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How is FMCG managing the eye-level shelf line with the move to online grocery shopping

Arletta Turnbull

Arletta Turnbull

Arletta is the Group Account Director for Retail at The Evolved Group. Arletta’s passions are retail, customer experience and driving change within businesses.

In recent months, the share of FMCG purchases being made online has increased drastically. While this can partially be attributed to COVID-19, online grocery shopping sales had seen growth prior to the pandemic. Australia saw a 34% year over year increase in online grocery shopping in the last quarter of 2019.

With improvements to the ease of ordering and delivery of FMCG products, more people are ordering household goods online – and both retailers and brands need to improve the consumer experience to maximise their share of wallet.

The experience of shopping for FMCG products in a bricks and mortar store compared to online is very different. When shopping in store, there are numerous strategies in place to better promote and feature certain products. Placing your brand at eye-level is one such classic tactic. Positioning products in upper shelf zones influence shoppers’ product evaluation and tend to sell better. However, when consumers are shopping online, these strategies (such as the eye-level shelf) no longer exist. What replaces this is the placement of your products within the search function and category page.

So, what can be done to ensure your brand’s products stand out among the endless “aisles” of online products?

  • Gather feedback from customers on their experience with your products online.
    • As we’ve seen in our Evolved Communities for our retail clients, shoppers have different preferences when it comes to why they select different brands in an online environment.
      Asking a question and listening to their specific needs can impact your bottom line.
  • Ensure product images and information are enticing and up-to-date
    • Doing virtual shelf tests and heat mapping in a test environment with engaged shoppers helps to pinpoint your placement to ensure.
  • Work closely with online retailers to execute promotions
    • in times of financial crisis, pricing and promotions are even more important to consumers. Utilising discrete choice tests on a virtual visible store shelf of brands and products will uncover consumer shopping patterns at the purchase level of your funnel.

In order to compete with other FMCG products, brands and retailers alike need to engage with their consumers in virtual environments to ensure that they are improving the shopping experience and satisfying consumer needs.

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