Research has consistently found that habits form in moments of transition. Now, as the vaccine rolls out around the world and consumers begin to establish their new routines, grocers have a unique opportunity to embed themselves in consumers’ lives in an enduring way. As consumers begin to set their post-pandemic grocery behaviors, online grocers have a chance to integrate their offerings into these routines, guiding consumers’ way to grocery’s omnichannel future.
Now, Italy-based grocery delivery service Everli, formerly known as Supermercato24, has $100 million in Series C funding at its disposal to grow its offerings internationally. The delivery service uses a picker model similar to Instacart’s in the U.S. to provide same-day delivery from local grocers, gaining its revenue from a fee for consumers and from in-marketplace advertising options for its retail partners. With the help of its massive fundraise, the company is now looking to expand into new markets, a goal that is reflected in the name change.
“We chose to change a very well-known name in the Italian market, primarily due to our position to expand internationally with the precise intention to widen our offerings and become an international brand across multiple markets,” Everli CEO Federico Sargenti told PYMNTS in an interview. “…We wanted to find a new name that could serve us in multiple markets and could also fulfill our ambition to become more than just a marketplace for supermarkets, but [also] an end-to-end grocery solution for retailers and for consumers beyond simply supermarkets or home delivery.”
Choosing the Next Everli Market
The company operates in Italy and Poland, and, Sargenti added, “We recently launched in France and the Czech Republic … in the past month, and we are targeting other countries.”
As the company expands across Europe, Sargenti noted that Everli considers two key factors — whether consumers are well-poised to adopt new e-grocery options and whether retailers are seeking out such solutions.
“On the consumer side, we’re of course looking for a market that has a good level of digital penetration and eCommerce penetration, where grocery is at the early stage of that growth trajectory, which is true for most of the European countries,” Sargenti said. “And from a retailer landscape … we are looking [for markets] where there is a decent level of fragmentation of retailers in the market, where there is a good mix of big and medium regional players … both in big metropolitan cities and also in smaller mid-tier cities in the country.”
There is a huge amount of country-to-country and city-to-city variation in Europe’s grocery market, as consumers tend to opt for local grocers or regional chains, and variations in local laws and practices require in-depth knowledge of each market. As Sargenti explained, “Looking at every market, we see that, with very few exceptions, every market has local players, where local selection, local assortment and local knowledge of the consumer taste is very important – and that is true not just for consumer preferences, but also for local regulations.”
Working Hand-in-Hand with Retailers
Amid Europe’s crowded e-grocery space, Sargenti believes that the third-party model, which involves working closely with retailers, gives Everli’s marketplace the advantage. As he put it, “We think that our model is the one that is best suited to adapt to those local needs, because we partner with retailers and leverage their knowledge, competence and ability to adapt the offerings to the local market.”
Sargenti noted that because Everli’s profits are tied to its grocers’ success on the platform, there is a strong sense of collaboration between the company and its retail partners. Plus, these partnerships are made stronger by the access Everli gives retailers to their customers’ data. Sargenti explained that Everli gives these retailers “higher transparency on the consumer behavior and on the levers that they need to pull to optimize … their operations.”
“As an example,” Sargenti said, “we monitor real-time stockout data at store level, and we feed that information back to the retailers to make sure they also understand where they need to work to improve their assortment, to avoid lost sales and to improve consumer feedback at the store level.”
Future of E-Grocery
Looking ahead, Sargenti predicts not only “an acceleration of customers, and segments of customers, moving online,” but also “an acceleration of different options for consumers to buy online,” as online grocery evolves to keep up with consumers’ wide range of needs and expectations. This includes options such as buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS); curbside pickup; and home delivery. He also noted the “spike in contactless online payments” as well as contactless delivery, which, he said, “is now the default choice for the client, and we actually believe it will remain [the] default in the future.”
Consequently, in the year ahead, Sargenti predicted, “You will be seeing … the increase and improv[ement of] our offering to our stakeholders, both in terms of assortment and also in terms of options available to the consumer to buy online.”
Everli is also building its international presence – not just for consumers, but also internally.
“We are becoming more and more international as a company, both in terms of coverage and also in terms of teams and network partners, and we will see lots of big international dealers partnering more with us on multiple functions,” said Sargenti.
The company’s goals for the future are far from modest, as evidenced by its name. As Sargenti explained, “We wanted to find a name that was easy to remember … that can also immediately evoke the benefits of the service … the concept of finding everything, everywhere.”