Misfits Market is on a mission to make online grocery shopping faster and less repetitive for its customers.
The e-grocer is rolling out a pre-filling feature that automatically places items its technology predicts people are likely to order in shoppers’ carts on a weekly basis, Kai Selterman, the company’s chief strategy officer, said. As part of the feature, a new “Preferences” option lets customers note if they like or dislike the items Misfits selected.
Separately, Misfits recently launched its first loyalty program, called Misfits Perks, which lets customers redeem points earned on their purchases for discounts or gifts, which they can select from a list of eligible items.
The latest rollouts, which emphasize saving time and money for customers, build on Misfits’ work to boost cross-merchandising and personalization with online shopping. Like the loyalty program’s bid to lock in more shopper loyalty, Misfits launched private label in the spring, with a focus on pantry staples.
“We always go back to this notion that the online store should be personalized to every single customer and really show them the products they love and not waste their time with the products that they probably don’t love,” Selterman said.
Shopping for customers
Powered by a data science engine as part of Misfit’s proprietary technology, the new autocart tool not only aims to help shoppers shop online faster and minimize the tediousness of building a digital basket but can also help Misfits boost basket sizes.
The autocart feature selects items for customers items based on their previous purchases, Selterman said, noting that most grocery shoppers typically buy 75% to 80% of the same things each week. The feature also can add “discovery” items based on product pairings and customers’ past purchases.
“It’s very common that berries are bought alongside apples. If you’re someone who buys berries all of the time, but you’ve never bought an apple, we’ll recommend, ‘Hey, you might like this new apple that we have,’” Selterman said.
Customers can edit items pre-filled in the cart before placing their orders, and there’s an ability for customers to let Misfits know if each pre-selected item is a “yay” or “nay” for them.
The autocart feature is automatically turned on for new customers, while existing customers were given the option to switch to it. Customers can turn the tool off at any time, Selterman said.
While the autocart feature is on a weekly cadence, Misfits knows there are some regular items customers may need on a different schedule, like coffee on a monthly basis or olive oil every three months, Selterman said.
“We are looking to make it a little more robust in the future. It would allow you to pick the cadence of when you might want something,” he said.
Selterman said early customer reception has been positive for the pre-filling feature, as well as having the ability to “blacklist” items, with kale, in particular, being a popular one shoppers will give a thumbs down to.
Customers typically will choose the same brand for items they regularly buy and can make pre-filling even easier, but Misfits’ assortment can vary from week to week due to its sourcing, Selterman said. Meanwhile, some of Misfits’ customers have bought the same type of item from different brands, which poses questions of how flexibility and preferences for brand may impact the autocart feature, he said.
Locking in loyalty
Misfits has wanted to introduce a loyalty program for “a long time” to help create more value for customers, particularly frequent shoppers, while locking in more loyalty for the e-grocer, Selterman said.
Existing and new shoppers are automatically enrolled in the newly launched Misfits Perks program, which lets them earn one point for every dollar spent. Shoppers who have signed up for Misfits’ weekly grocery plan can earn two points for every $1 spent on grocery purchases.
With the loyalty program, members earn unlimited points with their purchases and then can redeem those points for either discounts or two levels of “gifts” on their next order.
For example, 250 points can be traded in for either a $5 discount or a “free mini gift” of one “everyday item” on the shopper’s next order. With 1,000 points, shoppers can choose between $35 off, a mini gift of seven free everyday items or a “mega” gift” of two premium items.
Mini gifts include items like two organic, large Hass avocados and organic blueberries. Mega gift items include a jar of Haddrell’s of Cambridge Manuka Honey and a 12-ounce bag of medium roast, whole bean coffee in collaboration between Misfits’ private label line and Intelligentsia.
With the gift options, Misfits is extending “this discovery element that is so inherent in our business model,” Selterman said.
The e-grocer also offers sampling often from new and emerging brands, which Selterman said has received positive feedback from customers. Unlike the gifts available through the loyalty program, customers don’t get to choose the items they receive as samples. Going forward, the two will work in tandem, with sampling focusing more on boosting brand recognition, he said.
“We wanted to incorporate free gifts as part of this because sometimes customers ... want that nudge to try something new without having to spend the money on trying it,” he said.