The Food & Grocery sector turns digital. And it's booming!

Fiera Milano, Rho


The Food & Grocery sector turns digital. And it's booming!

The last edition of the Netcomm Forum, a partner of TUTTOFOOD, demonstrated how the segment has registered the most dynamic growth and promises to close the year with 2.5 bn euro turnover.

Over five thousand participants. More than 12,000 accesses to the 5 plenary meetings and 56 workshops, with 140 speakers. And 58 exhibitors. This gives an idea of the popularity of the 2020 edition of the Netcomm Forum, the Italian digital consortium event which brings together all players in the industry, and partner of TUTTOFOOD. The event had a particular flavour this year, not just due to its innovative digital formula, but also because, for the first time, it contrasted two days of very different Made in Italy excellence which nonetheless are very similar in many ways: Fashion and Food.



User manual for an unpredictable year


2020 has brought significant economic ups and downs, and also marks a turning point in the behaviour of customers and the e-commerce and retail channels. In addition to the traditional event in May, players in the Italian e-commerce ecosystem came together again on 7 and 8 October to learn, discuss and redesign their digital strategies and logistics. The two day meeting focussed on two sectors emblematic of this year's changing scenario, with two events dedicated to them: Fashion & Lifestyle and Food & Grocery.


The two days discussed a vast range of themes. Technology - blockchain, AI and innovations in customer relations - was a major focus. But strategic issues like the construction of a customer journey capable of uniting digital channels and brick and mortar stores were also discussed in depth, as well as digital marketing, from advertising strategies, user experience and marketing automation, to video commerce and technological developments in support of brand objectives and client involvement.



Big opportunities for Food & Beverage


“Fashion and Food are very different sectors, but they have much in common," says Roberto Liscia, President of Netcomm. "In the panorama of Italian e-commerce, Fashion has been a big success, with much to teach us about how to market the Made in Italy brand worldwide. Food has so far failed to express its full online potential in Italy, but our figures indicate that the sector experienced a full-blown boom in online sales during the lockdown and the re-opening. They also indicate that many people who first used e-commerce channels during the lockdown will continue to use them in the future.”


The data presented was also highly interesting. According to eCommerce B2c Netcomm Observatory - Milan Polytechnic, Food & Grocery has been the most dynamic segment in e-commerce in recent months, predicted to reach 2.5 bn euro turnover by year's end - a boom of +56%. In general, the emergency has made online shopping a familiar experience for many who did not use it before. Also according to the Observatory, at the end of 2020 the overall increase in digital sales will be over a quarter - + 26% - compared to last year, bringing spending to as much as 22.7 billion.