By Doug Baker, Vice President, Industry Relations - Private Brands, Technology, Food Marketing InstituteOmnichannel

The age of the digitally engaged food shopper has arrived, with each day seeing more shoppers moving from experimenting with online food shopping to fully embracing it. Total digital maturation in online grocery shopping is a mere five to seven years away according to research prepared by FMI and Nielsen.

We all know that. This research indicates consumers could be spending as much as $100 billion on online groceries by 2022. Within the next five to seven years, 70 percent of U.S. consumers will regularly purchase consumer packaged goods online.

Consumers today have tools that give them access to detailed information about the products they are looking for. Those digital tools also enable them to buy the products and services they want in ways that are disrupting the traditional food retail model.

Research from Nielsen and FMI over the last three years indicate that not all food retailers are as prepared as we could be to meet the needs of the digitally engaged food shopper and are at risk of missing the opportunity to serve this growing sector.

This past year, FMI’s initiatives to supply food retail with the information it needs to rise to the digital challenge has been enhanced with help from new partners like AT Kearney, Eversight, Precima and the NPD Group.

In conjunction with Nielsen and our new partners, FMI has created easily accessible vehicles to assist food retailers on their journey toward the digital integration necessary to meet the needs of today’s tech-savvy consumers. On the FMI Digital Shopper site – – we have added more insights, making the continuing-the-assessment tool even more valuable. We have also added a supplemental workbook entitled “Finding the Profitable Path to Your Digitally Engaged Grocery Shoppers,” that will guide you through steps to determine if you are indeed adopting digital tools at the pace required by your shoppers.

In conjunction with the workbook, a series of videos has been added to the bank of resources. These videos cover the five most significant imperatives that must be met in order to achieve omnichannel success, which are:

  1. Evaluating the People, Processes and Technologies of the Digital Shopper. Do you have the skill set required for success in the digital era? What about your staff? The people you hire and the organizational structure you use are key to implementing any effective strategic plan for omnichannel success. Content organized by A.T. Kearney

  2. How to Treat Your Data as an Enterprise Asset. What kind of data do you collect and how do you use it? Mere data management isn’t enough. Are you extracting the greatest value possible out of your data strategy? Content organized by Nielsen

  3. How to Adopt an Integrated Forecasting Model. There is a delicate balance required to get the right product to the right consumer at the right time and right price. Does your organization’s forecasting capability provide the ability to forecast in collaboration with your supplier partners in the effort to increase sales? Content organized by RSi

  4. Realize the Full Potential of Cohesive Shopper Insights. If you are going to be successful in the era of the digitally engaged shopper, you will have to understand and satisfy the shopper’s needs better than your competition does. An enhanced view of shopper insight is essential. Content organized by NPD Group and Precima

  5. How to Use Data Effectively to Unify Digital and Store Experiences. Product information, images and transparent pricing must be available across a wide variety of channels. There are strategies that can help you both in the store and online. Content organized by Eversight

The overarching imperative is that as technology develops at a rapid pace, we must keep up with our customers and our trading partners.

Enjoy the current resources:

For 2019, we will continue to expand tools and resources for the operational imperatives so that as the digital shopper drives the volume and the opportunities, retailers can be right in step.