Automatic lockers, pick-up points, click and collect, etc...: when e-commerce bends over backwards


par Aude Chardenon16 November 20210 commentaires

Automatic lockers, pick-up points, clic and collect, etc...: when e-commerce bends over backwards

While home delivery remains popular, the health crisis has showcased other alternatives to address the last mile issue. Click and collect by automobile or on foot, which is popular with consumers, has made it possible to respond to the increase in ecommerce food sales, while pick-up points and automatic collection points have responded to other needs while providing the most effective territorial coverage.

While initiatives such as collaborative delivery, offered by Yper, Shopopop or Everli, where other consumers deliver groceries, are a complementary response to the increased demand for home delivery, click and collect is also faring well in the food sector.

With supermarkets recording turnover of €9.1 billion in France in 2020, this delivery method, which was developed in France in the early 2010s, is one of the most dynamic, with growth of +85% in 2020. On-foot click and collect is the most active segment, with +179% growth during the first lockdown.

But the Leclerc Chez Moi, Monoprix Plus, and Carrefour Livré Chez Vous services are competing with these pick-up points and local sales outlets and causing them to lose 6 performance points on average when they are in direct proximity. They reach a different target than the click and collect, with a younger, more urban clientele.

Other sectors convinced

Click and collect has also attracted other sectors such as hardware stores during the health crisis. “Customers were interested in being able to pick up their products easily and safely. We went from just a few orders per day before the lockdown to several dozen through this channel”, said Alain Rabec, CEO of Kingfisher.

This seems to be an ongoing trend. Elodie Perthuisot, Director of Digital Transformation and Data for the Carrefour Group, recalled on Twitter that 10 new click and collect points opened during the summer alone. The group has more than 1,120 click and collect points in France, including 281 that opened in 2020.

Adaptation of pick-up points

Pick-up points remained active during the health crisis but had to cope with the closure of non-food stores. “We redeployed the service in supermarkets, then in local shops,” said Yann Radenac, Director of Performance and Processes at Relais Colis.

Temporary platforms were set up where activity is strongest, between certain collection and delivery areas, in order to avoid non-optimized channels and platforms, such as a shipment passing through the Île-de-France region for delivery in the far north of France.

The return of automatic pickup lockers

Whereas automatic pickup lockers were not the “in” thing before the crisis and even caused players like Poland’s InPost to quietly withdraw from the French market in 2018, lockdowns and the pandemic gave the system new momentum. By staying as close as possible to consumers and operating 24/7 without physical contact, automatic lockers have proven their relevance.

“We experienced strong growth in our automatic case pick-up business last year, driven by the growth of ecommerce and customer’s expectations for more secure case retrieval,” Geoffrey Godet, CEO de Quadient, in April 2021.

These lockers allowed Relais Colis to absorb increasing volumes of packages without overwhelming pick-up points. By summer 2021, Carrefour will have installed more than 400 automatic case collection lockers in France in all three formats: hypermarkets, supermarkets, and neighborhood stores.

In the future, lockers will increasingly be used for returns: 67% of Germans would be willing to use a drop-off solution40 and 75% of Europeans would be willing to use a more environmentally-friendly return method. As a point of departure or return, automatic lockers also increase in-store traffic and encourage impulse and convenience buying.

The diversity and flexibility of these delivery solutions have helped address lockdown issues and consumer demand for quick deliveries at convenient locations, either near home or on their route.

According to FEVAD barometer (MÉDIAMÉTRIE – 1ST QUARTER 2021), home delivery remains buyers’ preferred delivery method. In the first quarter of 2021, 87% of online shoppers preferred this type of delivery, although click & collect is gaining ground in food e-commerce (57% of purchases). After home delivery, consumers prefer pickup points, and 1 out of 2 buyers choose it. Click and collect is next, with 33% of buyers. Deposit delivery is only a minor factor (4% of buyers).

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LSA: “The Daily Figure: The Best Click & Collect Service” – 7/21/2021 “Lockdown Again: A New Breakthrough in Food E-commerce” – 11/17/2020
Décideurs Magazine: “A. Rabec (Kingfisher France): ‘The DIY Craze could last a Decade’” – 7/23/2021
L’Usine Digitale: “How data management allowed Relais Colis to provided continuity of deliveries” – 10/01/2020
Journal du Net: “Consignment Delivery: A Service that’s still in Lockdown in its Box” – 7/03/2018

Quick commerce: why is product information the key


par Aude Chardenon9 November 20210 commentaires

Quick commerce: why is product information the key

Speedy delivery is now a common requirement of consumers, who in recent years have become accustomed to the standards of pure players like Amazon. New players are emerging to deliver ever faster to consumers in major cities in Europe. What they have in common is a high-performance mobile application, very linked to an optimized product information platform.

In just a few months, the number of quick commerce pure-players has exploded throughout Europe. Boosted by the health crisis and consumers who are adept at online ordering, they are disrupting the ecosystem and pushing major retailers to join forces with delivery specialists.

The motto of these pure food players is simple: ultra-fast delivery, usually 10 to 15 minutes, from dark stores ideally located in the city center, of a very limited number of everyday items (usually 2,000 to 5,000). These apps are popular with consumers thanks to their user-friendly interfaces, quality product visuals, and complete product pages. Customers are encouraged to order through low-cost deliveries (€2 to €3) and well-targeted promotions.

Although mobile commerce is now an essential factor in an ecommerce and omnichannel strategy, the optimization of product pages on mobile is not yet a given.

As Pierre Guionin, General Manager France of Gorillas, reminds us, “highlighting products is very important on mobile devices, especially for fresh products. For example, as much of the essential information that customers need to make a purchase decision must be indicated. For example, along with the packaging and the flavor or variety, i.e. the visuals remain the first identification criterion online, and it is also essential that the visual qualities be adapted to mobile commerce. Price is not the only element driving decision-making.”

It is also necessary to offer a customer experience that is consistent with what these players are promising. “There needs to be a good balance between the offering and the speed of the order, without increasing the navigation time on the app,” continues Pierre Guionin. Objective: optimize the entire value chain for customers, up to the “wow” effect: groceries delivered to your home in 10 to 15 minutes.

A stiff competition

Due to the stiff competition in the express food delivery market, which has billions of euros in funding and is already very competitive, it is difficult to identify which pure-player will come out on top. There are substantial challenges to overcome: from purchasing products from suppliers to a territorial network that allows delivery in 15 minutes, while still providing real profitability.

What’s the best way to stand out in this extremely competitive world? Through the offering, for example by relying on local producers and businesses (bread, fruit, and vegetables, etc.). At a time of strong demand for short and/or local supply chains, sourcing remains a very important issue for these players. But also through a shopper experience that is optimized for m-commerce and the quality of the product information available on the app.

Here you can watch the interview with Pierre Guionin, General Manager France of Gorilla.

To read more about this topic, download the report.

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Dark store: when the point of sale desappears


par Aude Chardenon2 November 20210 commentaires

Dark store: when the point of sale desappears

Faced with the health crisis and store closures, retailers were able to revise their model and quickly adapt. Witness to the phenomenon: dark or “ghost” stores have sprung up in Paris and other major European cities.

Inspired by the “dark kitchen,” a model made popular by pure food players such as Frichti in France and Delivery Hero in Germany, “dark stores” experienced some popularity in 2020, driven by retailers’ need to adapt to the consequences of the health crisis and the closure of outlets.

What is a dark store?

The idea is simple: a mini-warehouse located in a city center that is used as a shipping point for orders placed on the web.

What are the advantages of this model?

It optimizes the delivery and storage of products as close to urban consumers as possible. In addition to fast delivery, sometimes in a few minutes, dark stores benefit from an extensive territorial network in highly urbanized areas and solve the costly problem of the last mile. In these small spaces (100 to 300 m2) that can only accommodate a rather limited assortment and are closed to customers, the employee only deals with preparing orders and restocking.

The right desired product, at the right time

Everything from “picking” to shelf configuration is designed for optimized preparation and delivery. The inventory is clearer and not dependent on an isolated warehouse. The assortments are also more specific and the preparers avoid product substitutions, thus guaranteeing increased customer satisfaction. Dark stores are thus tailored to consumers’ requirements: the right desired product, at the right time.

In order to mitigate the consequences of the health crisis and respond to the sudden increase in online orders, retail sees this model as a simple solution that can be quickly implemented. The food retailer Franprix has been testing this “format” since March 2020 and has chosen to convert four of its outlets to dark stores. They were not chosen at random: they had little or no traffic because they were located in office areas and were deserted during the first lockdown.

“The store’s inventory was only used to prepare ecommerce orders, without any customers,” François Alarcon, Franprix’s Strategy and Innovation Director. The same bet was made across the Pyrenees in Spain: the Dia group is now relying on a dozen dark stores, including three in Barcelona, which have a capacity of 400 daily orders. “We have prioritized a mixed distribution model based on ‘mini dark stores’, accelerating the last mile of distribution as much as possible and offering flexibility and efficiency,” Diego Sebastián de Erice, Ecommerce Director for the Groupe.

Dark stores also appeal to textile brands and DIY stores that were closed to the public during the first lockdown, particularly in France. Stores belonging to Ba&sh, Electro Dépôt and PicWicToys have been temporarily converted into small urban warehouses. The toy company has opted for the ship-from-store concept… and has performed well despite store closures.

“Click and collect, […] allowed us to save more than 50% of our revenue and sell off our inventory,” Romain Mulliez, Chairman of PicWicToys.

In the UK, Supermarket Income REIT, which owns five Tesco supermarkets, three Sainsbury’s and one Morrisons, believes the phenomenon will continue: multi-channel stores with a dedicated area for online orders. Its Chairman Nick Hewson states, “The Big 4 retailers continue to leverage their existing store networks to support last-mile logistics for online grocery sales. As a result, the growth of online sales is driving value creation at these locations.”

This hybrid model, which supports a micro-fulfillment space at a supermarket, is also being deployed by Amazon in the US. It allows them to reconcile the need for a physical presence with a real ecommerce strategy. This is an excellent example of omnichannel.

Dark stores are thus one way to support online business surges while solving one of the crucial problems of home delivery. Retailers may increasingly adopt this new model that contributes to the growth of food ecommerce in Europe… as long as consumers remain loyal in a highly competitive environment.

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LSA: “How Franprix adapted its organization to keep up with the
rise of e-commerce” – 5/15/2020
Food Retail: “Dark Stores: la pandemia acelera el boom del online” – 2/05/2021
Journal du Net: “Dark Stores: the must-have of omnichannel
retail” – 2/25/2021
LSA: “PicWicToys ultimately closes fewer stores than expected” – 1/13/2021

Food delivery rider

#Episode2: new players in the world of food delivery


par Aude Chardenon16 July 20210 commentaires

#Episode2: new players in the world of food delivery

As we know, the year 2020 was the advent of food e-commerce and quick commerce! Major retailers are teaming up with meal delivery specialists like Uber Eats and Deliveroo by offering you the possibility of ordering their merchandise on these apps. But other players are emerging to deliver ever faster to consumers in major cities. Here’s an overview of the new European startups that have won over consumers... and investors. 

The food delivery ecosystem is growing! In the field of food e-commerce, the trend is pointing towards even more players. Europe is no exception, boasting many startups whose activity has grown spectacularly due to the health crisis. And in the last few months, there have been countless players, both traditional and new ones, who want to make a place for themselves in the world of quick commerce or q-commerce. Because express delivery is becoming more and more attractive to consumers.

Between online supermarkets (such as LaBelleVie, La Fourche and Frichti), meal or shopping delivery specialists (Glovo, etc.), specialized e-merchants (Kol, Greenweez, etc.), or technological giants (such as the Russian giant Yandex!), many want to take advantage of a market that represented only 5.6% of food sales in Europe in 2020, according to Kantar, but we now know how promising it is.

Newcomers on the scene include Gorillas, Dija, Flink, Zapp, Cajoo, and so on. 

  • Their common point: offering delivery on-demand and very fast, sometimes around 10 minutes. Getting ever faster, they are actually closer to the consumer expectations. 
  • Their technique: relying on a network of dark stores, small invisible urban spaces, i.e. mini-warehouses, intended solely for the preparation of online orders.  
  • Their strengths: a solid delivery network, a reduced assortment of inventory (about 2,000 references), a simple and practical mobile application, and complete and optimized product descriptions.

As a strong sign of this market emulation, there have been (numerous) fundraising rounds completed since the beginning of the year! A large part of this capital should allow these startups to operate in new markets and develop before their competitors do! Quick commerce definitely lives up to its name.

  • Dija (Great Britain)

Founded in the fall of 2020 by former Deliveroo and Everli executives, this British startup is positioned on express delivery of fresh produce via its Dijanow app. To do so, it has developed “dark stores.” The London-based startup, which has 2,000 references, mainly targets consumers in highly urbanized areas, including the French capital. It raised $20 million in the fall of 2020.

  • Gorillas (Germany)

Founded last May in Berlin, Gorillas closed a $290- million fundraising round at the end of March, bringing it into the unicorn circle in record time. The German startup, which operates in more than a dozen major European cities including Amsterdam, London, Munich, and Paris, offers delivery of more than 2,000 grocery and everyday products in only 10 minutes on average. To achieve this, Gorillas uses some 40 micro-fulfillment centers in the countries where it operates.

  • Cajoo (France) 

Cajoo is a new French company offering on-demand delivery service in less than 15 minutes, available 7/7 from 7:30 am to 12:30 pm. It plans to develop a network of its own mini-warehouses in cities, aiming to eliminate all intermediaries and thus offer competitive prices. It has just raised 6 million euros in seed funding to initially win over Paris-area consumers. The Carrefour group just announced that it has entered into exclusive negotiations in order to acquire a minority stake in the startup.

  • Everli (Italy) 

Formerly known as Supermercato24 and as a pioneer in food e-commerce, Everli operates in Italy, Poland, Czechia, and France. The Italian company, which closed a $100 million round of financing in March, has created a different model, closer to Instacart. It employs personal shoppers who select the products ordered by customers in the store and deliver them the same day. Its revenues come from orders but also the monetization of partnerships with brands. This approach allows it to offer more than 300,000 products in the 70 cities where it operates.

Jiffy (Great Britain): 2.6 million pounds; Weezy (Great Britain): 20 million dollars; Flink (Germany): 52 million, then 240 million euros; Rohlik (Czechia): 100 million euros; Oda (formerly Kolonial, Norway): 223 million euros; Getir (Turkey): 138 million dollars; Glovo (Spain): 528 millions euros; Swiggy (India): 800 million dollars; goPuff (USA): 1.15 billion dollars!

The complete ecosystem (by DigitalFoodLab)

Product data, a tool for e-commerce and environmental performance


par Aude Chardenon17 June 20210 commentaires

Product data, a tool for e-commerce and environmental performance

Often perceived as being harmful to the environment, e-commerce is actually based on processes that can be extremely virtuous. Product data management solutions are one of the tools available to retailers that can be used to optimize the supply chain, from the moment products are stored in the warehouse, all the way to the end customer's home.

We often point the finger at e-commerce for its environmental impact. The frantic pace of deliveries, the high rate of returns in certain industries that are already considered to be highly polluting, such as textiles, the increase in parcel packaging and bags, which are sometimes oversized compared to the products ordered… However, in many respects, e-commerce has started going green.

From the electric militants (Amazon, etc.) to the packaging machines doped with artificial intelligence (Cdiscount, etc.) without forgetting energy production through data centres (GreenYellow, another subsidiary of the Casino group), the green revolution has truly arrived. And the results sweep away several preconceived ideas: E-commerce generates 4 to 9 times less road traffic than physical commerce, according to a report recently published by Oliver Wyman.

At what point is product data useful to help the consumer to consume the product in an optimised way? From the warehouse! First, it increases the preparation capacity for orders placed online. Accurate product data means time saved on order preparation and is therefore a key performance indicator. Take for example the measurement data from SKUs (stock-keeping units), which are useful for optimising space. It is also an essential component for the whole value chain: Precise data on the size of the item can also be used to optimise how the bags are filled when the orders are prepared… and how the trucks are filled during the delivery rounds. 

There are several advantages: in addition to reducing costs of logistics – these costs are high in e-commerce, and all specialised players are faced with the challenge of profitability, and therefore performance – this consideration of high-performance product data can also be transformed into a tool with an impact on CSR. This is also a very important issue for the consumer goods industry, which wants to adjust its environmental impact to the growing concerns of consumers.

More data, more direct impacts: The “guaranteed shelf life of the products” is indicated for the product, which allows the consumer to receive fresh products with all the time they need to consume them! No more 12-packs of yoghurts delivered with their BBE the next day! 

This indication, which makes it possible to select the products in the warehouse, has two main consequences: On the one hand it increases consumer satisfaction (and loyalty), and on the other hand it limits food waste since the customer does not have to throw their product in the bin because the shelf life was too short… A real revolution.

How does product data impact the warehouse? How can we bring together performance and environmental impact? 

To learn more, watch the replay of our conference co-hosted with Groupe Casino : Ecommerce: How does qualitative product data pave the way to performance & sustainability?

Adaptive retail: Best practices in 2020


par Aude Chardenon10 June 20210 commentaires

Adaptive retail: Best practices in 2020

The health crisis has had a profound impact on trade. Whether or not they were visible, the main purpose of these innovations was to meet the needs of customers, who were unable to go out freely. In the food sector in particular, the explosion in the number of online orders has forced retailers and their suppliers to adapt quickly in order to keep up the pace.

In Europe, food e-commerce leaped up by 60% in 2020. Home delivery, a very practical alternative when we are not entirely free to go out, has won over new fans. Due to these restrictions, more people were having food delivered to their homes, due to working from home and distance learning, preferring or needing to reduce interactions in stores, avoiding long queues at the checkout… The French are quickly (re)discovering the benefits of online supermarkets that bring shopping to their doorsteps… sometimes in record time!

Online sales were at an all-time high from March 2020. In France, according to Kantar, spending on fast-moving consumer goods and fresh self-service products rose by 55% between April and June compared to the same period in 2019. Delivery slots were being snapped up quickly, as were click-and-collect slots, forcing all players to look around to quickly find solutions.

Delivery is probably the most visible part of this adaptive retail. All across the world, retailers are turning some of their stores into dark stores. These are closed to the public, and are exclusively dedicated to preparing online orders. Amazon, Walmart in the USA, Franprix in France: Just like dark kitchens in the restaurant business, these ghost stores are invading urban areas, solving the problem down to the last mile. 

Food retailing is not alone in transforming its points of sale. Some textile companies, which had to close for many weeks because they were classified as non-essential, have turned this constraint into a logistical advantage, for example by integrating an OMS (Optimisation Management System), which lets them set up the best delivery scenario for an order. The store then becomes a warehouse and the store identified as the best shipping point within the network is responsible for processing the order.  The Covid pandemic has pushed DIY players to accelerate their omnichannel strategies.

Product data management solutions have also played a role in solving supply issues. Peaks in orders have had many consequences on the supply chain. Toilet paper, household products, flour, etc. some items seemed to vanish into thin air. To find suppliers more quickly, some retailers used the Alkemics platform, whereas other suppliers were able to contact retailers to sell off some stock. This “adaptability” was less visible but which was nevertheless essential to meet this new and unforeseeable demand.

How have retailers and suppliers improved the way they communicate, collaborate and share information? Want to find out more about why a product data management solution is necessary for innovating sales channels, functionality or service? 

To learn more, watch the replay of our conference co-hosted with Accenture : What do retailers need to be adaptive and sustainable?

Local products, made in France... The new concerns of online shoppers


par Aude Chardenon8 June 20210 commentaires

Local products, made in France... The new concerns of online shoppers

The health crisis has intensified some already predictable consumer trends. More sustainable, more local, more responsible, consumer purchases show concerns that go far beyond the health crisis that we have been living through and that we are still going through. We can see these fundamental trends towards more responsible and sustainable consumption as soon as we look for information on a product, especially on the Internet.

When we ask consumers, it is clear that the health crisis is intensifying some of their previous concerns.The desire to consume local products from short circuits, and certified “made in France”, is growing, as is shown by numerous studies.

It is now essential to be able to meet these expectations.Faced with the consumers’ enthusiasm for local production, short circuits and organic food, and also their appetite for nutritional information apps.We can also see a revival of local shops, which confirms our need to be more connected to our immediate environment in this context of global uncertainty.

This strong demand for clarity and transparency was measured by Alkemics well before the Covid-19 crisis;in 2019, a study conducted by Opinionway* revealed that 83% of French consumers would research a product before buying it.This is even more significant in the consumer world,with more than one French person in two having already refused to purchase due to a lack of information on a food product*.

The quality of the product data depends first and foremost on good quality photos, which make the Internet user want to make a purchase while also providing essential information such as the composition, the presence of any allergens, increased visibility of the product’s weight, volume, wording, etc.All of this information helps the consumer to do their research more easily, and standardising this information is extremely valuable for the online seller who must ensure the search engine optimisation of their website.

But as we know, these new purchasing behaviours are part of underlying trends – according to Accenture**, and 95% of consumers who have made at least one change to their lifestyle expect this change to be permanent – and they will be constantly evolving.Therefore, the fight against food waste is a growing concern among consumers but also among companies. For example, the French retailers who are subject to the Garot law, which prohibits, among other things, throwing away unsold food.

Certain information, such as the product’s expiry date or a best-before-end date, means that when consumers order online, they will receive a product with a use-by date that is long enough away so that they do not have to consume it quickly… or throw it away.This is what the Casino Group is doing through its subsidiary O’Commerce/O’Logistique, which specialises in the preparation and delivery of online orders.

Another initiative that is slowly emerging is the Eco-Score, a new indicator for evaluating the environmental impact of food products.This system, which is gradually being used among by manufacturers and retailers, will become even more important in the coming months.

To learn more, watch the replay of our conference co-hosted with Groupe Casino : Ecommerce: How does qualitative product data pave the way to performance & sustainability?

*OpinionWay survey for Alkemics “The French and transparency on food products”

**SAP/Accenture 2020 study The (real) priorities of consumers post-lockdown

How Michel et Augustin meets consumer expectations with the Eco-Score


par Aude Chardenon3 June 20210 commentaires

How Michel et Augustin meets consumer expectations with the Eco-Score

As a pioneer of a number of initiatives in favor of consumer transparency, the gourmet product specialist Michel et Augustin has taken an interest in the Eco-Score and has set up a PoC with ScanUp. The two partners used Alkemics' collaborative platform to facilitate the collection of information and the calculation of this score. This step toward transparency brought them some (very) pleasant surprises.

Last January, a dozen private players (ScanUp, Yuka, Marmiton, La Fourche, Seazon, FoodChéri, Frigo Magic, Etiquettable, and Open Food Facts) launched an environmental score system. Called “Eco-Score,” it is intended to help consumers, like the Nutri-Score, to choose their food products according to a new level of information. 

It takes the form of a score from A to E. But while the Nutri-Score focuses on nutritional information, the Eco-Score aims to assign a score related to its environmental impact. “We were thinking more and more about the ecological footprint of our products,” explains Axel Diverrez, Innovation & Packaging Development Engineer at Michel&Augustin. “Consumer expectations are no longer just about nutritional information.” 

The brand quickly decided to tackle this area, which is one of the 149 proposals of the French Citizens’ Climate Convention. Backed by the French government, which has launched a testing campaign on the environmental impact rating methodology, this proposal must be displayed on packaging the same way the Nutri-Score is.

Increasingly high consumer expectations 

For Michel et Augustin, consumer feedback clearly shows interest in this topic. “Our fan community is particularly demanding,” adds Axel Diverrez. “Three years ago, 0.2% of consumer feedback had to do with packaging. That number went up to 2% in 2019 and 6% last year.” While the Eco-Score takes many criteria into account, packaging is a particular focus for consumers. “This is the most visible aspect, and it’s also the most frustrating one from their point of view when it just gets thrown away,” explains Axel Diverrez. 

Faced with the rise in packaging-related concerns, the French brand identifies the arrival of the Eco-Score as an opportunity to improve the packaging but also to increase knowledge about the quality of the products and ingredients. Many criteria are taken into account.

More specifically, the method is as follows: based on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) data from ADEME* and INRAE**, it is completed by a bonus/penalty system based on the label information. It takes into account a wide range of data, from the origin of the ingredients to the ecological labels attached to production methods and the composition of packaging.

Sharing information necessary for calculation on Alkemics  

With the ScanUp application, the brand decided to set up a PoC (Proof of Concept) of data transmission based on the Alkemics platform, for about twenty products that are popular with consumers. “There is a great diversity of products at Michel&Augustin, which is appealing,” says Adrien Dumitresco, President and Co-founder of ScanUp. “This also allows us to verify that our calculation tools are working properly.” 

The objective of this PoC is to allow Michel&Augustin to share its product data on Alkemics with ScanUp (and other applications that use the Eco-Score) for it to be calculated, then the second step is to allow them to retrieve and share the Eco-Score value for each product still by using the Alkemics platform. 

After a webinar designed by the collective and preliminary communication about progress of simulating the Eco-Score, the different partners set up the data transfer to make the score appear on the application. In other words, there was a centralization and collection phase, then optimization of data, which concerns both the materials used for packaging and raw materials. “We checked that the fields were working well, then we calculated and compared the scores with our own data,” says Axel Diverrez. As for ScanUp, an API connected to Alkemics retrieves the information needed to calculate the Eco-Score according to the fields provided by the manufacturer, and the application then calculates the LCA. 

Scores go up with reliable product data!  

The result is that data is more accurate since it is provided by the brand and in some cases, this has produced welcomed surprises, such as the recently launched Michel&Augustin spread, which went from an Eco-Score of “C” to “B” (after sharing product information on Alkemics). Why is this? “Some elements of the calculations, which come from our estimates, go up when manufacturers, i.e. those who have reliable and updated data, give the origin of the ingredients, for example,” explains the ScanUp co-founder.

“We achieved an unprecedented level of transparency on the 23 best-selling products in 2021,” says Axel Diverrez. “This speaks to consumers but also to us as manufacturers. We think the scores are fair because they show that it’s not just the packaging that counts, but also the sourcing and production methods. A product containing chocolate or vanilla from Madagascar is different from a product made of 100% French-grown wheat.” For Adrien Dumitresco, this awareness from industrialists is also one of the great benefits of the initiative.

A tool for decision-making 

Besides the rating, the Eco-Score at Michel & Augustin is perceived as a real decision-making tool. “It helps us adjust and reduce our impact by favoring organic, French ingredients, and sustainable, fair-trade exotic ingredients, and therefore take a step back in the development of our products.” Improving the composition of gourmet products, sourcing certain ingredients closer to home, and finding more sustainable packaging solutions is a means to stand out from the competition. 

Other brands such as Hari&Co are also now sharing their data. “We have a lot of requests,” says Adrien Dumitresco. Brands are curious about finding out the environmental impact of what they produce, but there is still some reluctance about sharing the scores,” he adds. “The Eco-Score represents a double opportunity: to be transparent to meet a consumer expectation and to convey reliable information to increase consumer trust!” 

Interest is also measurable among retailers. Some of them have already made commitments, such as Colruyt, which displays the score for 2,500 products sold online, and La Fourche for 2,200 products sold via Click & collect. “Taking this on now will mean saving time later on,” says Axel Diverrez.

*French Environment and Energy Control Agency (Agence de l’Environnement et de la Maîtrise de l’Energie)

**National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment

Want to learn more about the Eco-Score? 

Contact Alkemics for more info


Covid-19 : The acceleration of the DIY sector


par Aude Chardenon2 June 20210 commentaires

Covid-19 : The acceleration of the DIY sector

Although this sector has been slow to enter the digital world, the Covid pandemic has pushed DIY players to accelerate their omnichannel strategies. This is a quick overview of some service-based innovations set up by retailers, showing their grand entries into the era of adaptive retail.

In retail, DIY is one of the sectors that has been most successful during the health crisis. While in lockdown, many consumers turned to home improvement, for small renovation and furnishing jobs, storage, or simply to make small changes to their decoration. 

According to an Opinionway survey for Alkemics carried out last February, the French, for example, are doing more DIY than they used to; almost half are regular DIY-ers and 27% do more than they did before the lockdowns.

In both specialist and generalist stores, you can quickly see that this craze for a “safe haven” is taking over. Although the pure players are naturally equipped to deal with an increase in online sales, they have to adjust their delivery capacities. Brick and mortar sellers will have to show great agility in order to respond to this increase in demand in a particularly difficult context, as some points of sale cannot accept customers or have had their opening hours changed.  

These DIY stores are accelerating their digital transformation in record time. In France, Castorama is racing to put together a project to adapt its network of collection points for online orders, a project which was already on its roadmap. Their click and collect drive-through service was set up during the first lockdown and in less than a year it was deployed across the entire network of around a hundred stores! 

In Poland, the company has also set up pick-up lockers. In just a few days, the three brands from the Mousquetaires group (Bricomarché, Bricorama and Brico Cash), adapted their car parks so their customers could come and collect their orders. Others, like Wurth, are introducing an online reservation service, which eradicates one of the major problems in the sector: Product unavailability.

Another major example in the sector is the Swedish giant Ikea, which is deploying an online planning service for kitchens and storage spaces, as well as online decoration coaching! To maintain and even deepen links with its customers, the American retailer Home Depot has been streaming live workshops. Participants receive discount coupons. 

Another strategy is to adapt the offer itself; in May 2020, Leroy Merlin (Adeo) launched its own marketplace, with a comprehensive offer that can rival even the web specialists! 

Recently, the German retailer Hornbach announced that it is setting up Captana smart cameras in its stores in order to monitor stock shortages in real time. This solution, powered by artificial intelligence including computer vision, manages inventory and the availability of small items. As you can imagine, services with 3D and/or augmented reality features should continue to grow! 

Finally, a major challenge is awaiting the specialists in the sector; as with food products, consumers are becoming increasingly interested in the origin and composition of certain products. In France, where 88% of consumers ask for information before buying, new criteria are emerging such as repairability, environmental impact or the origin of products*.

As we suspected, these new concerns will continue over the long-term for all product categories. According to Accenture**, 35% of consumers say they have changed their food shopping habits. And 95% of consumers who have made at least one change to their lifestyle expect this change to be permanent.

To learn more, watch the replay of our conference co-hosted with Accenture : What do retailers need to be adaptive and sustainable?

*Industry Opinionway survey for Alkemics “DIY Purchases in France”, conducted from 6th to 11th January 2021.
**SAP/Accenture 2020 study The (real) priorities of consumers post-lockdown

Food delivery #Episode1: Express delivery wins over consumers


par Aude Chardenon23 April 20210 commentaires

Food delivery #Episode1: Express delivery wins over consumers

Driven by the health crisis, express grocery delivery has reached a new milestone, with partnerships between Carrefour and Deliveroo as well as between Casino and Uber Eats. These collaborations speak volumes about this trend, which has become deeply engrained in new consumer buying habits..

In Europe, grocery e-commerce jumped by 60% in 2020. A practical option at a time when many cannot go out to run errands, more and more people are choosing home delivery. In addition, remote work and study mean more people are eating meals at home, while many are seeking to reduce in-person interactions while shopping and are concerned about waiting in checkout lines. All of this means that consumers in France are quickly (re)discovering the benefits of online supermarkets that can bring groceries right to their door… sometimes even in record time!

Online sales have seen an unprecedented surge since March of 2020. In France, according to Kantar, spending on fast-moving consumer goods and fresh foods saw an increase of 55% between May and June, compared to the same period in 2019.

A direct consequence of these surges is a lack of available time slots for home delivery. Given this, Uber Eats and Deliveroo, who typically work with restaurants, have opened their platforms to grocery delivery… and to supermarkets.

This collaboration with experts in the field is a wise move for Carrefour and Casino, who see it as a way to complement their delivery services, which have been more in-demand than ever since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic… as well as to meet a growing consumer demand for quick home delivery, sometimes even in record time, and even for fresh groceries and everyday items.

These new partnerships have strengthened since their beginnings in spring of 2020, as retailers have understood that this trend is here to stay. According to another study by McKinsey, half of the consumers in Europe who used online channels during the pandemic intend to continue making purchases via these channels. 25% have even stated that they plan to increase their online grocery purchases. Uber Eats users residing in the Ile-de-France region can now use the app to order around a hundred products from Carrefour stores. Deliveroo users can also order products from Carrefour and have them delivered in less than 30 minutes in Paris, and soon in ten other large cities in France. This collaboration between these two companies also extends to several other European countries.

At the same time, the Casino Group has announced a similar service in partnership with Uber Eats, available in nearly 200 cities. Several of the group’s retailers, including Franprix, Monop’, La Nouvelle Cave and Le Drugstore Parisien, have made hundreds of products available on these apps, delivered in less than 30 minutes. The service will also be extended to other brands within the group. A once-experimental delivery service has given rise to a new delivery circuit, widely adopted by large grocery retailers. Users of Uber Eats and Deliveroo will also note the presence of certain members of Leclerc (in Lille and Paris), M&S Food, CocciMarket, G20 and Cora in the “grocery” and “specialty foods” sections of the app.

Beyond express delivery, what else will tech giants bring to grocery retail? The opportunity to list local businesses, widely popular with consumers in France, as well as access to young, city-dwelling and tech-savvy consumers, and with this, better knowledge of the buying preferences of consumers in cities – as long as the effects of one of their main weaknesses – out of stock products – can be mitigated, and shoppers are not disappointed. Moreover, tech companies can also offer an optimised buying experience, notably via content enriched with complete product information and photos that make customers want to order online.

These new challenges are even more important to keep tabs on, as express home delivery is also sharpening consumer appetites for other services: from Amazon Prime to a whole new generation of retail players.

Contact Alkemics for more info