Grocery suppliers need to upskill to capitalise on developing online opportunity

A recent report suggesting one in seven Britons are doing all of their food
shopping online could have major implications for the UK’s grocery
suppliers and manufacturers wanting to capitalise on this sales growth

Category and shopper management specialist Bridgethorne says that
manufacturers need to upskill their sales, category and marketing teams to
ensure they are well equipped to capitalise on this developing online
opportunity. The comments come following the publication of a report from
Mintel, which suggested that the proportion of households doing all of their
grocery shopping online has doubled since 2014. The report said the number
of us shopping purely online has risen from 7% to 14%, with 48% doing at
least some grocery shopping online, up from 43%.
Nick Kirby, eCommerce Director at Bridgethorne, says that grocery
manufacturers and suppliers will need to look hard at their trade investment
and marketing budgets to ensure that they have a balance in spend across all
channels and that they are investing substantially enough to engage and
attract new shoppers and convert them to purchase where they are conducting
their shopping.

“With a rise in the number of grocery shoppers only engaging with brands
when conducting an online shop, it is becoming even more important to
optimise digital shelf activation and amplify online communication using the
right messages at the right point of the online shopper journey,” explains

“With shoppers switching between channels – for example, supermarkets to
discounters – to complement their online purchasing, it is essential that
manufacturers have winning channel strategies in place that are both
effective in their own right, as well as allowing for a seamless
omni-channel shopping experience.”

Getting online right, though, could also have a benefit for bricks and
mortar stores, with other research showing that up to 70% of in-store sales
are influenced by an online retailer search – the so-called ‘e-commerce
halo effect’. Kirby adds that FMCG suppliers need to be addressing their
online strategy because it influences the shopping experience across all
channels not just online.

To address this changing situation, Bridgethorne has added a series of
e-commerce services to its portfolio. These services range from ecommerce
capability assessments, digital shelf audits and ecommerce shopper
activation to understanding the management of multi-channel and pureplay
retailers, the e-commerce shopper journey and building effective commercial

These form part of Bridgethorne’s comprehensive series of approaches that
help supplier organisations address key aspects of Integrated Shopper
Management as it pertains to their particular circumstances. Areas that can
be addressed range from shopper understanding, through strategy and planning
right up to activation and evaluation.