By Seth Daniel
One can find just about anything on the shelves of the Demoulas Market Basket in Chelsea – everything from Teddie Peanut Butter to numerous brands of rice to can openers to fresh broccoli crowns.
But one thing you could never find at Market Basket up until now is a Web site or a social media account.
The supermarket giant in the region is one of the last major retail companies to resist entering the Internet or social media stratosphere, but that all changed last Tuesday, Oct. 24, when Demoulas launched its new Web site, www.shopmarketbasket.com.
At the same time, the company launched social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
“We’ll see where we go from here,” said Joe Schmidt, operations supervisor. “It’s an exciting time for the company. It’s the same excitement and enthusiasm that we have when we open a new store. It’s a new opportunity and a great addition for our customers.”
In fact, Schmidt said, it was the customers who turned the tide for the company.
Market Basket has routinely focused its attention on operating its stores, building relationships with suppliers and reinforcing the “More For your Dollar” motto. In fact, many within the company had believed that an online presence could be a distraction or an added expense that would take away from the mission.
However, Schmidt said it was hard to ignore a constant customer request.
“It was really about meeting customer expectations,” he said. “it’s impossible to fulfill every request a customer has, but when you hear it time and time again over several years, then it’s something you need to look at. Our realized it’s an opportunity to have more customer contact and an avenue for us to reach customers and customers to reach us.”
Schmidt said the company assembled a team about one year ago to investigate just what they would do if they went online. Through that team of company officials, they came up with the design of the website, the logos on the social media accounts and the types of things they wanted to put on the site.
One feature is the weekly sales flier. That is now posted prominently on the site – something that was so in demand over the years that a separate non-Market Basket owned site appeared four years ago that simply posted the weekly sales flier and hours of operation for all the stores.
Now, that information is available on the Market Basket site.
Another feature Schmidt said they are happy with is the online shopping list that one can assemble on the site or on a phone.
The site also has a store locator.
“The team worked on it for about a year,” Schmidt said. “It wasn’t put together quickly or without thought. We wanted to have something that fell in line with the ‘More for Your Dollar’ philosophy. It’s a great way to get the message out about our company.”
Schmidt said the company has heard great feedback in the first week online. He said the team that developed the online presence within the company will continue to operate and update it as time goes on.