eCommerce is no longer just an option for FMCG brands – it’s a necessity.
Fast-moving consumer goods or FMCG as it’s commonly referred to, defines products that are sold quickly and at low cost. This covers a variety of goods and consumables such as packaged foods, toiletries and over-the-counter drugs to name a few. When it comes to eCommerce, there’s been an abundance of new opportunities that have opened up for FMCG companies, yet many still continue to lose overall market share.
A recent study by Kantar shows that 50% of FMCG growth will come through eCommerce, proving it’s no longer an option for FMCG brands – it’s a necessity.
FMCG companies need to use a different digital strategy
With the rapid growth of eCommerce, brands will require better ways to stand out online. Among the suggestions are personalisation, reclaiming shelf appeal, and improving customer service. However, because the FMCG market is very niche, companies have been struggling to find the right ecommerce managers to fill roles and find exceptional candidates.
In the eCommerce market, brands are able to use consumer journeys to map, identify and influence when they are most inspired to buy, what products their researching and how to engage them in the final moments of their journey.
In order for FMCG companies to succeed in eCommerce, they will need to research, accept and find solutions for the challenges ahead. Here’s an example of some challenges facing such brands:
Large online retailers like Amazon are using their vast market share to develop their own branded products. Furthermore, they’re able to lean on their experience and knowledge of shopper behaviour to continue building their brands and their market share for that matter. Nevertheless, with trends forever fluctuating, buyers are leaning towards niche and ‘local’ products, driving sales to smaller competitors. How can established FMCG retailers avoid being outcasted? To start, t hey need to find an online strategy that’s as effective as their offline strategy.
Scale vs. personalisation
FMCG brands may have large competitors like Amazon, but smaller retailers must remember to set themselves apart from the big brands and the best place to start is providing an amazing customer experience, with better personalisation.
The millennial “super-consumer”
The rise of millennial consumers has seen a growing demand for fast and easy service and delivery of all kinds of goods, requiring an omnichannel strategy for FMCG companies. Like we touched on our previous point, in order for brands to succeed in this high pressured environment, they will need to have a consumer first mindset.
However, with most challenges come opportunities. FMCG brands must be willing to act on these challenges and turn them to their own advantage.
Be there at the right time
Since most customers use mobile devices when researching products, brands need to be present across a variety of platforms, being there at the right time, with the right information.
Innovate for consumers
When it comes to innovation, there’s no point in innovating for innovating’s sake. Brands need to look at what consumers want and need, where the industry is heading and develop new products to provide solutions and solve problems.
Find the right people for the job
FMCG brands trying to break into the eCommerce market need to fill their roles with the right kind of people, making sure they have the right ecommerce managers and UX designers who can benchmark their effectiveness.
“Manufacturers must take advantage of every touchpoint with the customer, deepening their relationships and maximising digital revenues. It’s not about innovation for innovation’s sake, but rather creating the perfect blend to facilitate an excellent customer experience.” Tim Reay, Head of Online Grocery at Salmon.
eCommerce is a global commodity, and FMCG brands have been involved for a while now. But how do differences fare between countries around the globe? Naturally, larger cities like London, Beijing and Shanghai, have become natural breeding grounds for eCommerce. In the cities listed, ecommerce accounts for 10% of the FMCG market. Other top contributors are all power economies with China and the US leading the way. India is however at the opposite end of the spectrum, with FMCG ecommerce available In just 30 cities.
China is top of B2C online market with more than a third of market share. Other successful FMCG markets are expected to be leaders like South Korea, China and Taiwan. There has also been significant value growth in other countries of Asia such as Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia.
Following Asia, the second largest market for eCommerce is Europe, however it’s still a divided continent. France and the UK are at the forefront of eCommerce, with online groceries being available early on with two early entrants (here’s looking at you Tesco and Ocado). However, Germany and the Netherlands are lagging behind.
Currently only 23% of Americans are buying groceries online, however that number has been predicted to more than triple in under 10 years. Not only that but annual spending on groceries and alcohol through eCommerce in 2018 is predicted to reach 2018.
The time is now
At best, eCommerce only represents 1/10 of the total global retail market, which currently stands at a staggering $28 trillion, However it’s growing at such a rapid pace, that it’s driving most of the growth. The total retail eCommerce market is predicted to grow by 20% by 2020, becoming a $4 trillion market – that’s an increase of $2.1 trillion over the next four years.
Many things will change when FMCG moves online, but the behaviours of shoppers will remain the same. Whether online or offline, the brands that put their customers first will see the success of their new strategy. The brands that don’t and who fail to factor in eCommerce will fall far behind.
It’s time for your brand to build a better online shopping experience.
If you’re looking for roles in the FMCG eCommerce industry, then give our eCommerce team a call on 02072657810 as we have a variety of roles available.
By Sarah Childs – Head of eCommerce