By: Lucas Darnell, Director of Membership, Food Marketing Institute
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For the past two years, FMI has been engaging our members in assessing their ecommerce capabilities and the digitally engaged food shopper. This has been a big topic of interest, in particular, to FMI’s independent retail members as they look to stay on the cutting edge of food retail.  

Independent operator members were encouraged to take an online assessment of their digital readiness. The results were telling:

  • 55 percent of respondents were assessed as ‘crawling’ towards digital;
  • 43 percent have started ‘readying’ their companies;
  • Only one respondent qualified as ‘running’ towards digital; and
  • Zero respondents were classified at ‘winning’ at digital.

Change is being driven by a diverse set of consumers, not just by millennials or the most affluent shoppers. This – combined with acquisitions and innovations in the FMCG market – is accelerating the pace of online food shopping adoption, meaning that manufacturers and independent operators should be readying their organizations to meet the needs of the digitally engaged food shopper. To that end, here are three FMI tools on ecommerce that independent operators should pay close attention to:

#1 The Presentation:

Earlier this year, independents participated in a forum centered on Emerging Digital Realities and Opportunities featuring how Walmart was using blockchain as a food safety tool and how TGI Friday’s leverages data, technology and content for strategic growth. Jon Ambrose, Co-Founder and COO for Rosie, was also on the program, and focused his presentation on what retailers need to know before starting ecommerce, including asking the questions:

  • Who wants to shop online, and why?
  • What are they willing to pay for it?
  • And how do I customize ecommerce without disrupting everything else?

Access the Presentation to Learn More

#2 The Assessment

FMI, Nielsen and The Dialogic Group conducted a webinar, The Digitally Engaged Food Shopper – Effect on the Independent Operator, focused on the shift to digital purchasing of fast-moving consumer goods. The biggest take-a-way from the webinar is recent research into the inhibitors and enablers for omnichannel success. Rooted in Nielsen data, online assessments and in-person interviews of grocery executives, these insights provided a blueprint for creating an omnichannel-ready organization.

Listen to the Webinar 

Check Out FMI’s Digital Shopper Website

#3 The Chance To Learn More

To continue this educational process, FMI is working with Jon Ambrose to host a webinar May 24 at 2 p.m. EST entitled, The Future is Here: Next Generation Online Grocery Shopping. This educational opportunity will focus on the six best practices that will matter for your in-store business in the future that are available today via grocery ecommerce. Ambrose will present his company’s findings on how ecommerce programs can be leveraged to ensure the long-term success of grocers, including reshaping retailer’s understanding of what the customer values and new ways to serve that customer. Ambrose will discuss how these practice areas can be leveraged today by grocers that offer ecommerce, and how they can be incorporated into physical stores. This webinar will also include real world examples of retailers leveraging the above topics in today’s marketplace.

Register for the Webinar

Hungry for more? FMI also has the following resources available: