Archive for General Information

Walmart Uses Google and Uber in Walmart-Amazon War

 

 

 

I find this Walmart-Amazon war fascinating; if you’ve read this blog, you may have read an earlier post on how Walmart and Amazon continue to try to one up each other in the fight for becoming the world’s retail giant.

It looks like Walmart is responding to Amazon’s latest purchase of Whole Foods and indicating that they will lower prices in an attempt to “change the face of grocery shopping.”

They are planning to partner with two big name companies, namely Google and Uber, to expand their service offerings.

First, they are testing grocery delivery via Uber in Denver and Orlando currently to see if this could be a new offering. In the past, Walmart has tried various other options, including considering the use of their own employees and, more interestingly, their own customers (this one never saw the light of day of course).

More interestingly, they are also partnering with Google to provide streamlined online shopping. The first step will begin in September when Walmart’s items are available for purchase via Google Express. In the long term, they are hoping to be able to offer online purchasing through Google Assistant or Google Home, similar to Amazon Echo.

The moves are interesting. On one hand, Walmart could be starting a new phase with their delivery – Ubereats turned UberMart or UberRetail perhaps – or they could not be successful at either of these new ventures and be seen worldwide as the ones who continue to chase Amazon and never really catch up.

Walmart is a retail giant, no doubt, but I believe Amazon is still the stronger of the two. However, Walmart definitely has its sights set on Amazon and seem to be working quickly to catch up and possibly pass them by.

So it seems the Walmart-Amazon war continues, and for now Walmart seems to be making headway. We’ll keep an eye on these new developments and wait for the next move in this retail game of chess.

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#ButtGate Made Worse by Short Fuse

Last week, a story went viral about a customer who left a less than stellar Google review for a restaurant in Tennessee. The owner, who pays attention to reviews (that’s a good thing), got a bit….upset with the customer and shot back a “review” of their own. In case you missed it, here’s a replay of the exchange:

 

Customer’s Google review:

 

Okay, so this review is a bit dramatic and could have been written differently and gotten the same message across, but there are some points to be made. After all, unclothed children are probably not a good idea in the dining room.

Instead of taking a breath and stepping back, the owner was reactive and posted this on the company’s Facebook page (it is now deleted):

 

You can only imagine the reaction it got from Facebook users.

After calming down a bit, the owners then posted this explanation, which has also been deleted. At least it’s a better explanation – mothers know that when it comes to criticizing children, parents do tend to get a bit sensitive.

 

 

There are always three sides to every story – his, hers, and the truth. I’m sure both sides are correct in their perception of what happened, but both reacted in a rather unnecessary way. However, it’s the business owner who will feel the impact of this – will people feel comfortable leaving less than stellar reviews going forward, or will they simply not return? Will people hesitate to visit, not necessarily because of the customer’s review (though that doesn’t help) but more because of the knee jerk response from the owners?

Honestly, this is a viral story at this moment – I’m sure it will blow over and no one will remember it in a few months. But for now, the reactionary response doesn’t seem worth it from a business perspective.

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3 Ways Digital Food Delivery May Impact the Restaurant Industry

 

Convenience is taking over the restaurant industry. What were once traditional restaurants and fast food establishments now have the opportunity to compete with restaurants that offer delivery services in an efficient, cost effective manner.

Digital delivery is making headlines as Uber continues to roll out its UberEATS program across the country over the last several months and again highlight food delivery apps.

It’s very similar to other digital delivery programs such as GrubHub , DoorDash, and Seamless – use the app, order food from a participating restaurant, and then sit back and wait for delivery.

So how does this impact the industry overall?

  • It makes things a bit tougher for “traditional delivery” restaurants, those who have always offered delivery services. With digital delivery options increasing, it puts some pressure on these traditional restaurants – their range of competitors opens up a bit, at least for the short term, so they need to make sure their value, service, and quality are prominently displayed. Considering upgrading their services to maybe include online ordering, if not available, may help offset the new competition.

 

  • Even casual dining restaurants may struggle a bit more than quick serve or fast food establishments who turn to food delivery app programs. A recent article┬ástates that the margin on delivery programs may be problematic for casual dining establishments (think Buffalo Wild Wings or Red Robin) while the impact on sales will not hurt fast food/fast casual restaurants such as Chipotle, Shake Shack, and Dunkin. These quick serve restaurants can benefit from digital delivery, as the margin will not impact sales as significantly.

 

  • While restaurants jumping into the delivery arena have a great opportunity, they will stilll need to implement new procedures and systems to accomodate this new service. While it’s not as significant as it would be if they were to start up their own in-house delivery service, it’s important to carefully considering the upgrades & adjustments BEFORE jumping in to a GrubHub or UberEATS – if your restaurant can’t handle the increased business, it won’t matter how much business these apps bring in. You will quickly lose those customers who have a poor first experience.

While delivery apps are definitely changing the restaurant industry, technology will not likely have the same impact as it has for retail. However, convenience reigns supreme, so restaurants of all types need to pay attention to the latest trends. But, should your restaurant join in the latest trend right away?

Maybe. Before jumping in just because it’s the new thing to do and “everyone is doing it” plan carefully, decide if it’s truly worth it, and let it play out a while before jumping in – by hesitating a bit, you’ll be sure that the trend is viable and worth getting into while having a solid plan in place to provide seamless service across all touchpoints.

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