Woolworths has tasked its WooliesX digital unit with setting up a “high quality online grocery service” for business customers that is capable of delivering $1 billion in revenues by 2024.
The supermarket giant is currently building internal capability to carry out its plan to secure a slice of the multi-billion dollar business-to-business (B2B) grocery market.
"B2B is a newly created business at WooliesX, part of the Woolworths Group,” it said this week.
“As a strategic objective, this business has a goal of $1 billion in revenue by 2024, focused on supplying everyday products to businesses across Australia."
Though early days, a Woolworths spokesperson confirmed the retailer’s plans to iTnews.
"We know there is demand for a high quality online grocery service tailored to the needs of businesses,” the spokesperson said.
“We're building a world class team to deliver this."
Woolworths first revealed ambitions to get into B2B back in early 2016.
At the time, it promoted Woolworths Online “as the place businesses can purchase all grocery needs in a one-stop-shop”, with “tailored business support, discounts and interest-free credit accounts” also offered.
Woolworths said at the time it had signed up 40,000 businesses and was achieving “double-digit growth”.
It was unclear where Woolworths got to with this B2B drive.
The company did not respond to questions from iTnews about the status of its earlier B2B efforts nor where B2B revenues are today.
However, it would appear that the B2B function is being handed to the WooliesX innovation engine to achieve a new phase of growth.
WooliesX was handed all of Woolworths’ online businesses when it was established. The operation is treated as a way “to take key ingredients from the parent and make something cool”.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, given WooliesX’s involvement, the company is hoping to use data and insights to “design, pilot, scale, and optimise programs to increase sales success, acquisition channel productivity, and account management effectiveness” in the B2B space.
Analytics is expected to be a key input into the way the company sets prices for goods aimed at business customers, and the pricing strategy for the B2B operation is part of the early work that WooliesX will pursue.