Gregg Dorazio spent 14 years as a brand marketing leader within Ahold Delhaize and General Mills. Success in those roles stemmed from immersing himself in the shopper mindset to uncover the most important insights. This has translated well for Dorazio’s transition to e-commerce. He knows the key to winning is offering an effortless, yet memorable customer experience from start to finish.
Describe your current role and the function of your team.
DORAZIO: As the e-commerce lead, my primary responsibility is to develop the growth strategy and orchestrate cross-functional execution across our online businesses. Giant’s e-commerce footprint fulfills more than 2 million orders annually and includes Giant Delivers home delivery, Giant Pickup same-day curbside service, and Instacart rush delivery. It is a role that connects every function in our company – from merchandising to IT to operations to finance.
How does your organization promote digital innovation?
DORAZIO: Ahold Delhaize’s secret weapon is its size and scale, operating nearly 7,000 stores globally that generate more than $75 billion in sales. We are investing aggressively to build our digital and e-commerce capabilities, leveraging central groups like Peapod Digital Labs and Retail Business Services that are constantly rolling out improvements to our proprietary systems and sites. The local brands also experiment in their respective markets, so we all benefit when best practices or efficiencies are uncovered.
How has your team’s work been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
DORAZIO: The greatest challenge we have had this year is accelerating our service expansion to meet the demand for contactless delivery and pickup. Our operations teams have acted with such speed and creativity to increase our capacity. We now offer Giant Pickup and Giant Delivers to more than 85% of our market. It has been an extraordinary effort to hire, train, and deploy more people and vehicles, but everyone takes pride in knowing that our services are essential to the health and safety of our local community.
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What does omnichannel mean to you as a marketer and a shopper?
DORAZIO: Omnichannel is simply the new reality in retail. Each week customers will shop in a way that best suits their needs. One day might be a quick store trip for dinner. Another day it is a large stock-up trip that they pick up curbside. A third time might be sending a grocery delivery to a loved one across town. The flexibility to engage with Giant in these different ways is true convenience and value for shoppers.
How can brands take better advantage of the opportunities in e-commerce?
DORAZIO: Brands play a vital role in the growth of e-commerce. Two areas come to mind where retailers and manufacturers can work more closely. One is the customer experience: learning about new items, personalizing their recommendations, presenting great content. The other is efficiency in fulfillment: carrying items optimized for e-commerce operations (as well as in-store sales).
What will the acceleration of e-commerce due to COVID-19 mean for supermarkets going forward?
DORAZIO: Brick-and-mortar supermarkets are not going away anytime soon. Due to COVID-19, we have turned a corner in the adoption of online food shopping. Grocery is one of the last industries to move online. So in my opinion, you have to look at the changing nature of retail stores in fashion, electronics, beauty and home goods to understand how stores might need to evolve in food. Over time, I think the transactional elements of a traditional supermarket will become less important and the inspirational elements will move to the forefront. If everyday staples are shipped to your home or ready when you arrive at the store, then the value of walking the store becomes more about discovery, education, trial and other services.
DORAZIO: We expanded on a partnership my team set up during the height of the pandemic. Union Kitchen is a food and beverage accelerator in Washington, D.C., that shares our passion for supporting local entrepreneurs. More than 25 items from 11 different local brands are now available through Giant Delivers. Customers have really gravitated to these products and we are now looking to add them into our brick-and-mortar stores. Part of the beauty of e-commerce is that we can move fast. We are less constrained by shelf resets or traditional supply chains.