Online food shopping is part of the everyday life for a lot of people. This can be seen in the strong growth of online food shopping in recent years, which accelerated further in 2021. The pandemic has led to more and more people discovering the benefits of ordering online and having their groceries delivered to their door. The elderly in particular, who previously preferred physical stores, have flocked to online stores, and once they’ve tried online shopping most of them continue with it. This is largely due to how digital grocery stores have developed the shopping experience. But for Mat.se, one of the first digital grocery stores, the increased competition has created fresh challenges. Customer loyalty has become a critical business factor as the competition is just a click away.
– We rely completely on what our customers think of us. We must therefore make sure that they are satisfied with their shopping experience and feel appreciated. It should be easy to shop right at Mat.se. For example, it should be easy to get inspiration for what to cook, easy to choose a delivery slot, easy to feel that you get a lot for your money, and easy to complain about a product. Then it should also be easy to come back to us, says Eric Lundkvist, Head of Sales & E-commerce at Mat.se.
Mat.se has divided up its work on customer loyalty into three elements: the service experience throughout the service chain, the feeling of being appreciated, and the brand. However, although this division is relevant to being able to work efficiently, it is important that everything joins up and is easy for the customer. Problems can cause irritation and must be identified and resolved quickly.
– It’s important to put yourself in the customer’s shoes and imagine what’s most important to them. Often it’s a case of trying to ask the same questions they do during their shopping experience, and then answering them – preferably before they even arise. These might be questions such as: When can I have my food delivered? Is there the range I want? Do the prices suit me? When it comes to price, it’s also worth mentioning that many people look at the value of the whole service offering rather than fixate on an individual product. This emphasises the importance of keeping track of all the details that might outweigh the things that are more difficult and costly to change.
At Mat.se the customer experience is almost exclusively digital. There is only one moment in the entire purchase journey that involves physical contact – when the drivers deliver the goods to the door. This meeting is crucial, as it weighs heavily in the customer’s shopping experience.
– Driving sales online poses completely different challenges to driving sales in a physical store. We don’t receive the same kind of feedback. Instead, we sometimes have to do some detective work to be sure we’re being relevant and meeting the customers’ wishes and expectations. This is why we go further than the store itself and we strive to help provide the customer with inspiration, to help them understand the service, and to anticipate their needs. For example, we show the customers how they can buy complementary items by opening and adding products to the order, and we help them to be climate-smart through the eco-labels we have added to over 3,000 products.
Our loyalty efforts also include classic discount codes, ongoing CRM activities, and promotional offers. But Eric stresses the importance of exceeding the customers expectations and make them feel appreciated.
"I’m convinced that it’s not enough to give customers the service they expect; rather we must give them a little extra."
– We surprise our customers by giving them freebies, which we can also use in communications with the aim of converting. Sometimes we’ll offer a free product sample at the checkout, which the customer has to accept to receive, or we’ll add something unexpected in the bags, which the customer discovers when they unpack. I’m convinced that it’s not enough to give customers the service they expect; rather we must give them a little extra. This places big demands on us, but the competition is stiff and it’s vital to remain relevant.
Mat.se works with Walley, which supplies the food giant’s payment solution. One advantage of the solution is that Walley does not take over the customer experience. Instead, it allows Mat.se to continue its relationship with the customer all the way. When the customer receives their invoice, it is clear that it is from Mat.se, with its logo and colours, and different areas for communication and offers.
– We think that most online retailers want the customer to feel that they are always in contact with their brand, and not with a bank. This is why we are developing our services in this direction and trying to find innovative ways of creating added value in everything we do for our customers. Offering invoices with our customers’ logo and design is one example of this. We have set our sights on what is good for our customers and one starting point is that we should stay in the background and make the merchant as visible as possible, says Josef Bosaeus, Head of Sales at Walley.
Increased competition in the industry is driving customer expectations because stores are fighting to offer new solutions and better customer experiences. This means that retailers who do not constantly evaluate and develop their offering risk falling behind. Work on retaining customers is pivotal, and exceeding service expectations is a crucial part of succeeding with this. Then it is important to work on all steps of the shopping journey and to be open to new thoughts and ideas. For Mat.se, the opportunity to communicate with the customer in the aftersales experience, through the invoice, is an example of how broadly they work. And a signal to the industry about where the bar is set.