Albertsons Companies and Google have entered a multi-year partnership to bring innovative technology, like integrating with Google Maps and predictive grocery list building, to the grocer’s omnichannel customer experience.
Google and Albertsons Cos. have been collaborating behind the scenes for the past year and are debuting several new enhancements to the shopping experience as part of the reveal. Planned innovations under this partnership include: shoppable maps with dynamic hyperlocal features; AI-powered conversational commerce; and predictive grocery list building.
Albertsons Cos., which operates stores across 34 states and DC under 20 banners including Albertsons, Safeway, Shaw's, and Acme, has engaged with numerous teams at Google, covering a wide range of technologies and services aimed at making the customer experience more efficient.
They’re working on integrating with Google Search and Maps to help shoppers more easily find what they need; making it easier to shop with Google Pay; and infusing Google Cloud AI technologies such as Vision AI, Recommendations AI, and Business Messages into operations to create what they call “the world’s most predictive” grocery engine.
“Albertsons Cos. is continuing to transform into a modern retailer fit for the future, and we are leading the industry forward by providing the easiest and most exciting shopping experience for our customers,” said Chris Rupp, EVP and chief customer & digital officer at Albertsons Cos. “In bringing together Google’s technology expertise with our commitment to customer-centric innovation, we’re providing our customers with a superior shopping experience no matter how they choose to shop with us.”
Google’s partnership with Albertsons Cos. will build on projects already implemented to improve the customer experience. For example, earlier this month, Albertsons announced its use of Business Messages to help people get up-to-date information about COVID-19 vaccines at Albertsons Cos. pharmacies.
Pickup and Delivery in Google Maps
Albertsons Cos. and Google will also make it easier for customers to get groceries for pickup and delivery, by providing information about online ordering from many Albertsons Cos.’ stores directly within mobile search. This functionality is coming to Google Maps later this year.
People in the U.S. are searching for “curbside pickup” in Google Maps 9000% more than they were a year ago, according to Albertsons and Google. To make this process easier, Google is bringing shopping information to stores’ Business Profiles on Maps and Search, like delivery providers, pickup and delivery windows, fees, and order minimums.
“We’re rolling this out on mobile Search starting with Instacart and Albertsons Cos. stores in the U.S., with plans to expand to Maps and other partners,” Dane Glasgow, VP of product, Google Maps, said in a blog.
“Albertsons Companies is leading the way in bringing innovative technologies to the grocery store digital and physical aisle,” says Carrie Tharp, VP of Retail and Consumer, Google Cloud. “We’re proud to partner with Albertsons Companies to streamline processes and power innovative shopping experiences for customers. The unique strategic and technical collaboration at the heart of the Google and Albertsons partnership sets the stage for sustained post-pandemic transformation and momentum that will become clear to customers in both the near- and long-term.”
Google is also teaming up with U.S. supermarket Fred Meyer, a division of The Kroger Co., this summer on a pilot in select stores in Portland, OR, to make grocery pickup easier.
“After you place an order for pickup on the store’s app, you can add it to Maps,” Glasgow explained. “We’ll send you a notification when it’s time to leave, and let you share your arrival time with the store. Your ETA is continuously updated, based on location and traffic. This helps the store prioritize your order so it’s ready as soon as you get there. Check in on the Google Maps app, and they’ll bring your order right out for a seamless, fast, no-contact pickup.”