Kroger is going after Target and Walmart by expanding its Marketplace stores, which focus on groceries and prepared foods. Marketplace is one of the retailer’s “primary growth formats of the future,” according to Business Insider, which provides a detailed account of the stores’ merchandise and layout. However, digital investments could be even more crucial in determining Marketplace’s success.
Kroger ranks Average in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Big Box, indicating that its digital investments are not on par with Gifted brands Walmart and Target. While the supermarket has the strongest mobile site and app offering among Grocery brands, its desktop site is only average, with mediocre product pages and low availability of omnichannel options. Moreover, the brand fails to duplicate its impressive Facebook performance on other social media channels such as Twitter and Instagram.
In contrast, Walmart and Target join the Gifted category, with Walmart placing second and Target fourth. Both retailers skilfully leverage omnichannel strategies and generate substantial attention on social media, where Target claims 85% of interactions in its category. For Marketplace to catch on as a viable alternative, Kroger will have to substantially invest in the new format’s digital presence as well as its physical layout.