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8 trends in FMCG e-commerce: potential growth opportunities for retailers and manufacturers

Geo-marketing, voice ordering and direct to consumer selling are among some key trends for FMCG brands this year, according to new research.

The new report from IRI, a leading provider of big data, predictive analytics and forward-looking insights, highlights new growth opportunities for FMCG retailers and manufacturers online, and reveals eight key trends in FMCG e-commerce, including one-click ordering, shopping by smart home device and the power of geo marketing.

IRI’s E-Commerce in FMCG report shows that while supermarkets are still the main destination, the traditional grocery landscape is changing quickly. Despite the fact that the online market share of FMCG is still low compared to other sectors, online sales are booming in Europe, with double-digit growth in Italy (+42%) and Spain (+29%) and dynamic performances in France and Germany. Sales of food and personal care in particular are overperforming in e-commerce, and are set to jump +54%* in the next five years. According to the report, the FMCG market is ripe for further disruption online, with new partnerships forming and new distribution opportunities emerging.

Pierluigi Carlini Solutions & Innovations, IRI, comments: “The traditional grocery landscape is being disrupted as influential online players reinvent the food and drink shopping experience, and smaller specialists offer a more personalised approach to consumers. But we believe there are huge growth opportunities for FMCG retailers and brands to use their online platforms and data to help meet the demands of today’s younger shoppers who expect a seamless, effortless online experience, combined with value for money, product choice and availability.”

Eight Key Trends in E-commerce

Within the E-Commerce in FMCG report, IRI has pinpointed eight key trends to show retailers and manufacturers how to identify opportunities within FMCG e-commerce:

  • Big data management facilitates detailed understanding of individual shopper journeys and buying habits, leading to personalised recommendations and design studios, greater convenience and loyalty.

  • Geo-marketing pulls in on-the-go consumers or encourages impulse online buying for those in transit. Promotions to prompt in-store footfall or impulse spend online.

  • Cart abandonment – Amazon’s one-click ordering patent expired in 2017. The quest for online retailers to alleviate shopping cart abandonment will see FMCG and non-FMCG players focus on a shorter path to purchase.

  • Shopping by smartphone – over half of UK shoppers prefer using retailers’ smartphone apps rather than their website.

  • Targeted, instantly redeemable rewards strengthen the retailer’s quest to drive loyalty and win share of wallet.

  • Voice ordering via smart home devices provides convenience for shoppers. Integration of new platforms will be essential to ensure a seamless, omnichannel experience.

  • Versatility, speed and convenience. Ability to pivot between click and collect and home delivery in less time is high on retailers’ agendas.

  • Direct to consumer (D2C) delivery has ushered in fast-growing FMCG brands (Graze, Dollar Shave Club). Start-ups and larger players can in-part remove retailers in a bid to drive loyalty, personalised offers and repeat purchase


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