More Than Two-Thirds Of Consumers Will Be Grocery Shopping Online by 2024

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018 | 1331 Views

US-based Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and market intelligence company Nielsen have released its second year findings of its “Digitally Engaged Food Shopper” study, and found that in as few as five to seven years, 70 percent of consumers will be grocery shopping online.

Building on the joint research findings issued in 2017, this second set of insights examines what food and beverage manufacturers and brick-and-mortar retailers need to do to ready themselves for the rising digital grocery landscape, identifying six digital imperatives for omnichannel success. The estimated US$100 billion spend, which is equivalent to every US household spending US$850 online for food and beverage annually, will occur by 2022 or 2024.

Key findings from this year’s study show that omnichannel shopping has passed the tipping point with online grocery shopping on an accelerated path to industry saturation. The first year of research predicted that consumer online food and beverage spend could reach US$100 billion by 2025. Today, the report highlights that the pace of change and adoption has far outrun initial predictions, where the pervasiveness of online engagement could cut the timeline by as much as half.

“The grocery industry is currently in the age of digital experimentation, where the roadmap on how to navigate and achieve real and profitable growth continues to evolve,” said Chris Morley, president, fast moving consumer goods and retail, Nielsen, US. “While analytics will continue to be critical for retailers and manufacturers to understand the digitally engaged food shopper on a deeper level, a collaborative approach to balancing physical and digital sales strategies is the key to unlocking omnichannel success.”

Two crucial parts of the research were the Digital Readiness Assessment Survey and in-depth interviews across many operational functions of grocery retailers and manufacturers. That work revealed six organisational imperatives that can help retailers and manufacturers accelerate their omnichannel success.

  • Align Organisational Structures for Omnichannel Success: Integrate digital offerings in parallel with brick-and-mortar operations.
  • Address Discrepant Datasets:  Scrub master data files for discrepancies; strength in data and accuracy is a critical component to successfully support online sale efforts.
  • Integrate Forecasts to Increase Operational Efficiencies: Integrate online and offline forecasting so the right amount of inventory is available to meet orders through either channel.
  • Optimise Shopper Insights: Bring retailer and manufacturer shopper information together into a single, comprehensive view of customer insights.
  • Improve Marketing and Promotions: Optimise the management of omnichannel marketing and promotions.
  • Merge Digital and In-Store Shelf Capabilities: Manage the physical shelf and its digital counterpart to create a seamless shopping experience, where consumers see the same information both on or offline.