Albertsons Expands Digital Shopping to More Customers

Albertsons Expands Digital Shopping to More Customers
SNAP for online orders has been expanding at a rapid pace since the pandemic began, with both large retailers and independents accepting payment.

Albertsons Cos. is adding to its list of digital and e-commerce offerings by accepting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) payments for Drive Up & Go orders placed on its websites and apps.

The food retailer has rolled out the new payment option at nearly 200 Drive Up & Go locations at select Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Tom Thumb, Randalls, Jewel-Osco and Carrs locations.

How it works:

  1. Customers sign in or create an account on their local store’s website or app.
  2. After filling their cart and reserving a pickup time at a participating store, they simply select SNAP EBT as the payment option at checkout.
  3. When they arrive to pick up their order, an associate will have a mobile payment system in which the customer can complete the transaction with their SNAP EBT or EBT Cash card.

Customers can also include non-SNAP eligible items in their Drive Up & Go order and pay for them separately while picking up the order.

Albertsons has added more than 200 Drive Up & Go locations this year, and is reportedly on track to have 1,400 Drive Up & Go locations by the end of its fiscal year. The grocer also plans to continue expanding access to digital shopping for customers using SNAP.

SNAP for online orders has been expanding at a rapid pace since the COVID-19 pandemic began, with both large retailers and independents accepting payment. For example, Hy-Vee Inc. started to allow its customers in August to use SNAP EBT to pay for their Hy-Vee Aisles Online grocery pickup orders.

“We are so excited to extend the ease of Drive Up & Go to more customers,” commented Chris Rupp, Albertsons' EVP and chief customer and digital officer. “Customers love the convenience of contactless shopping, and now even more of our neighbors can take advantage of the benefits of digital grocery shopping.”

In October, Albertsons launched another contactless solution: Albertsons Pay, a zero-touch checkout experience available through its updated “just for U” loyalty app. 

Albertsons also ramped up its e-commerce strategy back in May by teaming up with Burlington, Massachusetts-based Nuance to leverage its virtual assistant and live chat solutions to deliver real-time digital support to customers shopping online. The AI-powered application assists customers through their grocery shopping experience and provides real-time answers to customer inquiries such as how the delivery service works, item availability, online order- tracking status, and store locations and hours.

The company reported digital sales growth of 243% for the second quarter of fiscal 2020.

Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons operates 2,252 retail stores with 1,725 pharmacies, 398 associated fuel centers, 22 dedicated distribution centers and 20 manufacturing facilities. The company’s stores predominantly operate under the banners Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Carrs, Jewel-Osco, Acme, Shaw’s, Star Market, United Supermarkets, Market Street and Haggen. The company is No. 8 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2020 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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