- Hy-Vee has launched a premium membership program offering perks like free delivery and personal concierge service, the retailer announced Tuesday.
- Hy-Vee Plus costs $99 a year and will also include express pickup service, additional fuel savings and monthly discounts on products like groceries, footwear and apparel. Members of Hy-Vee’s Aisles Online e-commerce program will automatically upgrade to the Plus program without additional costs or changes to their service.
- Hy-Vee’s membership program comes on the heels of Walmart+ as well as e-commerce membership programs from Kroger and Albertsons as retailers look for ways to secure omnichannel loyalty and offer a response to Amazon’s mega-popular Prime membership.
Hy-Vee said Tuesday that its new membership platform leverages some of its most popular services and products in order to deepen ties with shoppers. The retailer said free delivery, express pickup, monthly product deals and other announced perks are its “initial” offers — indicating it plans to add more benefits in the future.
Discounts and fee waivers are a big part of Hy-Vee Plus. Delivery as well as its two-hour pickup service, which launched in May, have seen usership increase significantly during the pandemic. Both services normally cost $9.95 per order. As part of the monthly product deals for December, members will get 20% off Joe Fresh apparel, floral purchases and DSW footwear. DSW linked up with Hy-Vee earlier this year to sell shoes online, and recently opened special outlets inside several Hy-Vee stores, making it a promotional focus at a time when many consumers are consolidating shopping trips.
Hy-Vee Plus also offers an additional 3 cents savings reward for in-store or online purchases for members who utilize the company’s Fuel Saver + Perks program, available at more than 1,200 Midwest fuel stations.
These perks are in line with those offered by Walmart+ and Amazon Prime memberships. A differentiator for Hy-Vee’s program could be its “Red Line” concierge service, in which members can dial a dedicated customer assistance line and receive help as well as personal shopping service. This builds on the grocer’s Aisles Online program, which was established in 2015 and has long promoted personalized service from store employees. The grocer noted “experts” will be answering its customer assistance line, though it’s not clear what — if any — assistance those associates will offer beyond a standard help line.
Hy-Vee Plus is launching amid a raft of new membership offerings from retailers responding to Amazon Prime as the e-tailer expands its grocery ecosystem. Walmart+, which launched in September, includes a suite of benefits, including free same-day delivery, scan-and-go shopping and fuel discounts, for $98 a year or $12.95 per month. Albertsons offers a $99 annual unlimited delivery program in places like Phoenix, Chicago and Southern California, while Kroger is testing a similar service in the Dallas and Los Angeles areas. SpartanNash offers a no-fee pickup program for $50 a year, while earlier this month The Giant Company announced it will offer a subscription program beginning early next year.
Grocers have zeroed in on e-commerce perks as they seek to lock in surging customer demand in the channel. But experts say retailers need to offer additional benefits in order to entice customers and stand out from established online memberships that providers like Instacart and Shipt already offer.