National Co+op Grocers (NCG) and e-commerce platform Mercato have teamed up to provide NCG member stores with Mercato’s digital capabilities, among them online ordering and delivery.
“We have vetted various e-commerce partners in the industry and are confident that Mercato is the best solution for NCG’s growing community of cooperative grocers,” noted Heather Brooks, director of retail business technology at St. Paul, Minn.-based NCG. “With their willingness to develop digital solutions specific to our co-ops’ needs, Mercato has shown that they’re dedicated to servicing grocers in whatever fashion it takes, so long as the customer benefits in the end.”
Mercato equips more than 1,000 independent and specialty grocers with a clean, seamless online ordering and delivery function, along with robust e-commerce reporting and analytics. For NCG, Mercato will provide a customized platform to ensure that co-op shoppers can use their member number when purchasing items online. Further, Mercato will incorporate payment via EBT for SNAP benefits — something of particular interest to co-ops.
According to Bobby Brannigan, founder and CEO of San Diego-based Mercato: “Co-ops are a true expression of communities coming together around food, and that’s at the very root of Mercato’s mission. While we’ve been fortunate to have a few co-ops on our platform for some time, we are extremely excited to expand this base and to deliver digital capabilities to additional communities across the country.”
Mercato is providing NCG with a team of dedicated e-commerce specialists who will work with co-ops during the onboarding process and also direct marketing efforts to help co-op customers learn how to order on the platform.
NCG is a business services cooperative for retail food co-ops located throughout the United States, representing 148 co-ops operating more than 200 stores in 38 states, with combined annual sales over $2.3 billion and serving 1.3 million-plus consumer-owners.