- Kroger now offers pickup service via Google Maps at more than 2,000 stores across 32 states, including its Fry’s, Mariano’s and Ralphs banners, according to a Google spokesperson.
- The service, which allows shoppers to add their order to the popular mapping tool and receive a reminder when it's time to leave, has grown swiftly since its pilot kicked off in June.
- The tool is another way Kroger is trying to add value to the service as it brings in hundreds of thousands of new online shoppers during the pandemic.
Kroger and Google have quickly ramped up their pickup program as the companies look for new ways to engage consumers and boost online shopping.
For Kroger, the benefit is being able to add a flashy pickup tool that operates within a program millions of shoppers are familiar with and that also promises to boost order accuracy. Customers can track their order status in Google Maps and get a reminder when it’s ready. They can then choose to share their arrival time with the store once they’re en route and then their parking spot location when they arrive. According to a blog post on Monday by Amanda Leicht Moore, head of product for Google Maps, shoppers wait less than five minutes on average for their orders once they arrive at the store.
Kroger began piloting Google Maps pickup at select Fred Meyer stores in Portland, Oregon, in June. By early August, the integration had expanded to 96 stores across Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.
In March, Albertsons announced it would offer a suite of digital tools through Google, including online ordering tools through Maps and Search, along with chatbots, predictive list-building and integration of Google Pay. The Google spokesperson declined to say if any other grocers are currently running pickup through Maps, and said the company is in “active discussions with other retailers to expand this functionality.”
Google said in August that more than 1 billion people worldwide use its Maps tool, while Statista said that more than 23 million people in the U.S. downloaded the app last year.
Kroger recorded more than $10 billion in digital sales last year, and it’s rapidly expanding its service range and customer offerings. The company now has 30-minute delivery with Instacart as well as its own branded delivery service, which it’s using to target existing markets and those where it doesn’t operate any stores. In pickup, Kroger offers service from the vast majority of its stores. It's also testing remote pickup.