As many as 70% of consumers will be grocery shopping online by 2024. According to a recent study by FMI and Nielsen Report about the Digitally Engaged Food Shopper, an estimated $100 billion will be spent online for food–that's $450 per U.S. household in as few as seven years.
Originally, the first year of research from FMI and Neilsen believed that the industry could reach $100 billion by 2024, but the industry has accelerated, outrunning initial predictions.
So what's driving this online grocery success?
First of all, digital shopping in general is changing the way consumers purchase. Almost half, 49% of U.S. consumers, shop for CPG products online. And this includes all ages and demographics.
For example, when asked if they recently purchased a CPG product online, 61% of Millennials, 55% of Generation X, 41% of Boomers and 39% of the Greatest Generation said yes.
However, just because consumers are ready does not mean that grocers are prepared. Only 7% of retailers and 22% of manufacturers believe they have the skill sets needed to succeed digitally.
“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, U.S. president FMCG and retail, Nielsen. “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.”
Looking at the research results, FMI and Nielsen came up with six organizational imperatives that will help retailers and manufacturers accelerate and succeed in a digital and omnichannel shopping world:
1. Make sure brick-and-mortar and digital channels run as one operation.
2. Make sure to scrub data files for discrepancies.
3. Integrate online and offline forecasting so that inventory is available in all channels.
4. Combine retailer and manufacturer information into one customer view.
5. Improve omnichannel marketing and promotions.
6. Combine the physical and digital store shelves for a single view.