From no-name to house brand

01Aug12

The process I use for placing my monthly grocery delivery order is quite simple. First, I print out a receipt showing what I bought last month. Then, I go to the page in the online grocer’s website that lets me reorder any of the items that I’ve bought before. Finally, I fill in the quantities I need, making any necessary adjustments along the way, and browse the weekly specials for any bargains before I submit the order.

This approach usually works really well, but this time, I ran into a problem. None of the frozen vegetables that I buy were in the historical orders list. It was like I had never bought them at all, even though I was holding a receipt from last month that showed otherwise.

After thinking about it for a second, I remembered that the store was in the process of rolling out a new house brand for many different products. Maybe, I figured, they got rid of the frozen vegetables from the old no-name brand, and replaced them with house brand versions. Sure enough, a quick search uncovered the house brand of each product, with the same sizes and prices that I was accustomed to.

What’s wrong with this picture? In short, I shouldn’t have had to hunt for the replacement items. The store was obviously well aware that they were swapping out a large number of no-name products with new house brand editions, and should have provided appropriate on-screen messages or links to help customers locate the replacement versions. Otherwise, you’re leaving an awful lot to chance, and total sales will likely suffer while customers try to figure out what happened to the tried-and-true products that they’ve been buying for years.



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