Digital disruption is causing strong worldwide growth for online grocery shopping, but the rise of new e-commerce models and ecosystems is forcing traditional players to adapt quickly and thoroughly.
“The story has only just begun”
The impact of digitisation on the food world cannot be underestimated: by 2023, the online groceries market will see a 66 % turnover growth in Europe, reaching 47 billion euros, as new research by IGD confirms. The market share of e-commerce in FMCG will be 2.5 % in this continent, compared to 1.8 % in 2018. Even then, expected growth is even a lot higher in North America (+ 152 %) and Asia (+ 196 %).
Food retailers and manufacturers had better prepare, warns IGD's CEO Susan Barratt: "The digitisation of the food and CPG industry has already disrupted and transformed the industry, yet the story has only just begun." She believes that established retailers will have to work hard and fast to limit the impact of online specialists and new ecosystems or to compete with them.
Towards ‘e-commerce 2.0’
IGD is predicting that the importance of strategic collaborations between retailers and technology companies will increase rapidly: advanced digital technology will help physical retailers to close the data gap with pure players. Artificial intelligence will transform the commercial relationship between retailers and their suppliers. The most advanced traditional retailers will diversify to become less dependant on the sale of products.
While e-commerce has been a rather standardised affair in the past, now a new 'e-commerce 2.0' has arrived - with new, creative sales models. Pure players will be opening their own offline stores or enter into alliances with traditional retailers. More manufacturers will start selling directly to the consumer, through joint order platforms and marketplaces. Some logistical players will turn into retailers. Social commerce is taking over the world.
New ecosystems will rise, coupling retail and consumer services to logistics, financial services and technology. Through the centralisation of data and the use of advanced technology, those ecosystems will get real-time insight into consumer behaviour, allowing them to deal with change quickly. They will also be able to offer shoppers a thoroughly customised experience and as such increase their profitability.
|Region||Online turnover 2018||Online turnover 2023||Growth||Online share 2018||Online share 2023|
|Asia||101||299||196 %||3.4 %||7.5 %|
|North America||25||62||152 %||1.5 %||3.4 %|
|Europe||32||53||66 %||1.8 %||2.5 %|
(Figures represent number of billions of dollars. Source: IGD/The Consumer Goods Forum)