Here's a couple of awkward question for you, especially if you operate in the Supermarket and, or FMCG business;

1- How will consumer adoption of online grocery shopping accelerate in the next several years?

2 - Will the leading companies in the grocery business in the U.S. and UK right now be the leaders in the online grocery business in five to ten years?

I picked this up from a recent industry event and associated feedback from senior folks in the industry (link below).

If, as some suggest the growth in online sales for grocery retailers jumps to circa 20%+ what impact is that going to have on the huge legacy investments in real estate, how do FMCG brands like 'Unilever' remain front of mind when trying to convince us that they're cereal is better, they have the 'freshest' choice, and are the most 'innovative' when we increasingly choose to shop online for the 'convenience?

Without a doubt, the real estate will become extremely expensive distribution outlets to 'pick and pack' that's for sure.

As with the rest of the traditional retail industry we constantly see headlines from the likes of 'Tesco' who supposedly have turned the corner, this despite Aldi and Lidl continuing with immense local store opening programs, Sainsbury's who themselves are trying to turn the tanker around after a number of years of bolt on acquisitions that to date don't appear to have made much difference, and then there's good old 'Marks and Spencer' who think that innovation is offering 'buy now, pay later options' will get them down with the cool tech savvy, time and cash poor Millenials and Gen Z? 

For what it's worth and If I was advising any of these grocery giants today here's my two-penneth;

  • Social Commerce is enabling all kinds of businesses to grow, they can reach out and lure your existing customer away without any advertising budget whatsoever - what's your strategy to compete?
  • Do you have an internal team of 'Change Makers' whose only role is to find ways disrupt your business - there will be plenty of external ones already doing this?
  • How can you turn this problem into a huge advantage - the answer lies somewhere between your people, real estate, collaboration, and a portal.

I have a quite a few more thoughts, but to hear about those I respectfully suggest they will have to pay.