Mercadona starts testing its online shopping project in Valencia
The new online “Lab”, initially available in Valencia’s city centre, is born to test, learn and improve the service, as well as expand it to the rest of the city and towns nearby in the following months.
This new online shopping system coexists with the current one for the rest of areas and cities, and has a brand-new website and mobile app to make the shopping process faster and easier.
The online project has been designed to offer a better shopping experience for the client. The company is considering the deployment of different initiatives, such as the ad-hoc designed 3-temperature vehicle which reduces time of transport and unloading, and guarantees freshness.
The team is made up of 240 people, among which are computer engineers, designers, product managers, warehouse personnel, fresh department specialists like in the stores, delivery people and customer service.
Mercadona has invested €12 million in the construction of the new distribution centre for online shopping in the Vara de Quart industrial area of Valencia.
Mercadona is launching today in Valencia its new online shopping service in a pilot test called “Lab”. To do so, it has built its first warehouse, exclusive for online sales, in the Vara de Quart industrial area in Valencia. From that logistics centre, called the “Hive”, Mercadona Online serves the centre of the city and it will progressively increase the service areas to all Valencia and some nearby towns.
Mercadona’s new web service will be available in 14 postal codes in Valencia
Mercadona is launching the service as a pilot test in an initial area. The clients that live within postal codes that are not covered by Valencia’s “Hive” may still shop online on the classic website. Depending on the project’s evolution, the company will expand its service to other areas of Valencia and, in the following years, to new cities; however, there are still no specific dates.
The purpose of the “Lab” is to test the service and learn, both from the worker and the online client, to improve it with their suggestions. For this new model, that coexists with the classic service in the other areas and that maintains the same fee (€7.21 per order), the company has developed a new website for shopping and 2 mobile apps (iOS and Android). All of Mercadona’s clients, regardless of their area of residence, may access the new online store, but only those with postal codes within the centre of Valencia will be able to shop with the new service.
The functionality and design of this first version of Mercadona Online, more intuitive and easier to navigate, is the result of the co-innovation of Mercadona and its clients. During these last months, tests have been carried out with the clients to understand their needs and learn from their shopping experience. At first, the selection will be very similar to that in physical stores and it will be possible to locate products through Categories or the search. Clients will see pictures of each product and all the relevant information.
The company aims to provide its clients with the complete weekly shopping and, therefore, the minimum order is set to €50. At the moment, purchases can only be paid with card. Deliveries to online clients are done starting on the day after the order has been placed, from Monday to Saturday from 07.00 to 22.00 in one-hour intervals.
The project currently has a team made up of 240 people: computer engineers, designers, product managers, warehouse personnel, fresh department specialists like in the stores, delivery people and customer service.
Juana Roig, general director of Mercadona’s online project, has stated: “Mercadona is new to the digital world and we have much to learn. However, we believe that with humility and effort, and thanks to Mercadona’s solid structure, we are in a good position to tackle the challenge of selling food online”.
More freshness and efficiency: Exclusive “Hive” and 3-temperature vehicles
This new online warehouse, spanning 13,000 m² with an investment of €12 million, introduces efficiency in the process of preparing and dispatching orders by centralising everything and facilitating the organisation by type of product: dry, fresh, chilled and frozen. Moreover, Mercadona Online prepares the fresh food orders on the same day as they are delivered to the client to guarantee maximum quality and freshness. The frozen food section has been organised so that it is prepared in the perimeter, thus the employee does not start the order from inside of the frozen chamber, which avoids overstrain. This new service’s technology reinforces productivity and efficiency, multiplying it by up to 4 times more than the current in-store preparation system.
Regarding transport, exclusive delivery vehicles have been designed for the online store with the Valencian car body specialist, Subiela. On the inside, the vehicles have three temperature zones adapted to each type of product. The vehicle also includes a mechanical unloading system which minimises load manipulation, which consequently reduces employee overexertion and unloading time. There are 2 different models, one that allows transporting up to 15 orders and another one, for areas that are difficult to access, up to 9 orders per trip