Groupe Casino is furthering its digital ambitions by teaming up with WhatsApp on a new customer ordering service. Conor Farrelly reports. This article first appeared in ESM March/April 2022.
With ‘social commerce’ on the rise, Groupe Casino has recently launched a service that will enable French shoppers who are part of its Le Club Leader Price membership scheme to place shopping orders via WhatsApp.
The roll-out follows on from the launch of a similar platform by Casino subsidiary Grupo Éxito, in Colombia, in 2020, which is now used by approximately 600,000 customers.
ESM spoke with Guillaume Appéré, director for corporate planning and investment for Casino Group, about the initiative. As Appéré explains, in the French food market, Le Club Leader Price is the “only e-commerce website for a discounter”, and the retailer intends to use WhatsApp as a new means of engagement with its shopper base.
Le Club Leader Price
Following the sale of its Leader Price store estate to discounter Aldi in 2020, Groupe Casino retained the Leader Price brand, which led to the development of the Le Club Leader Price service, which has been in operation since April 2021.
It offers around 1,500 everyday products, is accessible from any phone, tablet or computer, and offers deliveries to anywhere in France. It also offers a subscription plan, where products are delivered every two, four or six weeks, with shoppers able to avail of discounts up to 15% and free delivery for purchases of €50 or over, or €5 if less than €50.
The introduction of Meta-owned WhatsApp to its ordering service enables the retailer to “embark on a new mode of interaction with customers,” says Appéré. “It is, in a way, a new playground for the innovative distributor that is Casino.” Or, as it put it in a recent statement, the innovation ‘blends in fully with Casino Group’s digital transformation process’.
The introduction of WhatsApp ordering is the latest innovation for a retailer that is seeking to carve a greater share for itself in the digital world. As Jean-Charles Naouri, Casino’s CEO, recently put it in French newspaper Les Echos (14 January 2022), “Innovation creates new opportunities for the Casino Group. The sector will experience a revolution equivalent to that experienced by non-food with e-commerce.”
With this in mind, Appéré says that the retailer is “constantly exploring all possibilities to continue to meet consumer expectations, and even anticipate new consumption patterns.”
Following the introduction of WhatsApp ordering to Le Club Leader Price, the group plans to introduce a similar service to its Monoprix and Casino brands “in the coming weeks”, while a number of “other projects are being developed” within the tech arena. Watch this space, in other words.