The FMCG space is one of the fastest growing eCommerce verticals. And while bricks-and-mortar are still the main destination, the traditional landscape is changing quickly.
According to data measurement company, Nielsen, global online sales of FMCG products are growing four times faster than offline sales, with the UK leading the way in Europe, and Asia setting the overall pace for growth in the coming years in online FMCG sales.
Meanwhile, Kantar expects online FMCG sales to roughly double by 2025, reaching 10% of the total market:
While much of this growth is being driven by eCommerce giants such as Amazon, Walmart and Alibaba, there are huge growth opportunities for FMCG and consumer-focused retailers and brands to use their online platforms and data to help meet the demands of today’s shoppers, who expect a seamless, effortless online experience, combined with value for money, product choice and availability.
1. Usability, speed and convenience
- Help customers to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily, and complete a purchase, when they’re on your site.
- Use clear, simple website design, which is intuitive to navigate and fast to load (no longer than 3 seconds).
- Make your calls-to-action stand out. Try experimenting with different colours and sizes of buttons, or varying the position or copy. What do you want the visitor to do? Make it clear and simple for them to take the next steps, be that making a purchase, or carrying out a search.
2. Ease of checkout
A smooth, secure checkout is crucial for eCommerce success and should offer visitors a quick and easy user experience.
- Prominent shopping basket buttons on your product pages.
- A user-friendly payment process on your checkout page with as few steps as possible. Consider implementing one-click ordering – Amazon’s one-click ordering patent expired in 2017.
- Don’t ask for too much personal information at an early stage of the buying cycle. Allow potential new customers purchase easily via guest checkout.
Even if you offer the best quality and value on the market, and the rest of your site is easy to navigate, you’ll fall at the final hurdle unless you focus on a short, secure path to purchase.
Email should be a key part of any eCommerce marketing strategy as it’s an effective way to keep in regular contact with your customer base, establish brand identity and build trust, all factors that are key to securing repeat visits and purchases. When planning your campaign, think in terms of developing an ongoing dialogue with your customer base based on their purchasing or browsing behaviour on your website; encourage and provide the opportunity for recipients to engage with your brand. Here’s an example:
Offering personalised recommendations and targeted, instantly redeemable rewards or discounts are an effective way to drive loyalty and encourage customers to return to abandoned shopping carts.
You could also consider retargeting visitors through online display advertising: 90% of marketers responding to a poll by AdRoll stated that retargeting performs equally as well as, or better than, any other variety of marketing as it uses “data based on user intent”.
4. Effective use of data
One of the massive advantages of eCommerce is the ability to monitor visitors’ activity on your website on a very granular level. This allows you to develop a detailed understanding of individual shopper journeys and buying habits, leading to personalised recommendations and design studios, greater convenience and loyalty. You should also be tracking which channels are driving the most traffic and leading to most conversions (for example, social media or online advertising) so you can allocate your budget more effectively.
The most common tool to do this is Google Tag Manager along with Google Analytics, which are free to set up and user friendly.
Over half of UK shoppers prefer using retailers’ smartphone apps rather than their website – and 53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if pages take longer than three seconds to load. In other words, desktops are now a secondary technology and mobile devices are primary.
Mobile purchases are more likely to be made on the go and to be impulse buys, and they spend more money on a single purchase than their desktop counterparts do.
Business Insider’s eCommerce Industry Insider reports that mobile is continuing to drive the most sales growth for retailers, but many are failing to keep up with best practices and are missing out on sales as a result.
Consumers around the globe have adopted eCommerce in varying degrees across multiple categories depending upon their needs and market dynamics. Emerging technologies, macroeconomic conditions, cultural differences and many other themes are influencing this evolution – a key factor being the rise of the socially-responsible shopper, who are more conscious about the provenance, sustainability and healthiness of the brands they choose. In fact, according to a Nielsen study, health and sustainable product shoppers are 67% more digitally engaged than the average shopper.
eCommerce is steadily becoming an integral part of the FMCG sector, and the onus is on brands to keep up.