Amazon bought Whole Foods, it had no way of factoring in a pandemic. It has risen to the occasion with an improved online experience, but it hasn’t done the same with its physical stores.

The bottom line: Amazon has mostly succeeded in creating a seamless experience between its online stores and its physical stores, but this comes at a cost – customers rub shoulders with online order fulfillment employees in the aisles, which reduces the appeal of the store. Whole Foods experience.

  • Amazon and Whole Foods “really haven’t separated their e-commerce business from their in-store business,” Hottovy says.
  • “Many grocery store chains have moved their online processing to other channels and are therefore not putting workers in direct competition with their customers,” he adds.

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