Seventy percent of grocery shoppers will do part of their buying online within five to seven years, says a new “Digitally Engaged Food Shopper” study from the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and Nielsen.
In the U.S., those online sales could amount to $100 billion. The move to online buying will affect grocery shopping in stores, where it is expected that 80% of grocery dollars will still be spent.
The two organizations originally said it would take a decade for online buying to catch on, says a CNBC article on the new research.
The grocery sector has been more resistant than some others to the allure of online shopping, as grocery shoppers are more loyal to their grocers and also because the supply chain is very complex.
Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods, and especially its recent opening of an automated grocery store, have helped change the industry’s mindset and the attitudes of consumers.
The FMI-Neilsen study also lists six steps brick-and-mortar retailers, as well as food and beverage manufacturers, need to take to thrive in the new digital grocery landscape:
1. integrate digital offerings with the existing brick-and-mortar infrastructure;
2. cleanse existing datasets to eliminate discrepancies;
3. integrate online and offline forecasting so inventory levels are where they need to be to meet online and offline orders;
4. build a single, unified view of the customer;
5. manage omnichannel marketing and promotions better;
6. make sure online and on-shelf presentation are merged so that customers get a consistent experience no matter how they shop.