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Albertsons’ new identity platform secures online customer data

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Albertsons’ new identity platform is securing online customer data, a move that will enhance the grocer’s digital experience, and drive loyalty.

To ensure it could protect the digital information among the more than 30 million customers it serves each week, the supermarket giant implemented the Identity Cloud platform from identity software provider Okta. Serving as the first step of online interaction between Albertsons and its customers, the platform will power user registration and authentication for Albertsons’ website and mobile app.

Further, the scalable software’s single sign-on, universal directory and API access management will provide one central identity platform for all digital experiences. Overall, the company expects the platform to support a more secure customer experience.

“As one of the U.S.’s largest grocery retailers, we needed a solution that could scale with us,” said Ramiya Iyer, general VP of IT, digital and marketing, Albertsons. “We’re confident that we found that in the Okta Identity Cloud, which now serves as an important part of our customers’ digital experience with Albertsons.”

Albertsons continues to step up efforts related to its online experience. In October, the company announced a partnership with Takeoff Technologies to test an artificial intelligence-based “micro-fulfillment center” concept supported by Albertsons’ existing supply chain and store footprint. AI-enabled robots and a system of totes and conveyors will collect items for online grocery orders within minutes, and deliver items delivered to an Albertsons employee, who prepares the order for the customer.

The “hyper-local” automated center will be piloted in an existing store early in 2019.

To further bolster its e-commerce offering, earlier this year, the supermarket giant launched Albertsons Performance Media, a digital media capability designed to improve the digital advertising performance of its CPG brand partners.

In addition, the company opened its digital marketplace — a service that enables customers to purchase items online directly from manufacturers — to outside vendors. Albertsons also recently joined forces with driver service Instacart, a move to offer same-day delivery of online orders to customers in as little as an hour. The grocer planned to make the service available in more than 1,800 of Albertsons’ banners across the country by mid-2018.

The company was also the first national grocery retailer to acquire a prepared-meals company. The supermarket chain acquired online meal company Plated last fall.

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AmerisourceBergen Foundation donates nearly 1M drug deactivation resources

BY DSN STAFF

The AmerisourceBergen Foundation recently announced that it has collaborated with more than 20 not-for-profit organizations in order to provide funding against the ongoing opioid epidemic.

The Valley Forge, Pa.-based company also has distributed nearly one million drug deactivation resources through its Safe Disposal Support Program in 44 states and 140 organizations across the United States.

“Our Foundation has strategically aligned itself to address today’s biggest health-related issues and concerns. The epidemic of opioid misuse is a complex, multifaceted problem — and one that demands action, attention and a collaborative approach,” Gina Clark, president of the AmerisourceBergen Foundation, said. “I look forward to the next phase of our foundation’s work as we continue to identify partnerships aligned to our mission that will help maximize our impact and drive sustained change.”

In addition, the foundation has identified and developed opioid misuse and abuse initiatives, including the Opioid Research Grant Program, to redefine the best practices, advance innovative ideas from the nonprofits and help improve the well-being of various communities, the company said.

Recognizing the foundation’s efforts to support the opioid crisis, Eluna — formerly The Moyer Foundation — awarded AmerisourceBergen with its annual Corporate Partnership Award. The two organizations have worked together over the years to reach underserved youth who have been impacted by a family member’s substance use disorder and provide them with addiction prevention resources and support services, the companies said.

“We have been grateful for the continuous support of the AmerisourceBergen Foundation and their response and collaboration to address the needs of children affected by addiction,” Mary K. Fitzgerald, CEO of Eluna said. “With such a critical health issue facing our families and neighbors, the work of a dedicated organization like the AmerisourceBergen Foundation is not only appreciated, but necessary as nonprofits continue to care for those in need.”

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RangeMe introduces RangeMe Services

BY David Salazar

RangeMe is broadening its offerings for suppliers to help them get products ready for retail faster. The ECRM-owned platform is introducing RangeMe Services, which it said would help suppliers ensure their products are optimized for buyer discovery and are ready for the shelf.

RangeMe Services helps suppliers find, evaluate and connect with service providers for such needs as insurance, design, packaging, photography and labeling. RangeMe noted that all of those elements are key components to being RangeMe Verified, a designation that lets buyers know that a supplier has met all necessary standards that make them business-ready.

“In the CPG industry today, speed is king,” said Nicky Jackson, founder and CEO of RangeMe. “If a product isn’t ready to hit the shelf when a retailer needs it, buyers aren’t going to consider that product as a serious contender to add to their product mix.”

The company noted that, while RangeMe Services can help newer brands get their first retail connection, it also can help established brands stay agile.

“Because of RangeMe, suppliers understand the prerequisites, and it cuts down on the back and forth so we can address their insurance needs and satisfy their requirements very quickly,” said Larry Allred of Veracity Insurance Solutions. “You have suppliers at the crossroads of wanting to get into retail, and offering a resource center to these suppliers with a checklist of what they need. And that is just phenomenal. When I get a phone call from a supplier looking to get into Whole Foods or CVS, they all have a common interest to get insurance based on the requirements of retailers.”

Suppliers can learn about providers, watch videos, find other suppliers’ endorsements and request quotes from the RangeMe platform.

“Offering suppliers the opportunity to get retail-ready in a single, seamless environment is good for them, good for retailers and good for the CPG industry as a whole,” Jackson said. “We’re widening the playing field of new products at a time when consumer demand is at an all-time high, and retailers can’t source innovative new products fast enough. RangeMe Services adds that needed jolt of speed to the sourcing process, and the results are being displayed front and center on store shelves across the nation.”

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