In an increasingly connected world, there’s no denying the growing influence of e-commerce. While e-commerce is at different stages of maturity around the world, it’s beginning to gain momentum in Western Europe. Here, consumers are rapidly adapting their lives to keep pace with digital advances, which will likely lead to a wave of consolidation, polarization and even some saturation in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) space. That said, however, online trends are accelerating, and consumers are in control.
The speed of e-commerce adoption and acceptance for CPG will vary across countries, but each is headed in the same direction. And as European consumers move forward on their online shopping journeys, we see three distinct factors of adoption that each country will experience along the way.
It’s clear that improving technology is a key e-commerce growth driver, so as digital moves to the forefront, how is online changing Western Europe’s grocery landscape, and is digital the only factor affecting the landscape?
First and foremost, digital presents a new and significant opportunity for grocery retailers in the most developed e-commerce countries. In fact, Nielsen expects marketers to allocate 30% of their advertising spend to digital channels over the next five years.
Technology isn’t the only growth impetus, however. Consumer behavior will play a role as well, particularly as the paths of an aging population, multiculturalism and digital native grocery shopping converge.
After five years of weak consumer demand, which held back CPG demand, digital will be a springboard for future growth. Online technology, combined with the ease of mobile connectivity, allows consumers access to instant information, choice and speed. These are prime motivators for consumers, and the digital realm lets them make informed purchase decisions in real time. They now have the power to understand product offers, proactively plan and control their spending and saving money when they can.
In light of digital shifts, ease of access to information and consumers’ demand for real-time gratification, Nielsen expects two dominant behaviors to shape online grocery spending:
For additional insight into digital trends across Western Europe, download The Digital Consumer’s Journey in the Western European Grocery Market.