Sep 8, 2021

Introducing Coffee With the Chief Customer Officer

For those who missed my recent Employee Spotlight, my name is Dave Makar, Rosie’s Chief Customer Officer. Every Friday morning I host a gathering of Rosie Customer Success team members called “Coffee With the CCO.” It’s an opportunity to get to know the people and ideas from my team, and it is especially useful since moving to a hybrid work model. Now I’m bringing this same idea to you, our valued retailers. In a quarterly blog post, I will share insights I’m seeing through the lens of Rosie’s customer success department, during retailer visits and trade shows, and the industry at large.

In this inaugural edition, I want to focus on two recent events: our customer survey and summer 2021 retailer visits. In June, Rosie posed 15+ questions to over 5,000 customers across 30+ states to gain a better understanding of how and why customers shop with their local retailers using Rosie. We explored some of the key findings in a blog post and our August Fireside Chat (Rosie’s monthly retailer partner interactive webinar). On the tails of my visits to a half dozen retailers in New England in July, I want to bring together the most important takeaways from the customer survey and some of the successes I saw on the ground.

How Village Food Market serves customers online

One of the most important findings from our survey was how often Rosie’s current shoppers plan to continue ordering online in this coming year. Despite what many reports say about shoppers returning to stores in pre-pandemic numbers, it seems customers are embracing a hybrid shopping approach. This was reflected in the 80% of respondents who said they would continue using online grocery ecommerce services in the next 12 months, the same as or more than they currently do now.

This is great news for retailers like Village Food Market located in Ogunquit, Maine. When I spoke to Trip Rouillier, owner and general manager, during my visit, he shared with me the impact Rosie had on their store: “During the pandemic, Rosie saved our business, because we were able to have an online presence when the other big box stores were overwhelmed, and we were available. It made it so we could accommodate the public and help everyone in need.” With this data from the survey, retailers like Village Food Market who solved an important customer need, should understand why online ordering is still a highly desirable service.

Geissler’s is spreading the word with in-store signage

Another key takeaway was how Rosie shoppers are hearing about the online service their local retailers provide. We discovered the most common way customers learned about ecommerce was through signs in-store. Retailers can take from this the importance of investing in signage throughout their store if they want to grow the number of online customers.

Some of the most effective signage I saw during my travels was at Geissler’s, which has locations in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Signage was integrated into every phase of the shopping experience, from the parking lot to signs hanging in the shopping aisles and freezers. Many signs had QR codes, making it easy for shoppers to pull up online ordering from their phones.

Delivering convenience at Belmont Market

Headlines from the past year have attributed COVID to the rapid adoption of online ordering, so it was essential to find out whether this continues to be the motivator for shoppers. On the contrary, our survey data showed 50% of all respondents said they use grocery ecommerce providers, like Rosie, to avoid a trip to the store/avoid lines while only 18% said it was due to COVID/safety concerns.

One retailer who has gone above and beyond to deliver a convenient service is Belmont Market in Wakefield, Rhode Island. At the onset of COVID, the residents of nearby Block Island needed frequent grocery delivery. Initially Belmont stepped up and began offering daily deliveries to the island, but these deliveries are so convenient to these shoppers, Belmont continues to offer them today. To learn more about Belmont’s service to Block Island, read our case study.

As retailers look to ramp up online ordering, especially before the holidays, information like this can act as a guide. From direct actions retailers can take, like putting signage in-store, to delivering the most convenient experience possible to shoppers, there is much to be gained from Rosie’s survey data. As always, customer success is wholly focused on giving our retailers what they need to be successful, and our retailers can look forward to more insights from me and my team in the future.

To continue this conversation, please email me at Looking forward to our conversation together.