According to Kantar Worldpanel, ecommerce will account for USD53 billion of global FMCG sales by 2016 - an increase of USD 17 billion (47%) on the current USD 36 billion. 
The report, which is based on an analysis of the purchasing habits of 100,000 shoppers in ten of the biggest online consumer packaged goods markets, forecasts that ecommerce will account for 5.2% of global FMCG sales by 2016 - up from 3.7% at present.
Asia leads the way
The report predicts that Asia will be the next major growth market. South Korea will continue its lead position with online accounting for 13.8% of FMCG sales by 2016.
“Today, 55% of Korean shoppers buy online, an exceptionally high figure that is not matched by any other country in the world. Online FMCG market share will continue to grow rapidly in Taiwan and China to achieve 4.5% and 3.3% share of the total FMCG market respectively,” Kantar explains.
Strong growth en France
At present, the UK is the trailblazer of the European online FMCG market. British online shoppers buy on the internet once a month and their carts are five times bigger than offline (in most countries online shopping carts are twice as large as their offline equivalents). However, the impressive growth of the click and collect offer in France, referred to as “Drive”, will see France overtake the UK by 2016 with 6.1% vs. 5.5% of market share respectively.
Strategic opportunity for brands
These forecasts present a prime opportunity for retailers and brands. Current online shoppers, typically middle and upper class, tend to favour branded products over own-label making it an ideal platform for brands. In France, 55% of online consumers re-use the same list for each trip making its essential for brands to secure a place on shopping lists if they are to benefit from this forecasted growth.
“Although online only makes up a small share of FMCG sales at the moment, all countries are witnessing considerable growth. The future belongs to retailers and brands that see the bigger picture and leverage the opportunities provided to broaden their target markets. Being a slow adopter has the potential to significantly damage sales and erode market share,” highlights Stéphane Roger, Global Shopper and Retail Director at Kantar Worldpanel.
In order to win market share in very different local retail environments, retailers and brands are deploying various strategies to impulse purchases, to make online retail more fun and the latest techniques in convenience shopping.