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Evolving E-commerce in Belgium
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Evolving E-commerce in Belgium

Amazon remains the leader in online fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), continuing to outpace the competition in share of sales and buyers. Yet, its share growth has slowed.

A downward shift in Amazon’s share of FMCG sales in the U.S. sends an important message to retailers and manufacturers, both in the U.S. and abroad. Traditional and non-traditional retailers have been accelerating their responses to Amazon by adjusting their omnichannel offerings and strategies. These adjustments have helped them steal share from the global online player, but other factors are at play.

Today, the playing field online has become exponentially more crowded, and while that does bring complications, it also means that many merchants have begun to hit their stride with consumers online.

US dollar share of CPG e-commerce

Back in 2017, Amazon had a 43% hold on FMCG e-commerce in the U.S. This year, that figure has fallen to 39%. On the flipside, we’ve seen Walmart triple its share to 6%, Instacart double in size to 8% and we’ve witnessed healthy share growth among merchants like Target, Kroger and Chewy.com.

Let’s make no mistake in recognizing the incredible returns Amazon has earned and exceeded year-over-year. The online giant continues to dictate the pace of change, driving a third of all growth experienced in FMCG e-commerce since early 2017. But what’s reassuring to those trying to break into the online space, or grow their footprint, is that their efforts have not been immaterial.

Despite such impressive growth contributions, Amazon’s share has declined because of the success in consumers’ collective adoption of digital commerce in FMCG. It’s a bit of a win-win scenario. Yes, Amazon is still on a level of its own, bringing in 33% of all dollar gains in FMCG e-commerce. However, the other ~66% of growth is a true testament to positive change for other players that are actively investing in their online operations.

WHY THIS MATTERS IN EUROPE & BELGIUM

While some of us in mainland Europe may take these figures as interesting, they may seem irrelevant for our less-mature e-commerce markets. That said, many are taking notice, as we know from past advances that developments in more mature markets like the U.S. or U.K. are often a sign of what is to come in markets like Germany, France, or Belgium.

Belgian consumers, for example, are buying more categories online than before, as confidence in delivery, freshness, security and returns increase.

So with e-commerce in Belgium and abroad on a path to greater number of successful players, it’s important to stay focused now on your e-commerce strategy and analytics to ensure that you’ll be able to flourish as a market leader in the  e-commerce environment of tomorrow.

Here are three ways to how:

KEEP AN EYE ON COMPETITOR ACTIVITY

With so many brands out there, it’s easy to see that competition is tough for manufacturers, especially when it comes to pricing, positioning and range. You know your customers in Belgium are constantly connected: 89% are connected to the internet and 69% connect to the internet via their mobile devices. So you need to know how your product stacks up against the competition by being able to answer the following questions:

  • How many of your products appear on the first page of search results?
  • How well do your products perform in a retailer’s search results?
  • How does your coverage stack up against your competition?
  • Which of your competitor’s products are on promotion, out of stock or priced lower than yours?

Having the answers to these questions in real time will help you make quick adjustments to your e-commerce strategy, win over the disloyal consumer and stay ahead of the competition.

STAY ON TOP OF YOUR PRODUCTS AT ALL TIMES

It goes without saying, but if your products are out of stock or not showing in search results, you’re not going to maximize your sales.

That’s why it’s integral that you:

  • Monitor your prices and promotions against your competitors, across all retailers.
  • Check your stock availability, promotions and pricing using real-time data.
  • Understand where best to deploy your products to avoid further out-of-stocks.

Preventing out-of-stocks is an incredibly easy way to boost your sales, particularly when you have the right analytics at your fingertips.

AUTOMATE WHERE YOU CAN, SAVING TIME, MONEY AND RESOURCES

Implementing all of these tactics may seem overwhelming, but there are ways to be smart and agile in the way you deploy your e-commerce strategy.

Using automated, simplified databases or dashboards to collect accurate analytics can help you to refine your approach in real time — ensuring you’re maximising on sales. By automating most of your tasks in one place, you’ll save time and resources, while also being able to anticipate your next move.

Interested in more information about staying on top of your e-commerce strategy using advanced and easy-to-use analytical tools? Contact us.