SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- ShopEaze.com here said last week it would develop an e-commerce site for Haggen, the 26-store Bellingham, Wash.-based grocery chain.
ShopEaze offers a "turnkey" e-commerce solution designed to replicate the atmosphere of its partnering stores on-line, said Don Yee, vice president of marketing and business development for ShopEaze.
The company, founded a little more than a year ago, has also signed up El Segundo, Calif.-based chain Bristol Farms and is in negotiations with an East Coast chain to launch an e-commerce effort there. ShopEaze hopes to have as many as seven retail partners by year-end, Yee told SN.
ShopEaze offers its retail partners what Yee calls a "complete solution," including building and maintaining a Web site, offering fulfillment expertise, providing customer data to assist in marketing, and partnerships with consumer packaged goods companies that provide such things as coupons and Web site content.
"We're all about building loyalty on-line," Yee said "We think we can offer stores an on-line shopping option that can build customer loyalty. One of the cost benefits to the store is customer retention and attraction."
Yee, who formerly headed up the loyalty card program for American Stores' Lucky Stores division, said there are many similarities between the programs.
"With the loyalty card, it wasn't just about saving money -- it was about building the value behind the card," he explained. "Here it's about building traffic to the Web site and remaining loyal to the store brand. It's about getting them to come back again and again."
One way ShopEaze's Web sites can accomplish this is to allow customers to "opt-in" to free sample programs or earn points toward rewards, Yee said.
ShopEaze lets its retail partners handle delivery and pickup options. Bristol Farms currently allows its Web shoppers to choose which store location they wish to pick up their items. Delivery is also available at certain locations.
Haggen's plans will allow customers to pick up orders at the drive-up windows or customer service centers at its Haggen Food and Pharmacy and Top Food and Drug stores.
ShopEaze does, however, offer software programs that facilitate store picking and packing, Yee said.
Unlike Peachtree Network, a Montreal-based software company offering a similar service for grocery stores, ShopEaze's presence is virtually invisible to customers, save for a small banner ad on the store's home page.
Haggen is expected to offer on-line shopping at its first store by late summer and expand the service throughout the chain by year-end.
ShopEaze was founded in October of 1998 by Preston Heffernan, a former Silicon Valley-based sales executive. Bob Hermanns, ShopEaze chief executive officer, was previously chief operating officer for procurement and logistics at American Stores Co., Salt Lake City, now a division of Albertson's, Boise, Idaho.
Jeff Haggen, vice president of e-commerce for Haggen, said the company chose ShopEaze because of the retail experience of its people.
"We met with ShopEaze and some of its competitors, and it seemed to me that ShopEaze had the best all-around team as far as background in the supermarket industry and a good group of technical talent," Haggen said.