Cub, a prominent Minnesota-based supermarket chain with a rich legacy, embarked on a transformative journey to enhance its online presence and elevate the shopping experience for its customers. Supported by Syndigo’s unique capabilities, Cub has achieved several noteworthy accomplishments:
Through these achievements, Cub has established itself as an industry trailblazer, setting a new standard for supermarkets seeking to thrive in the digital landscape while delivering exceptional customer experiences.
Digital commerce has been steadily growing across all categories, but the grocery vertical has generally lagged behind others. Grocery consumers and retailers alike were relatively slow to adopt eCommerce. Even after being accelerated by the pandemic, online grocery adoption is less than half that of online non-grocery retail.
This disparity has led many grocery retailers to have incomplete eCommerce stores with a poor user experience, or rely on third party platforms for their online sales. This was the situation Cub found itself in; one it knew it needed to break out of to grow and stay relevant.
“Prior to launching Cub.com we were partnered exclusively with Instacart,” said Chad Bersie, Director of eCommerce. “We wanted to control the Cub branded experience online as well as in-store and to do this we need to be able to provide a robust customer experience at the digital shelf. In order to do this we needed a partner like Syndigo to provide the robust content they curate.”
Cub had some catching up to do. But going from almost nothing to a fully stocked, operational eCommerce store is a huge task. In addition to the complex technical and operational challenges, there’s also the immense obstacle of populating the store with products—and all the corresponding data, information and assets needed to sell them.
“We launched our eCommerce platform in 2021,” Bersie recalled. “We didn’t have a content provider and didn’t have the resources to do it ourselves. Syndigo provided a fast way to quickly gather the content we needed to launch our website and had people resources available to help us get off the ground.”
The Cub team identified Syndigo Marketplace as a way to jumpstart their eCommerce product library.
Marketplace is the world’s largest index of validated, ready-to-publish information and assets of consumer packaged goods. Retailers tap into it to get essential data and content for a broad library of products from countless vendors. “Launching our own web platform required us to deliver the best content to our customers,” said Bersie. “Syndigo enables us to do that.”
Cub used the Marketplace index to get a huge head start, pulling content for over 100,000 SKUs across its eCommerce store to form an instant, essential foundation of pre-populated PDPs. Available content includes product names, pictures, ingredients, nutritional information and more. “As our only source of product content, we rely on Syndigo to deliver more than 100,000 unique products for our eCommerce platform,” said Megan Donnely, eCommerce Department Specialist.
But that was only the beginning for Cub. As its eCommerce business quickly developed, a need for even more in-depth product content became apparent.
“As we grew in this space we realized the online shopping experience is a little bit different from shopping in stores,” Donnely explained. “Customers aren’t viewing five shelves of comparable products in stores; they’re quickly scrolling through their products through their phones, on their laptops. That means there’s less time to grab that customer’s attention. So we really needed to make sure that that customer has as much purchasing information as possible as they’re scrolling through these products.”
Cub determined the best way to get better product content was to go straight to the source: its suppliers. Who better to provide the most in-depth, descriptive information and the latest supporting imagery and data?
Cub decided to invite its brand community to submit their own content about their products to round out respective pages at Cub.com.
A pilot program with one prominent vendor – a major CPG brand – saw immediate success.
The brand submitted its own ‘brand-created’ content to round out its product pages across Cub.com with more descriptive text, more comprehensive information, and more vivid images. Over the course of four months, they saw a net increase of over 27% in sales by adding this additional content.
Following the pilot program, Cub opened the opportunity to other vendors and has gotten a flood of brand-generated content to improve its PDPs and customer experience.
It’s no surprise that more complete, in-depth product content from suppliers would lead to more engaged shoppers and greater sales. But filling an entire eCommerce store with quality content from a broad range of vendors to fit Cub’s specific needs presented a complicated challenge.
Here, too, Cub turned to Syndigo for assistance in reaching out to suppliers and soliciting product content. Syndigo’s world-leading supplier network includes thousands of CPG suppliers, including brands that account for the vast majority of the products across Cub’s digital and physical shelves.
“Syndigo makes it easy for us to partner with brands to keep the most up to date content available on our site,” said Justin Schmid, Cub’s eCommerce Merchandising Manager.
Cub and Syndigo worked together to develop and execute a multi-part vendor engagement plan:
A special landing page was developed at syndigo.com/cubfoods to sign up to send content to Cub and get help in syndicating their data.
Syndigo sent out multiple emails on behalf of Cub, informing vendors about the opportunity and giving them instructions on how to participate in the program. Cub was also featured on social channels along with an invitation to learn more about submitting brand-created content.
Cub and Syndigo held a joint webinar to showcase the opportunity, explain exactly what kind of content they needed, get vendors excited to participate, and answer questions in a live Q&A.
These efforts were highly effective in persuading more brands to begin submitting their own brand-created content and replicated the success of the pilot.
Since the pilot started, there are now hundreds of brands sending their own generated content to Cub, improving the quality and depth of over thousands of PDPs – with more coming on a constant basis. This increase in content quality has contributed to a 12% increase in eCommerce sales over the last year.