At the 2014 Shopper Marketing Summit, Unilever’s director of North American e-Commerce Center of Excellence said that companies who don’t build an online business could lose some of their brick-and-mortar business. According to Doug Staton, if you lose online you’ll lose offline.
Whilst CPG sales online currently account for just 4% of total US CPG sales, Straton believes that marketers should focus more on channel migration versus incrementalism. “If you don’t capture migration, you will lose,” he said.
The significant opportunity that eCommerce can deliver for CPG brands is also highlighted in a recent report from Deloitte, who strongly believe that ‘digital commerce in the supermarket aisle is no longer the proverbial years away. It is here today.’
The report, “Digital Commerce in the Supermarket Aisle“, analysed responses from a survey of just over 2,000 online shoppers as well as in-depth interviews with more than 40 senior executives from CPG companies.
The report reveals that whilst CPG executives expect 35% online sales growth in the next year and 76% growth in three years, consumers expect their online CPG purchases to increase by 67% in the next year and 158% in three years.
“Those who continue to underrate the e-commerce channel’s growth potential may be missing a substantial market opportunity, as consumer willingness to embrace digital commerce is being further amplified by the rapid pace of technological change”, states Deloitte. “Because growth and differentiation remain difficult for the mature CPG industry in developed markets, being an early digital commerce adopter may be one of the few ways to secure a competitive advantage.”
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