United Supermarkets LLC has teamed with Radius Networks, a location-based technology company in the grocery, restaurant and retail channels, to roll out FlyBuy, a solution using proprietary machine-learning technology to accurately calculate a customer’s arrival time to pick up an e-commerce grocery order, at the regional grocer's stores.
When the order is placed and a pickup time established, the store immediately receives an accurate ETA, gains visibility into the shopper’s journey, and gets timely alerts giving associates time to fulfill the order and meet the customer as soon as they drive up.
“As you can imagine, we are currently working on all cylinders to service our in-store, curbside and delivery guests,” said Chris Farr, the recently promoted director of ecommerce at Lubbock, Texas-based United. “Being able to reduce the guest wait time by preparing their order before they arrive is a game changer. FlyBuy will be integrated with both our e-commerce and picking applications to streamline operations, so there is very little disruption to the way our team members currently operate. This allows us to prioritize order fulfillment while creating a frictionless and personalized experience for our guests.”
The real-time location updates enable store employees to prioritize orders based on customer arrival times, and deliver the orders as soon as customers arrive in the STREETside pickup zone. For their part, customers receive a fast and easy curbside experience and significantly reduced wait times.
According to United, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused curbside grocery orders to more than triple.
“In light of current events, helping retailers with the significant increase in online orders is essential, and creating a smooth curbside or doorside pickup experience is more important than ever,” said Jeff Baskin, EVP of global partnerships at Washington, D.C.-based Radius Networks. “Associates inside of the store are working hard to keep food on the shelves, and we can help them maximize their efficiencies while creating a seamless experience for the customer at the curb. We are excited to partner with Chris and the innovative team at United Supermarkets to bring this technology to their associates and especially their customers.”
This past January, Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Lowes Foods, with about 75 stores, introduced the FlyBuy solution.
A self-distributing company, United operates 94 stores under five unique banners in Texas and New Mexico: United Supermarkets, Market Street, Amigos, Albertsons Market and United Express, along with ancillary operations R.C. Taylor Distributing, Praters and Llano Logistics. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons, No. 8 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2020 list of the top food retailers in North America. Lowes Foods' parent company, Alex Lee Inc., is No. 62 on the list.