Episode 180: Katie Hotze

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Episode 180 Grocery Shopii Banner Image

Episode 180 Katie Hotze Quote

There is always the impeding question of “what’s for dinner” at the end of every day. As we are busy balancing work and home life, the go-to meals are often recycled every week, leading to possibly bland and less healthier options. A new application is looking to help the 21st century consumer by adding a Pinterest-style shopping option to your favorite grocers.

Despite having no background in grocery or agriculture, Katie Hotze was an experienced digital marketer and performance marketer by trade. As a working mom, she, along with fellow working moms, were always struggling to decide what would be for dinner at the end of a busy day. Katie would experience the endless cycle of looking up the same items from her grocery store on her phone, adding them to her cart, but never checking out.

Imagining the perfect platform solution, Katie began mapping out wireframes while working full time and earning her MBA at night. She spent what little spare time she had sharing them with family and friends in order to get feedback from the average consumer. After being laid off from her consulting job, Katie decided to take the plunge and make her ideas a reality. Katie spent the next year conducting customer discovery that showed her every tool that every recipe to cart solution out there was either slim pickings on the side of the grocery store, or the cart fulfillment didn’t work. Most grocers websites offer recipes but the clickthrough rate in which to purchase the specific groceries required is extremely low. Truly seeing there was no streamlined solution, Grocery Shopii was able to come alive.

Episode 180 Katie Hotze Quote

The technology created in Grocery Shopii directly integrates with the grocers ecommerce platform, giving the consumer a seamless experience. Backed by machine learning, the more you use it, the more it learns you making suggestions better and better over time. By saving your search history, consumers can return to it time and time again to not only use favorite recipes, but get inspiration for new ones.

While the application sounds appealing to the average consumer, what’s in it for the grocer? The biggest appeal to the grocer is that Grocery Shopii encourages consumers to return as they are regularly adding new content, making it the all-in-one for recipes and groceries. The technology isn’t only available for big franchised grocers either. After it was originally initialized, it now only takes about 2-3 weeks to get fully launched with a grocer, something that Katie says is ideal for smaller markets.

Grocery Shopii’s best clients are those that don’t have the means have an in-house engineering team to design and innovate new technologies. Having access to Grocery Shopii helps them go toe-to-toe with larger grocers.

“[Grocers] want to be close to the shopper but I’ve found there’s a wild disconnect between people making the decisions and the shoppers’ needs.” – Katie Hotze (12:24 – 12:31)

Working with content creators has been imperative to Grocery Shopii’s success as well. Katie started with syndicated cookbook content but the groups they were looking into to license recipes just had too high of a price tag. As millennials and Gen Z shop with their phones, she knew that influencers would be the best type of contributors to the platform. With newer, fresher recipes, and added nutritional facts, these influencers were perfect to get involved with Grocery Shopii’s offerings for consumers wanting to meal plan.

How to get involved

  • Join The Produce Moms Group on Facebook and continue the discussion every week!
  • Reach out to us – we’d love to hear more about where you are in life and business! Find out more here.

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About Lori

Lori Taylor is the Founder & CEO of The Produce Moms. For ten years she sold fresh produce to over 300 grocery stores throughout the United States, and today she is fully focused on working with the produce supply chain, media, and government to increase fresh produce access & consumption in the US and around the globe. Connect with Lori on LinkedIn.

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