Kroger has launched Boost, a two-tier paid loyalty program focused on ecommerce and convenience. Members can receive enhanced gas points and free one-day delivery for $59 annually, or the gas points and free delivery in as little as two hours for $99 annually. The retailer is hoping that members will see the fuel incentives as valuable at a time of rising gas prices.
New members also will receive a one-time welcome kit worth more than $100 to offset the first year’s cost. The program is currently available to Kroger customers in Atlanta, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Columbus metro areas.
“Kroger Boost is an accelerant,” said Bill Bennett, VP and Head of Ecommerce at Kroger in an interview with the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Through Boost, Kroger remains uniquely positioned…making grocery delivery accessible to every customer through the industry’s most affordable free delivery membership.”
Kroger has been bolstering its omnichannel operations in recent months. In September 2021, the retailer partnered with Instacart to launch Kroger Delivery Now, a virtual convenience store fulfilled by Kroger that delivers items from a selection of 25,000 fresh groceries and household essentials in as little as 30 minutes.
Additionally, Kroger has partnered with Bed Bath & Beyond to introduce a selection of home and baby products, available on both Kroger.com and, beginning in 2022, in a pilot store-in-store concept across select locations in the Kroger family of brands. The collaboration includes bedding, storage and baby-related items.
Premium loyalty programs have been gaining momentum over the past several years. A September 2020 study by Clarus Commerce found that 70% of shoppers who don’t belong to a program would join one if the benefits were valuable, while 88% said they’d shop at a retailer with a premium loyalty program they belong to versus a competitor that is offering a lower price. Some standout paid loyalty programs include:
- Walmart+, which launched in September 2020 as an Amazon Prime competitor;
- MyWay, a membership program launched by Wayfair in 2018 with benefits ranging from free shipping to special members-only promotions; and
- CarePass, a paid membership program rolled out by CVS in 2019 that offers benefits above and beyond the retailer’s free ExtraCare program.