The grocery retailer is teaming up with Firework, which specializes in bringing videos and livestreams to retailers’ websites.

(Bloomberg)—Albertsons Cos., No. 27 in the 2021 Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000, is betting that short, TikTok-style videos will help boost the grocery-store operator’s online sales.

The company is teaming up with Firework, which specializes in bringing videos and livestreams to retailers’ websites, according to a statement from the companies. The idea is to entice shoppers to buy more by showing them videos with recipes and serving ideas as they browse. Someone looking at berries on the website could see videos pop up with smoothie recipes, for example, or ideas about breakfast dishes.

The agreement shows how ecommerce is evolving, especially as companies embrace social-media platforms as a way to interact with consumers by providing live question-and-answer sessions and product demonstrations. The deal with Firework lets Albertsons provide similar experiences though on its own websites. It will also help the company, which owns the Safeway and Jewel-Osco chains, to collect data about customers and use it to target them with videos based on their purchasing habits.

“It’s similar to what you get on a social app, but actually on the retailer’s website,” Jason Holland, the president of global business at Firework, said in an interview. He expects the Albertsons videos to go online in mid-October.

The videos also give retailers a new way to boost ad revenue by letting brands purchase video ads on their websites.

advertisement

Firework, which has raised more than $100 million in funding, is backed by IDG Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners and GSR Ventures. The company is in talks with five of the 10 largest U.S. retailers about potential partnerships, Holland said. Its research shows that shoppers spend nine minutes longer on websites with vertically oriented videos and are four times more likely to purchase an item.

Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons has been looking to strengthen its ecommerce operations after the pandemic gave that side of the business a substantial boost. In June, the company announced a program with DoorDash Inc. to offer at-home grocery deliveries at nearly 2,000 stores.

The companies didn’t disclose the terms of their partnership.

Favorite