New research launched by IGD and the Consumer Goods Forum, to coincide with this week's Global Summit in Singapore, has found that the US is likely to see online grocery sales more than double between now and 2022, while China’s online retail market is likely to nearly quadruple in that time.
The research found that between now and 2022, online grocery sales in the US are scheduled to grow by 129%, to account for 2% of the total US grocery market, while in China, that growth is projected to be 286%, with online set to account for 11.1% of total grocery in the country by 2022.
Growth in the UK is also by no means insignificant, the study found, where online grocery sales are set to grow by 48% by 2022, accounting for 7.5% of the total UK grocery market.
At the same time, however, just half of food and grocery businesses are ‘only just starting to prepare for tomorrow’s digital transformation’, while 11% have ‘yet to begin’.
IGD carried out a survey of 223 senior industry members across 42 different markets, as well as a series of in-depth interviews with digital experts.
It found that 78% of respondents think that shoppers will use online price comparison services more regularly to switch to the cheapest retailer, while 67% believe that shoppers will be able to choose from a wide range of specialist online retailers, underpinned by a common and consistent delivery service.
Additionally, 75% expect more manufacturers to sell directly to consumers online, while the rise of artificial intelligence is also likely to bolster the level of personalisation available to consumers.
“AI will help to unlock personalisation,” said Simon Mayhew, online retail insight manager at IGD. “The store’s layout will be dynamic and able to predict the customer’s reason for shopping. So, if you need a meal for tonight, your home page will display only the relevant solutions. When generally browsing, you will only see the products and pack sizes likely to meet your needs.
“Many products will only be buyable online, where there is no constraint on shelf space, and in high-value categories, there will be customisable products, so you can create your own ideal shampoo or cereal,” Mayhew added.
In addition, he said, the rise of smart devices and dedicated digital assistants like chatbots will make shopping “simpler and more inspiring”.
“The online store will help stop you running out of products. Shoppers will subscribe to have their favourite products delivered regularly, and AI will predict when you may run out and make or suggest a reorder,” he said.
Commenting on the publication of the report, Peter Freedman, managing director of the Consumer Goods Forum, said that it ties in well with the theme of this year’s Global Summit, ‘Consumer Centricity in a Data-Driven World’.
“This report sets out a clear, consumer-centric vision of tomorrow’s online shopping experience and gives us all something to aim towards,” Freedman said.
“It highlights the importance of the CGF’s positive change agenda, such as using new technologies to deliver accurate product information on the digital shelf, designing out product and packaging waste, and retailer-manufacturer collaboration for growth,” he added.
For additional insights into the online store of the future, download the free report by clicking here.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.