FMCG sales via the online channel are still a small proportion of overall sales but growing fast.
Recent figures from Kantar Worldpanel predict global FMCG e-commerce sales will account for 9% of FMCG sales by 2025 (from a current base of 4% share), worth a staggering $150 billion.
In Europe, Germany is seeing the fastest e-commerce growth, despite online grocery sales currently underperforming other markets such as the UK and France.
As Amazon continues to dominate e-commerce with formats like Amazon Fresh, Prime Now and the Amazon Dash button, what should confectionery brands be doing to capitalize on retail’s fastest growing channel?
1. Understand the basics of the confectionery category online
One of the biggest dangers is focusing only on your products in a vacuum and not fully understanding what your competitors are doing or who the category best sellers are.
One continuing trend we see across many categories is the growth of ‘challenger’ brands who are successfully driving sales in the online channel.
Profitero’s FastMover reports highlight best sellers by category, as well as revealing important factors such as product rating, number of product reviews and average price, enabling you to monitor and benchmark your product’s performance every month.
Best-Selling Chocolate Brands on Amazon DE, October 2016
2. Drive discoverability through search
Best-in-class product titles and descriptions use the language that your shoppers are using to describe your products.
Be sure to optimize your product titles and descriptions with seasonal keywords (e.g Valentine’s Day) to improve your organic performance, and consider sponsoring search results or category pages so shoppers can easily find your products.
3. Maximize conversion through optimized product content
To give your brand the best chance of maximizing conversion on Amazon, it’s essential that your product images are high resolution, front facing and with a white background.
Make use of bullet points to call out key product features, and use A+ (enhanced) content, such as video and rich media, to create engaging content that builds trust and confidence with your shopper.
4. Increase sales through ratings and reviews
Another very important area for driving conversion is through product ratings and reviews.
Research from Bazaarvoice reveals a direct link between the number of online reviews for a product and its sales - and the confectionery category is no exception.
We analyzed the best-selling chocolate brands on Amazon US, Amazon UK and Amazon DE, and the top 10 best-selling brands across all markets are shown to have a significantly higher number of product reviews than the top 100 best sellers in total.
Andrew Pearl joined e-commerce strategy consultant Profitero last year, following roles at food and drink companies such as Mars, Tata Global Beverages and McCormick. Profitero provides e-commerce analytics to CPG companies such as General Mills as well as retailers such as Waitrose.
5. Master the basics: Always be available
Ensuring your product is in stock is probably the most vital area.
You’ve done the hard work of creating best quality images, optimizing your titles for discoverability, and investing in keyword sponsorship – but if your products simply aren’t available, you’re never going to win online.
The best way to do this is through daily monitoring of your stock levels via Vendor Central, or by using automated tools like Profitero.