Hy-Vee taps Google’s digital expertise in sweeping partnership

Brahm Buck

Hy-Vee has entered a wide-ranging partnership with online technology and services giant Google to enhance its omnichannel shopping experience. West Des Moines, Iowa-based Hy-Vee said Wednesday that, under the multiyear agreement, it will tap Google’s suite of solutions and services — powered by the Google Cloud platform — to “stay […]

Hy-Vee has entered a wide-ranging partnership with online technology and services giant Google to enhance its omnichannel shopping experience.

West Des Moines, Iowa-based Hy-Vee said Wednesday that, under the multiyear agreement, it will tap Google’s suite of solutions and services — powered by the Google Cloud platform — to “stay on the cutting edge of digital technology” by bringing “new and unique innovation” to in-store and online customers. Projects will run the gamut from making the Hy-Vee Aisles Online grocery shopping service more convenient to integrating the Midwestern grocer’s virtual dietitian services and to enabling customers to schedule COVID-19 shots and other vaccinations online.

“The pandemic accelerated many digital initiatives for Hy-Vee as consumers shifted the way they shopped at our stores,” according to Aaron Wiese, president of digital growth, and co-chief operating officer at Hy-Vee. “Google Cloud is helping us provide a unique and more personalized experience as we work to integrate all our digital platforms and look to further simplify the customer’s interaction with our services, whether that be in our aisles in person or online.” 

For example, Hy-Vee said, Google Cloud-driven solutions, localized data and features will make it easier for customers to complete grocery shopping trips online as well as allow the retailer to provide more personalized service and simpler ordering, pickup and delivery, including such functionality as predictive shopping carts.

The integration of Google Cloud services also will extend to Hy-Vee’s customer loyalty program, including the Hy-Vee Plus membership, launched in December. The grocer noted that it has been working to provide more perks and benefits to shoppers, such as more personalized coupons, an integrated shopping experience across its app, and a better online shopping experience.

Partnering with Google will help Hy-Vee keep pace with fast-changing digital shopping trends, the retailer said, adding that the pandemic spurred more customers to shop online and stoked demand in its virtual shopping space. 

One of the world’s largest IT companies, Mountain View, Calif.-based Google holds leadership positions in search, online advertising, cloud computing, applications and hardware. Hy-Vee generates sales of $11 billion annually and operates more than 275 food and drug stores in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

“Hy-Vee is leading the way in bringing innovative technologies to its customers,” Jim Anderson, managing director for Google Cloud, said in a statement. “We’re proud to partner with Hy-Vee to streamline processes and power innovative digital experiences. As they look toward the future, our services will help accelerate the grocer’s plans to be the best place to shop.”

At the end of March, Albertsons Cos. unveiled a similar partnership with Google. Under the sweeping, multiyear pact, the nation’s second-largest supermarket retailer said it’s working with a variety of teams at Google on a range of solutions to bring more efficiency to customers both in-store and online. Efforts include integrating Google Search and Maps to help shoppers locate products more easily, streamlining the checkout process with Google Pay, and leveraging Google Cloud artificial intelligence (AI) technologies such as Vision AI, Recommendations AI and Business Messages into operations to build a predictive grocery engine.  

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