FMCG e-commerce increases by US$70b globally

Online purchasing of packaged and fresh groceries has surged by 15% in the past two years, contributing to an estimated US$70 billion in additional sales in online FMCG.

Online purchasing of packaged and fresh groceries has surged by 15% in the past two years, with an increase in consumers’ confidence within the online buying ecosystem leading to purchasing in a broader range of categories, according to a new report by global measurement company, Nielsen.  It has contributed to an estimated US$70 billion in additional sales in online fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG).
The 2018 Nielsen Connected Commerce Report, which looks at consumers’ online purchasing habits, reported that 95% of global consumers who have access to the internet have made a purchase online, up 1% vs 2017 and up 2% from 2016.
The report also revealed 26% of digital consumers purchased fresh groceries online, an increase of 15% between 2016 and 2018, which is contributing to overall FMCG e-commerce growth, which Nielsen estimates increased by around US$70 billion globally in the past two years.
Stalwart e-commerce categories fashion, travel and books continue to account for the largest proportion of online transactions (61%, 59% and 49% of consumers, respectively, purchased within the category).
Meanwhile, the categories posting the most significant growth in e-commerce activity include restaurant deliveries, where 33% of online consumers said they made a purchase (up 2 points vs 2017), packaged groceries (up 3 points to 30%) and fresh groceries (up 2 points to 26%).
“From tracking the e-commerce evolution in pioneering countries like South Korea where online sales now account for a staggering 20% of the total FMCG sector, we know that consumers follow a certain pattern of online shopping behavior,” observes Pete Gale, Retailer Services, Nielsen.
“Travel, fashion and books are typical categories for first-time online shoppers, but as their familiarization, comfort and trust levels increase, their category repertoire expands into areas like beauty, personal care and baby products, and then moves even wider afield to packaged and fresh grocery categories, and this is evidenced in the significant jump we’ve seen in online purchasing within grocery and food delivery in recent years.”
This Nielsen report reveals that consumers are more open to purchase packaged and fresh groceries online when they are offered certain purchasing options and quality assurances. Almost half (49%) of consumers said that a money back guarantee for products not matching what was ordered would encourage them to buy online.
A further 45% of consumers are enticed by same day product replacement service for products not available, while 44% are looking for free delivery services for purchases above a minimum spend.
“With the rise of consumer adoption in online purchasing, the continuously evolving e-commerce space has blurred the lines between online and offline,” notes Gale.
“A few years ago e-commerce purchase was focused on non-perishable goods such as travel, fashion and books but over time we are seeing a rise in purchases across new categories. Looking ahead, the next wave of evolution in online purchasing behavior will likely be driven by innovations in digital capabilities like personalized recommendations based on programmatic consumption and online behavior.”

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