Bridgethorne, the shopper and category specialist, has warned that a large number of FMCG suppliers are still failing to address even basic online requirements that enable shoppers to find their products.
Over the Christmas period food retailers reported strong performances online. Bridgethorne said that Sainsbury’s reported an 8.2% growth in online sales and Tesco said its grocery business received over four million customer orders during a six week period, which contributed to sales growth of 5%.
Nielsen research also reported that 18% of UK households shopped online for groceries in December, with online reaching a high of 6.4% share of all grocery sales in the final quarter of 2017.
Nick Kirby, Bridgethorne’s shopper, e-commerce and analytics director, said that on average only 60% to 80% of a supplier’s listed range in a retailer is visible online when shoppers actively search a brand or category on a retailer website.
“This is usually due to suppliers not checking or knowing what corrective action needs to be taken on their ‘Digital Shelf’. Suppliers need to make sure that checking their online presence becomes commonplace,” he said.
Part of the failure, he argued, was that suppliers did not know they had a problem, because they were not replicating online the actions they took in-store.
“And because they’re not looking at it, they don’t realise there’s a problem and therefore don’t invest in putting things right,” he said.
“If, as a supplier, the full range of products you have listed with a retailer is not appearing, you’re seriously narrowing your opportunity to get into the shopper’s basket.”