How to seize the e-commerce opportunity? Netcomm and TUTTOFOOD explain

Fiera Milano, Rho


How to seize the e-commerce opportunity? Netcomm and TUTTOFOOD explain

From hybrid retailers to their own e-commerce site, the strategy for online success must focus on quality and service, with a mix of own site and use of marketplaces according to the chosen segment.

The fifth edition of Focus Netcomm dedicated to developments, trends and innovations in Digital Food & Grocery, organized by Netcomm in collaboration with TUTTOFOOD, was held in Milan on October 27. New buying behaviors, scenarios and strategies, opportunities for SMEs and reorganization of supply chains, as well as, of course, technologies and services to support digital transformation, were among the central themes of the event.


Success stories and testimonials from the corporate world, along with news and expert presentations, helped outline an ideal roadmap for companies – including small businesses so prevalent in agribusiness-that intend to seize the growing business opportunity represented by digital commerce in Italy and abroad. Starting with the hybridization of digital and physical. Research by Waze presented at the event revealed that alongside digital, more than 73% of Italians continue to buy basic necessities in-store, but they often do so by resorting to digital: using mobile apps to find the store of interest. 56% generically view a supermarket, while 44% search for a specific brand name. But, when it comes to actual navigation, as many as 81% prefer a brand name. Navigations to Retail destinations increased by 25% in 2022 compared to 2021, and 42 navigations to a retail outlet are made every minute in Italy.



Retailers change and manufacturers respond


Traditional retailers are transforming into hybrids by combining technologies such as cloud, big data, and digital pathways that make the customer experience more seamless, to unleash omnichannel potential. The goal is to offer each client a shopping experience that is as personalized as possible, e.g., through thematic areas-seasonal and non-seasonal, client-focused initiatives including sustainable packaging (e.g., zero-waste packaging), and payment facilitation in multiple formats from digital payments to vouchers to gift cards. Digital transformation is also allowing promotions to become increasingly targeted as forms of "subscription" are emerging along the lines of online platforms, which allow people to take advantage of a range of services at lower prices, starting with home deliveries.


How can manufacturers take advantage of this constantly changing framework? It is first necessary to start with the customer's need. According to Netcomm's Digital Food and FMCG Observatory in collaboration with Nielsen IQ, the main reasons why a consumer buys food products online are convenience and speed (43.4%), assortment (43.2%), relationship with the brand and merchant (39.5%) , and only followed by price (38.6%). Online, therefore, quality and service are more important than convenience. It is also necessary to consider which segment of digital agribusiness commerce to focus on, taking into account the partial overlaps: grocery, which is worth 40% of the market (1.4 billion euros), delivery, accounting for 39% (almost another 1.4 billion), and food and wine with 21% (750 million). Data based on responses from operators who have already landed online finally tell us that the winning strategy is a mix of own e-commerce and use of marketplaces. While in fact the latter stands out in overall sales results (49% vs. 44% of responses) and is basically on par with in traffic and visit generation (48% and 49% respectively), e-commerce proper stands out in product visibility (55% vs. 46%) and sales management and growth (51% vs. 48%).


These and other digital commerce opportunities for food companies will be explored in depth at TUTTOFOOD, at fieramilano from May 8 to 11, 2023, in events organized in collaboration with Netcomm as part of the rich schedule of events.