To create a website and a service that complemented and improved the existing Roche Bros quality service. This service would encompass pick-up and home delivery and would compete against Peapod (with Stop & Shop) in the Boston area. The aim was to reclaim lost business from Peapod, whilst protecting Roche Bros. from future online competitors. The website would also add an additional sales and communication channel with the existing and future Roche Bros customer base.
7 stores were chosen as picking centers to give geographical reach as well as allowing for substantial demand. Each store can cope with approximately $5M worth of online orders per year, so starting off with 7 stores gives the business every chance to grow.
It was quickly realized in the planning stages that Peapod's weaknesses were service and range of products. Peapod are unable to offer as flexible a ‘same-day service' as customers would like due to the picking model that they have chosen (wareroom). Having to place your order by 10 am to ensure same-day delivery does not appeal to many customers who want to be able to place an order in the afternoon and have it delivered that evening.
The In-store picking model that Roche Bros. chose allows customers to place their orders up to three hours before a delivery slot starts. The flexibility and quick turn-around time that is afforded by the In-store picking model had a direct benefit for the online shoppers in Boston.
The other Peapod weakness is also related to the fact that they use a wareroom: range of products. Peapod offer approximately 7,000 products online which may satisfy 90% of a customer's basket, but something in the remaining 10% may be the most important item on the customer's shopping list. A typical neighborhood grocery store offers 25,000 to 50,000 items to the off-line shopper. eGrocers tend to reduce that figure with 15,000 to 20,000 products offered. This provides choice to the customer and yet it doesn't clog up the website with unnecessary products.
Roche Bros. decided to offer 16,000 products to the online shopper. Although this is a reduced product selection than the one encountered in a typical Roche Bros. store, it was a list that was carefully compiled from an analysis of shopping baskets over a 6-month period. Seasonal items e.g. pumpkins were also taken into consideration. This large product assortment offered Bostonian online shoppers even more reason to try Roche Bros or to switch their allegiance away from Peapod.
Training is important for all of our clients, but it was especially important for Roche Bros. They wanted to make sure that the pickers picked the freshest, best quality products for their customers so that the online Roche Bros experience is similar to the in-store Roche Bros. experience. All of the drivers underwent intensive training to ensure that they acted as ambassadors for Roche Bros. Great care was taken with the design of the website, the delivery vans and the staff uniforms so that the Roche bros. website would improve the Roche Bros. image rather than damage it.
In August 2010 Buy4Now Technology Group designed, developed and deployed a new site for Roche Bros. based on the latest Buy4Now Technology Group eGrocery software.