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Krafts Foods, Inc

Kraft Foods Online Grocery

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Rick Brindle

Rick Brindle
Customer VP of E-Sales and Industry Affairs
Krafts Foods, Inc

Rick leads Kraft Foods’ Customer eBusiness Development nationally as well as Kraft Foods’ Industry Affairs efforts for Eastern Regional Grocery retailers. He also leads Kraft Food’s Industry Affairs efforts within the...more»»

Getting Started
Posted by Beverly from Pinellas Park, GA, US on July 20, 2010

You’ve said that getting involved in e-commerce is important and the big outfits are certainly following that advice. But what is the first and most important thing that independent operators with just one or two stores must do to get started? Please keep in mind that we have limited budgets, minimal experience with social media, and frequently nobody to help us.

Thank you!

Thank you for your interest and question. It is a great one by the way!

I would start with Marketing online versus selling product online. Once you have developed you eMarketing effectiveness, you should then give the selling/pick-up and/or delivery model a shot.

One area that I must stress is the importance of gaining a true understanding of your customers’ needs, wants, conditions and limitations and how your stores are currently meeting or coming up short in delivering upon these areas. Many operators have jumped into eCommerce with sort of a “if you build it, they will come” mentality. Not a good idea. eMarketing can be very effective and cost efficient if you know you customer and your competitive climate and leverage the right eCommerce tools against your overall Marketing strategy.

Let me suggest four “out the gate” activities that you should consider (in priority order and assuming you have not already done these):

1. If you have an associate who has demonstrated a passion/talent for Internet based activity, bring them in on your eCommerce plan ASAP. Especially if they are young. For this space, I always say, “hire the children”.

2. Begin soliciting your customers and potential customers’ email addresses.

o Inside your stores, have pads and pens at every check-out asking folks for their email addresses. Outside of your stores (circulars, ads, etc.) have potential customers email you their email addresses. Incent customers via drawings and/or giveaways. Do this often!

o To the degree you can develop your email distribution list(s), you will have an unbelievable source for marketing to your customers under your competitors’ radar and at little to no cost (suggest you check out for your email marketing.).

3. Create a domain name and website (
is a good start – and by no means the only service provider in this area.).

4. Create company pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter.

o Think Facebook and LinkedIn as vehicles to collect fans and contact information for further loyalty development as well as conduct direct marketing.

o Think of Twitter as a vehicle to communicate daily specials (ala the old “blue light specials”).

o Remember, all three of these tools are used by your customers on their computers and via their phones (more so Facebook and Twitter).

o Really “get into” these social networking tools with the intent of understanding their potential and unique offerings.

Good luck!

Posted by Bethany from on July 19, 2010

Should everything in the store be available for online shopping?

That depends on your business model. If you are delivering via multi-temp truck, or plan to offer a pick-up only model, yes. If you are not, you should probably stick with non-refrigerated offerings. Another thing to consider would be an “Endless Aisle” approach -- where you actually offer MORE than what you stock in store. This can be accomplished via .

Adding Resources
Posted by Bethany from on July 19, 2010

If our company adds eCommerce to the retail offering, should we add an executive to focus exclusively it, or should we use existing staff?

I would suggest that you consider dedicating resources to your eCommerce initiative. Our customers that have approached it in this manner have seen dramatically better results. I would also suggest that you select someone who has demonstrated a passion and level of expertise in ecommerce.I would suggest that you consider dedicating resources to your eCommerce initiative. Our customers that have approached it in this manner have seen dramatically better results. I would also suggest that you select someone who has demonstrated a passion and level of expertise in ecommerce.

eSales for retail offer
Posted by Kevin from Los Angeles, CA, US on June 16, 2010

I don’t know much about adding eSales to my retailing offering. Is it really a good idea?

Absolutely! Since we started this journey, a key goal for us was to demystify this whole thing called eCommerce for our customers – viewing emerging technologies and capabilities through the eyes of a grocery merchant. You certainly don’t have to be a rocket scientist to get into eCommerce. But the technology curve is pretty steep and fast-paced. When you think about it, just six years ago, there was no such thing as YouTube, FaceBook or Twitter – and most of us were tethered to a wire if we wanted to get online. It used to be that we followed the Internet. Now it follows us!

There are some very valuable shoppers in the marketplace that would be amenable to online shopping if they had the opportunity. So I would highly encourage retailers to make eCommerce a strategic imperative – both in terms of merchandising and sales.

Shopper loyalty card importance
Posted by George from Chicago, IL, US on June 16, 2010

How important is having a shopper loyalty card to success with eSales?

Very important. As background, offline grocery shopping can be a very redundant task. About 80% of the items in a typical shopping basket are bought every week. However, an effective online offering can actually leverage the redundancy of the task to grow both shopper loyalty and overall basket sales.

With that said, if the retailer doesn’t offer a loyalty card, ordering groceries online is can be a fairly painful transaction for the shopper. On the contrary, if the retailer has a loyalty card, they can build site functionality that leverages this data to allow the shopper only has to access their past purchases – enabling very quick repurchase transaction and significant opportunity for up selling.

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