The Mercadona company is intensifying the involvement of its clients in the tasks of innovating the products it sells in its 1,636 physical stores and through the internet, in order to determine their tastes and make them complicit in their progress.
This practice, increasingly present in global business activity and very significant in terms of its implementation in Mercadona due to its enormous size (25% of the market share in Spain, 90,000 employees and 1,245 million benefits in 2029) is based on generating new value through products, processes and services, by combining knowledge and experience, and is called collaborative innovation.
VALUE ADDED TO THE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
Collaborative innovation, or co-innovation, is considered in the business world as an important added value to the traditional competitive advantage and is capable of launching projects involving companies from different sectors and in certain cases, such as Mercadona , also customers, potential consumers of new products.
Due to the state of alarm caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Mercadona, which has been developing these co-innovation practices at store level and in 19 centers located in Spain and Portugal, has been facilitating customer participation in them. by planning telematic meetings that replace face-to-face meetings that were held prior to the crisis.
Specifically, in 2019 Mercadona scheduled more than 12,500 co-innovation sessions with the participation of customers, as a result of which a total of 325 new products were developed, company sources have explained to Efeagro. So far, the company has invested half a million uros in these practices.
RESPONSE TO MARKET NEEDS
The participation of clients in the co-innovation facilitates the exchange of knowledge and information, maximizes resources and guarantees agility in these processes, in which the confidence of the participants is an essential value for the success of projects that provide the company with great responsiveness to market needs.
LISTEN TO THE CLIENT
Mercadona’s co-innovation model is characterized by constantly listening to the client to develop, with each supplier, products from the consumer’s experience.
Mercadona, which billed a total of 25,500 million euros in 2019, has responded to the crisis due to the pandemic, not only improving the conditions of its workers but also helping its suppliers by injecting liquidity through an expansion of the “confirming” lines, up to 2,100 million euros, so that these companies can collect their bills on the spot and keep their jobs.
It also increased food donations and collaborations with dining rooms and social entities. Together with its suppliers, and with the aim of helping the country’s economy to activate, it is promoting the #EstoNOtienequePARAR campaign, which has been joined in a month by more than three thousand Spanish companies and prominent personalities from different professional and social fields .