Report: Forward-Thinking Supermarkets Have an Opportunity in E-Commerce

Dec. 9, 2103

Providers of consumer packaged goods (CPG)—especially supermarkets—are underestimating the opportunity provided by e-commerce, according to a new report from global consultancy Deloitte. The study—a two-part series called Digital Commerce in the Supermarket Aisle —found supermarket executives expect e-commerce growth in the category to rise 35 percent in the next year and 76 percent in the next three years. Consumers, however, are far more prepared to shop online for groceries. Respondents responsible for shopping and food preparation in the home expect purchases of those types of items to increase 67 percent in 2014 and 158 percent in three years. As the numbers might suggest, CPG companies are not prepared to take advantage of this shift in consumer sentiment, the report indicated.

“Increasingly, consumers desire the convenience of the online channel to purchase their groceries,” said Pat Conroy, vice chairman of Deloitte LLP and consumer products sector leader. “Although consumers are changing their behavior, CPG companies are not as prepared as the data suggests they should be to take full advantage of this growing opportunity. The importance of e-commerce to CPG companies has not, in most cases, translated into a fully-developed strategy for capitalizing on this channel.”

For companies seeking to exploit the gap identified by the study, Conroy said the most important factor is establishing a clear and well-understood digital commerce strategy. He said collaboration with retailers and social media platforms comes next, along with bolstering the digital commerce talent within their organizations.