At Rosie, building relationships with retailers is essential, and that means we have a dedicated team of account managers with in-depth knowledge of the grocery industry who are in touch with our retailer partners daily to help them grow their online shopping sales with Rosie.
This past month, two brilliant new Rosians, Molly O’Connor and Bethany Matthews joined the Account Management Team at Rosie. Together they bring over 15 years of grocery industry knowledge and expertise. We recently sat down with them to get to know them better and get their take on the state of online grocery retail today.
You both come to Rosie with extensive experience in the food retail sector. Can you tell us about the years of experience you bring with you to Rosie?
Molly: I began my career in the grocery industry with C&S Wholesale Grocers in 2017 as a Center Store Merchandising Analyst, negotiating and executing promotional merchandising and marketing programs with CPG manufacturers both on a regional and national level. During my years at C&S, my primary focus was on the independent stores and how to keep them competitive with major chains – from weekly ads to shopper marketing and everything in between. I started my journey as a CPG broker in 2020 with Advantage Solutions where I dove head first into the GM/HBC, Dairy, and Frozen worlds. I worked closely with brand managers and store category managers on sales and distribution strategies, pricing, shelving, and business-building ideas. After learning the ropes on both the wholesale and broker sides of the business, I’m excited to bring a well-rounded perspective and vision to our Rosie retailers.
Bethany: I’ve been working in the independent grocery space for over 10 years. I started out working as the Marketing Coordinator for Neiman’s Family Market, a family-owned grocer based in Michigan. After four years I moved over to the Service Provider side of independent grocery. I worked for a Detroit-based start up called Reach Influence, helping retailers and wholesalers build, launch and grow digital coupon and loyalty programs. In 2017 Reach Influence was acquired by Inmar Intelligence where I continued working with retailers and wholesalers in the digital space. Then, in 2021, I joined KeyMe, working with retailers to install the company’s self-serve key duplication kiosks. On April 11th, I joined the Rosie team and I can truly say that it feels like home.
What are some of the biggest challenges you think that grocers face today?
Molly: For independents specifically, I think the greatest challenges are time and labor. Unlike at bigger chains, the owners of these stores are wearing many hats and spending their time doing a lot floor task work. They are not necessarily sitting in an office strategizing about innovation and growth or fending off larger retailers trying to take their customers. In the simplest terms, they’re just busy– and the hardest part is figuring out the balance between being in the weeds and being the visionary for your company whilst staying strategic and competitive in an ever-evolving industry.
Bethany: Consumers are able to get anything they want or need, from anywhere. They are expecting a personalized and convenient shopping experience and they want good price points and healthy food options.
What exciting opportunities do you see for independent grocers?
Molly: I think there is so much opportunity for independent retailers by way of innovation and customization. Our up-and-coming markets (Millennials and Gen Z-ers) want to support local and small business so long as it’s accessible in the ways that are convenient to them (i.e. online shopping, mobile app, etc.) and there’s starting to be a lot more vendor partners to help independents support that (Rosie, AppCard, SHOPtoCOOK). Being able to keep the mom & pop vibe but on a fully integrated, shopper friendly, fresh online platform is a very cool opportunity. It’s a chance for retailers to take their hometown story and what they do best and share it with a significantly broader audience.
Bethany: More than ever before, the tools are available for the independent grocer to build the shopping experience consumers are demanding. Whether it is the ease and swiftness of bringing in locally grown tomatoes from the farm 5 miles down the road, or creating a convenient online shopping experience so the consumer can save time stocking their fridge or pantry and get back to other parts of their life.
The Account Management team at Rosie is focused on building and strengthening partnerships with our existing Rosie Retailers. What skills or qualities does it take to build partnerships?
Molly: Listening. Listening. Listening. When a customer takes the time to share wants, needs, and issues with you, that means they care enough about their business and your partnership to invest their (already limited) time into trying to solve things with you. By actually listening to what they have to say and getting a solid understanding of a situation before rattling off solutions – you’re not only building loyalty and trust but setting yourself up for long-term mutual success.
Bethany: One area that I think helps in building meaningful partnerships is trust. Once a level of trust is established, incredible growth can happen in these partnerships, professionally and personally. I also believe that just being human and sharing pieces of your life helps build meaningful relationships. Recently, the remote working environment has given us all a glimpse into people’s lives that we likely wouldn’t have experienced. Hearing a baby crying during a zoom call, having to clean up a mess the dog left on the floor, getting interrupted by nieces and nephews that made a surprise visit to the house. Whatever it is, it just makes us all human again and reminds us that we have a life happening outside of our work.
When you are not busy meeting with Rosie Retailers, what are some things you like to do for fun?
Molly: When I’m not on the road for work, I’m on the road (or in the air) for fun! I love to explore new places and cultures, and do things I’ve never done before. I also enjoy photography and anything outdoorsy – hiking, boating, four-wheeling… I’m game!
Bethany: I love spending time with my family and when I’m not doing that, you’ll likely find me in my quilting room.
We’re curious to know, what’s in your baskets?
Molly: Iced coffee, Frank’s Buffalo Hot Sauce, Chloe’s Oat Milk Pops!
Bethany: I try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup.