← See all Articles

What Is Kroger’s Direct Ship Program?

2021-05-22
8 min read

Learn about: 

  • What Kroger’s Direct Ship Program is
  • How the Direct Ship Program works
  • How you can become a dropship vendor with Kroger  

If you’re a supplier, Kroger’s Direct Ship Program is an exciting opportunity. Kroger, a supermarket grocery chain, is a trusted name with US consumers, and it has an enormous traditional and online presence. Here is a quick guide to Kroger’s Direct Ship Program. We’ll discuss how you can become a Kroger Direct Ship Vendor (DSV)

What is dropshipping? 

Dropshipping is direct shipping. Drop shippers ship their goods directly to Kroger customers. They use their fulfillment capacity, so drop shippers can offer more extensive product selections to consumers.

Drop shippers keep the inventory themselves and fulfill the orders on Kroger’s behalf. This method gives vendors better stock streamlining while the customer enjoys ease and convenience. Kroger’s dropship (or Direct Ship) program’s policies apply to customer orders placed via e-commerce on ship.banner.com. The supplier fulfills the order and ships it directly to the customer’s “ship-to” home address.

As Kroger’s Direct Ship Program participant, vendors must stay aware of program policy changes. They must comply with all policy changes within 60 days of when Kroger publicizes them. If they cannot do this, Kroger will remove their product from the e-commerce platform. When the supplier shows that it is complying with the policies, Kroger will put the item back up on the site. A written exemption signed by a Kroger executive can get vendors an exemption. 

How does processing and fulfillment work with Kroger Direct Ship Program? 

Kroger uses Logicbroker to place and transmit direct ship product orders. Logicbroker is Kroger’s designated third-party commerce network. Vendors must have an active Logicbroker connection at all times for receiving and processing orders. They must give Kroger’s Digital Assortment Team 60 days’ notice if they disconnect from Logicbroker.              

How to submit product specifications

Direct ship vendors must provide detailed product specifications. They should also submit descriptive romance copy for their products. Providing this information will help drive sales. Kroger may modify the content after submission. 

Product content includes product descriptions, images, and information on features and benefits. It may also include audio, graphics, interactive media or video animation, and website addresses. Suppliers must ensure the product information is accurate and complete. They also must inform Kroger’s Digital Assortment Team if the product information ever changes.

Vendors must submit up to six images for each item. The primary images should be product images, and they may also include lifestyle images to help put the product in context for consumers.

How does inventory work with the Direct Ship Program? 

Direct ship vendors must submit on-hand inventory data for every Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) daily. Vendors must correctly set up and maintain all the inventory information for their products in the Direct Ship system. 

Inventory information must always be up-to-date and correct. Incorrect information leads to disappointed customers. If the vendor sells with other e-commerce retailers as well as Kroger, it should submit updated retail information several times a day, as inventory levels will change more frequently. Vendors must immediately zero out the inventory if a product is out of stock. 

How to handle customer information

Kroger direct ship vendors will directly receive and deal with private customer information. Vendors must remember that all this information is confidential and keep it private and protect it. Suppliers have no right to use customer information in any way other than for shipping the ordered products. 

Product quality is essential

Of course, vendors must only provide products that align with Kroger’s high-quality standards. DSVs should notify Kroger immediately if there is ever a product recall on anything they sell and use the official protocol for this process. This procedure ensures Kroger’s Direct Ship team and the Digital Assortment team are aware of the product recall. 

Recalled products immediately disappear from ship.banner.com websites. When customers have already purchased a recalled product, the vendor must credit Kroger. This transaction will also include any related fees.

What to do with discontinued products

If a vendor decides to no longer sell an item, Kroger will consider the product discontinued. Suppliers must notify Kroger if they want to discontinue an item. Once they have done so, Kroger will remove the product from the site. Kroger also calls a product discontinued if the Digital Assortment Team decides not to continue carrying the product in Kroger’s Direct Ship Assortment

How does the Direct Ship Program classify vendors?  

Kroger uses vendor classifications based on KPIs (key performance indicators). A vendor’s classification will only change as a result of service level performance. Kroger will tell the vendor before any classification changes take place. 

How do customer purchase orders work?

Each customer purchase order (PO) accommodates either one or multiple units. Each customer PO has one customer Ship-To address. Kroger sends customer POs to its vendors in the third-party commerce network several times a day, so they will always be up to date. 

What are the Direct Ship Program’s shipping timelines?  

DSVs need streamlined systems for order shipping. The Kroger Direct Ship program has strict timelines. The vendor must ship products under the “standard” fulfillment timeframe within two business days. There is an exception if the vendor has another agreement with Kroger. If a supplier participates in an expedited fulfillment program, packages marked as an overnight service level shipment or FedEx Next Day must ship within one business day.

Kroger forgives vendors when there are unavoidable and unforeseeable delivery delays. However, this forgiveness does not extend to delays caused by the DSV’s products or practices. The vendor must prepay the charges if it finds it needs to use premium delivery to meet the delivery date. 

What if a customer cancels an order?

Vendors should take immediate steps to stop shipment if a customer requests an order cancelation. Vendors should cancel the order within one business day if they can accommodate the request. If they cannot cancel the order and it ships, vendors must notify the Kroger Direct Ship Operations Team

Why should I become a Drop Shipper?

Direct shipping offers many benefits for vendors. With dropshipping, Kroger suppliers have complete control over their inventory and business. Drop shippers also contribute to Kroger’s success, which in turn reinforces theirs. 

The dropshipping business model recognizes that direct shipping is more effective management for certain kinds of products. A business such as Kroger benefits from the better efficiency of direct shipping for the products it considers most drop ship appropriate. Kroger is experienced with direct shippers, and the company understands this business model and its logistics. 

Kroger’s dedication to the customer experience is the reason for all its requirements and rules for drop shippers. Kroger drop shippers must follow the regulations and satisfy the requirements. At the same time, however, drop shippers enjoy the multiple benefits and profits that result from the Kroger Direct Ship Program. 

Independent suppliers don’t have access to the same name recognition and market that Kroger has, thus participating in Kroger’s Direct Ship Program can take a business to the same level. Kroger DSVs get access to Kroger’s massive market of loyal customers. Investing the time of participating in Kroger’s Direct Ship Program brings many rewards.   

How do I become a Dropship Vendor?

To become a dropship vendor, businesses must start by becoming a Kroger Supplier. Kroger works with vendors from all over the world to bring the highest quality consumer packaged goods (CPGs) to its customers. To participate in sourcing events, suppliers must have a “Prospect Registration Complete” status in Vendor On-boarding. 

When a company registers in Kroger’s Supplier Hub to become a Prospect Vendor, it can participate in sourcing events that tie in with the business. Companies cannot do business with Kroger until approved. Potential vendors must provide additional information to the Supplier Hub when coming onboard and activate the vendor profile in the Kroger system.

Businesses should make inquiries with their Kroger contact if they have registered with the Supplier Hub but haven’t received a request to update their information. Vendors seeking to participate in the Direct Ship Program must set up an active Logicbroker connection. When a customer places an order for a DSV product, it will go through this system. 

All items added to the Direct Ship Program must have approved SKUs. Kroger trains and guides DSVs on how to submit inventory information through Logicbroker. DSVs must finish this training before launching their products. Direct Ship vendors must ensure that individuals in their organization who need to use the program get training. 

Direct ship vendors must know what to do if there are electronic communication failures. To avoid such failures means understanding how to use the third-party commerce network web browser for processing orders and meeting expectations. Vendors must also do self-monitoring with the tools provided in the web interface as an essential step to satisfy all the program’s KPIs. 

Use data to stay compliant

SupplyPike and SPS Commerce are bringing data visibility to Kroger suppliers to help avoid deductions and fight invalid chargebacks. With the power of EDI, machine learning, and 1-click disputes, Kroger suppliers can focus on growing their business.

Take a tour today to see how SupplyPike can help your Kroger business!

Take your business to the next level. Sign up now.

The SupplyPike Team
Meet the author

The SupplyPike Team

SupplyPike builds software to help retail suppliers fight deductions, meet compliance standards, and dig down to root cause issues in their supply chain.

Visit their Website ➝