MyWebGrocer Turns Eight: A Good Idea Keeps Getting Better

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MyWebGrocer celebrates its eight year anniversary.

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because, even while we employ some amazing technology, people are the core of our success. It's their desire and ability to be ultra-responsive to our customers' needs that gives us the competitive edge.

MyWebGrocer turns eight and celebrates its eight year anniversary.

As the dot-bomb of the late '90's proved, if you want to survive in the online world, you'd better have a good idea. When MyWebGrocer.com decided to pursue online grocery shopping in 1999 there was plenty of enthusiasm for the channel, but enthusiasm does not always translate to execution - witness Webvan.

"There are 32,000 warehouses in the U.S. already, and they're called supermarkets," said Rich Tarrant, MyWebGrocer CEO. "Trying to compete with conveniently-located warehouses all over the country didn't make any sense. Our model has always been 100% in line with the interests of the grocer: Move more product, capture more customers."

MyWebGrocer helps take brick-and-mortar grocery stores into cyberspace, providing their customers with a variety of e-services designed to make their shopping easier and more convenient. Success has followed as MyWebGrocer has helped to raise the profit margins for their grocery clients. On average, grocery customers who shop online spend 21% more with the retailer providing the service than their in store counterparts. And with an average order size of over $135 and with more then 50% of the online orders realized by a retailer coming directly from their competition, this has become a very profitable channel for the supermarket.

Unlike a lot of web companies, MyWebGrocer didn't start with buckets of cash and a large staff. In fact, in the beginning, MyWebGrocer had one employee--Tarrant himself. First, Tarrant contracted out his vision of web shopping to a company that built the first interface, then he went shopping for his first client, which became Connecticut retailer Geissler's Supermarkets. Geissler's remains a customer to this day.

Reflecting on the company's accomplishments of the last eight years, Tarrant said that his most satisfying achievement was, "taking an idea to a business and watching it work for consumers, clients and MyWebGrocer. When you can supply the marketplace with something that makes peoples' lives easier while building a successful business, it's a great feeling."

Eight years have seen MyWebGrocer grow to 35 employees. In that time, MyWebGrocer has also spawned two other successful products, MyWebLink, a provider of Internet marketing solutions to retailers nationwide; and MyBaby, a social networking site for parents of young children. "We've grown with a plan," said Tarrant, "because, even while we employ some amazing technology, people are the core of our success. It's their desire and ability to be ultra-responsive to our customers' needs that gives us the competitive edge."

Asked what he thought the next eight years would bring, Tarrant replied with the circumspection that has characterized MyWebGrocer since its founding. "It's hard to predict 8 years into the future, especially in the Internet space. Things move so fast in this arena. But if I had to speculate, I would expect that in another 8 years we will have several hundred employees and have a deep penetration of our solution to the supermarket industry."

About MyWebGrocer: MyWebGrocer has been helping grocery retailers find profit in the online shopping world since 1999. Based in Colchester, Vermont, MyWebGrocer is the industry leader in providing web services solutions to 80 grocery chains such as Lowes Foods, ShopRite, Brookshire Grocery and King Kullen. MyWebGrocer institutes e-commerce programs, provides web site design, hosting, creates e-mail campaigns, and furnishes online circulars and recipes for more than 80 leading grocery chains. For more information please visit http://www.mywebgrocer.com.

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Sarah Masuzzo
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