Challenge

With nearly 20+ retail banners across America including Kroger, Fred Meyer, Fry's and Ralphs, The Kroger Company is the United States' largest supermarket by revenue and the second-largest general retailer.  With the growing consumer trend to shop for groceries from home, the company has a sharp focus on its digital eCommerce platform which leverages an expanding list of distribution methods including store pickup, home delivery and ship to home.

To make all of this work, analytics needs are both far-reaching and ever-evolving as new banners are added and as new business strategies develop.  Kroger turned to Evolytics to help bring scalability, consistency, and efficiency to its enterprise analytics approach with best-in-class application of tools from Adobe Experience Cloud.

Solution

Enterprise-wide changes are neither simple nor easy. Evolytics took a two-part approach to our partnership with Kroger:

  1. Strategic: creating an Enterprise Tagging Strategy roadmap
  2. Tactical: providing staff augmentation support for daily analytics requests

The foundation for the Enterprise Tagging Strategy was based on Evolytics' DRIVE Optimization Implementation Methodology that prioritizes the development of a Measurement Plan before a single line of Analytics code is written.  With the DRIVE process in place, the next step was to establish a Tag Management System (TMS) on Kroger's digital properties.  With a TMS, Kroger web developers were better able to focus on building great experiences for their customers.  By using a vendor-agnostic data layer that feeds the TMS, developers could describe site activity and relevant cart details without the need to use Adobe (or Facebook or Google Ads or many of the other marketing tag vendors) syntax.

With multiple web properties and a mobile app, Kroger's data was stored in multiple analytics platforms and--within Adobe alone--multiple report suites, each defined with a unique Solution Design Reference (SDR) (i.e., custom dimension and metric definitions configuration).  Evolytics greatly simplified this through the use of a single analytics platform (Adobe) and by consolidating the many report suites into a single one.  By leveraging Adobe Analytics Virtual Report Suites, marketers could still report on individual web properties, while at the same time Kroger enjoyed lower server call costs and training costs as all analysts use a common, single SDR.

Once these components of the Enterprise Tagging Strategy were introduced, Evolytics daily tactical support essentially became an extension of Kroger's analytics team.  Examples of this work include:

  • Upgrading to Adobe Launch: this TMS improved upon Adobe DTM's capabilities while still using Kroger's vendor-agnostic data layer, including automation of some Launch QA functions.  Evolytics trained Kroger marketers to use Launch for basic marketing tag deployments, enabling self-service, while providing support whenever complex tag assistance was needed
  • As Kroger web properties and apps evolved to support customer needs, especially during the 2020 pandemic, Evolytics quickly jumped in with Adobe tracking support for new functionality such as increased options for store pickup and home delivery
  • Evolytics integrated new web properties into the Enterprise Tagging model.  Examples include:  Wine, Pharmacy, The Little Clinic, Deli/Bakery and front-of-store services such as Gift Cards, Money Services and Credit Card
  • Upgrading Kroger dashboards and reports to use Adobe's Analysis Workspace, removing many of the limitations of classic Adobe Analytics reports and dashboards
  • Expanding the use of the Adobe Experience Cloud Identity Service to take advantage of capabilities such as Customer Attributes that enables uploading Kroger 1st-party data to Adobe Analytics for advanced analysis
  • QA and streamlining of Adobe Marketing Channel rules to more-accurately measure traffic sources as well as recommend improvements for Kroger's campaign tracking code taxonomy and management
  • Assisted in the launch of Kroger's Data Governance initiative, including compliance steps for regulations such as CCPA
  • Looking to the future to improve upon existing, complex client-side tracking with tools such as Adobe Experience Platform Web SDK that will support server-side tracking

Results

The Evolytics team is deeply integrated with the Kroger analytics and development teams: consulting on analytics approach, assisting with tool selection, and providing training to technical teams. The result is a collaborative, innovative methodology for tracking that considers Adobe Experience Cloud best practices while also flexing to support the unique needs of Kroger’s sophisticated technical infrastructure.

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