The global food and beverage e-commerce market is expected to reach $903,465.5 million in 2026. This projected growth provides massive revenue-making potential for food businesses that choose to utilize the power of eCommerce effectively.
Prominent e-commerce brands like Amazon are leading the trail, but there is also room for small and medium-scale brands. To successfully thrive in this industry, it is important to pay attention to e-commerce trends that are shaping the future of the industry.
Let’s check out some benefits of eCommerce, top eCommerce trends, and their impacts on the food and beverage industry.
Benefits of eCommerce For Food & Beverage Companies
Here are some of the benefits you will gain when you create an online store and utilize digital marketing to promote your food and beverage business.
With e-commerce, there is no need for running multiple physical stores as people can buy online and get it shipped to their specific locations. Also, it is possible for smaller-scale businesses to compete with more prominent brands. With digital marketing skills rising in importance, there’s no need to have millions of dollars to run multiple physical stores.
Physical stores always come with numerous costs like facility lease or purchase, power supply, maintenance, and salary for on-site personnel like store attendants, managers, and janitors.
Increased Reach & Faster Market Expansion
Food and beverage companies can harness the power of e-commerce to reach audiences they normally wouldn’t with physical stores. From the comfort of a smartphone or computer, potential customers can easily make an order and have it delivered to their doorsteps, no matter where they are.
This opens opportunities for rapid market expansion. With e-commerce, distance is no longer a barrier to reaching new and existing customers.
Streamlined Supply Chain And Logistics
There are usually multiple food or beverage brands in a single store. In the case of physical stores, the supply and inventory records for each brand will likely be separated. Where there are separate records, it takes more time to correlate data from multiple brands for analysis and efficient decision-making.
With e-commerce, it is possible to manage several brands from one administrative dashboard and a central database. With a central database, customers can easily access many different brands from a single source.
Better Targeting And Improved Sales
Unlike physical stores, e-commerce enables advanced targeting based on the previous search and buying behavior of online browsers. Due to targeting, it is now possible to give personalized and automated recommendations to customers.
For example, Amazon will show web visitors recommended products based on their previous search history. Also, when customers add products to their carts, they are usually shown other related products they can also purchase if they’re interested.
This targeting and personalized recommendation usually leads to more sales as customers are likely to add relevant suggested products to their cart.
Notable eCommerce Trends That Will Affect Your Food Business
Every industry has factors and trends that influence how businesses should operate. These trends are usually determined by customers' demands and regulatory bodies' mandates. There are notable e-commerce trends for the food and beverage industry that your business needs to consider in order to thrive. Some e-commerce trends that can influence your online store are outlined below.
Increase In Online Shopping
It is expected that the total global retail e-commerce sales will reach nearly 22% share of global retail sales by 2024. This projection is expected to increase in the coming years as e-commerce is a comfortable option for online shoppers, and more people continue to buy online rather than in-store.
There was a time when people used to be wary of buying online but not anymore as shoppers now trust that their orders will be delivered. The trust online shoppers have is enhanced by features like pay-on-delivery and buy-now-pay-later options.
Artificial Intelligence To Study Shopping Patterns
Machine learning and Artificial Intelligence are new trends that can skyrocket sales by providing a personalized shopping experience for individual shoppers. With the help of big data analytics, your e-commerce platform can detect shopping patterns and automatically recommend products in your store that an individual is very likely to purchase.
This level of analysis and personalization is not possible in a physical store and can only be done through e-commerce and cloud solutions. Notable e-commerce platforms like Amazon and eBay normally give personalized recommendations that are based on previous search and buying history. This high-level personalization is a key factor that contributes to e-commerce success.
Food and beverage products are usually packaged with materials like paper, nylon, and plastic. Non-sustainable plastic packaging usually takes hundreds of years to break down and mixes with the soil. This is not good for the environment and can lead to clogged oceans which negatively impact the climate.
As a means to mitigate the negative impacts of non-sustainable packaging, there is a trend where consumers are more inclined to purchase food items that have a sustainability claim. Sustainable packaging includes materials that are either created from recycled materials, easy-to-recycle substances, reusable, renewable, or goods safe for the environment.
Chatbots for Better Customer Experiences
Many online stores are usually filled with various brands in different categories. This may make it difficult for inexperienced shoppers to easily find what they are looking for. Not everyone is an internet geek that knows how to maneuver any type of website to find exactly what they need. In this case, a chatbot can reduce frustration for the shopper and clinch the sale.
It is not only inexperienced shoppers that need chatbots. Even an experienced shopper may not have the time to figure out how a website works. Chatbots play the role of customer support and can be programmed to help the shopper find what they need with just a few clicks.
Many shoppers have gone mobile and many more will continue to follow in the coming years. The adoption of mobile devices for shopping is mainly due to the ease and accessibility of these devices. This means your online store should be mobile-friendly with responsive pages that adjust the website to fit the type of device the shopper is using.
An online store that is not mobile-responsive can be frustrating. The font sizes of web content might be too small to read or the pages may be too large to fit on a small web screen.
Diverse Payment Methods
Another notable e-commerce trend is the presence of multiple ways to pay. The customer is king and can decide to leave an online store because their preferred payment method is not available. Payment is a very sensitive issue and customers are likely to feel confident to make payments when they know and trust the payment provider.
For example, an online shopper may feel safe paying with PayPal and dislikes paying via credit or debit cards. Therefore, it is important to provide multiple payment options, so that everyone will be able to make the right choice that suits their unique needs.
Frequently Asked Questions- FAQs
How Can eCommerce Help Small-scale Food & Beverage Businesses?
Small-scale businesses are able to compete with more prominent brands when they use e-commerce and digital marketing to sell their food products. This is due to the lower operational cost, and the ability to track and analyze huge amounts of data for better inventory and supply management. These allow small businesses to allocate the rest of their budget to other vital expenses such as registering their businesses to their desired business entities and other related costs.
Is It Safe To Buy Food and Beverages Online?
It is not about buying online, it is about buying from brands you trust. When you trust the company you are buying from, it does not matter whether you are buying in-store or online. To discover if a company is trustworthy, it is advisable to check out the reviews from other online shoppers like yourself.
How Do Food and Beverage Companies Ensure Quality and Freshness During eCommerce Deliveries?
One common way to ensure the freshness of food items is to deliver them using a refrigerated vehicle. This ensures that while the food item is in transit, it does not get spoiled or sour due to vehicle heat.
What Is The Impact of eCommerce Trends In The Food and Beverage Industry?
The rising population of online shoppers has resulted in the massive adoption of e-commerce across different areas, including the food and beverage industry. More customers now have enough trust to buy food from online stores. This presents an opportunity for businesses to reach more people and have faster market expansion.
eCommerce is now very important to successfully compete with other businesses in the food industry. With e-commerce, you can easily manage all inventory and supply activities across multiple webshops from a single dashboard. Also, your e-commerce platform can increase sales by giving shoppers personalized product recommendations that they are more likely to purchase.
The future of e-commerce is bright, and implementing an online platform for your food and beverage business is a decision in the right direction.
About The Author: Mercy Adewumi
Mercy is a professional B2B and SaaS writer that specializes in crafting advanced-level content that is engaging, fun, and appeals to top-level executives. She is a resilient, self-motivated, and result-driven person with the proven ability to create high-quality content related to Business, Saas Tech, and the Financial Markets. She believes that SEO is the best digital marketing medium ideal for long-term growth. When she is not writing, she is creating strategies for business growth.