Swedish supermarket starts ecommerce pilot
Axfood AB, one of the largest food retailers in Scandinavia, is starting an ecommerce pilot project with their subsidiary Hemköp. Starting today, hundred selected customers will be able to order their groceries online and then pick them up at the store or have them delivered directly to them at home.
It’s just hundred customers – in the first step only employees from Axfood – because the Swedish company wants to take things slow. Something we’ve seen many times in the online grocery industry, as retailers don’t want to make the mistake to be online too soon.
“This is the first step of a pilot project”, says Anders Strålman, President and CEO of Axfood. “During the autumn we will expand the trial to an additional two of our stores in Stockholm.”
Ecommerce growth in Sweden due to food retail sector
As the official press release states, people in Sweden will spend increasingly more on ecommerce during the next ten years: from 5.8 billion euros to about 32 billion euros, according to a new report published by HUI Research. “The food retail sector will account for a large part of this growth, as interest in having groceries delivered home is growing rapidly.” Especially consumers in big cities and who are short on time wants to make use of this.
Strålman says Axfood sees growing interest in ecommerce among all of their customers. The company views digital business as an important part of traditional store sales in the future.
Online grocery shopping is growing fast (it has had annual growth of around 40%) but still in terms of total volume it’s very low. That’s not really a surprise, as there are many challenges to be faced. Think of logistics and how to handle refrigerated and frozen products. “But we see exciting opportunities in this growth. Within the next five years, digital sales of groceries will likely account for a significantly larger share,” says Strålman.
The Hemköp pilot is not the only ecommerce activity from Axfood. It already conducted extensive ecommerce for groceries, in the form of B2B sales via Axfood Närlivs and B2C sales via Axfood Snabbgross. They also supply groceries to home delivery companies Linas Matkasse and Middagsfrid.