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Online retail set to capture more of the Scottish food and drink market

Online retail set to capture more of the Scottish food and drink market

The season of the big spend is upon us, and figures show that a growing number of people are parting with their cash online, both at Christmas and beyond. So, with a healthy chunk of food and drink business being done online, is Scotland e-commerce ready?

During the festive season, online shopping plays a key role in the commercial success of many businesses. Customers have become accustomed to the convenience of delivery services and click and collect online options.

Grocery and food sector specialist IGD, has current UK online grocery sales accounting for 7.5% of the total UK grocery market. And this is predicted to grow to 48% by 2022.

Now’s the time for Scottish food and drink companies to concentrate on online as part of their overall business strategies.

Online sales growth figures

According to Nielsen, UK shoppers spent almost £500 million more on groceries in December 2017, compared to 2016. And shoppers spend on average £300 each buying gifts online at Christmas.

An IGD market forecast for UK Grocery sales predicts, for the five-week period between 25 November to 29 December 2018, sales will reach £21.6 billion. And sales online will be up 6.4%, adding a further £1.3 billion to the sector.

Selling directly to customers pays off

Online sales allow shoppers to buy unique, exclusive and personalised products, which they can't so easily do in-store. Customers now expect sophisticated use of technology to make their shopping experience better. So, companies that embrace services such as click and collect, voice assistants, same day or one hour delivery slots, and direct delivery to gift recipients, will be giving the consumer the purchasing flexibility they want.

During the peak season, brands can stand out from the crowd with customised product designs and personalised packaging. By offering something different than the high street retail experience, producers can enhance the value of their food and drink products. This can help companies differentiate themselves from competitors. which has the potential to drive sales and profit.

Having a personalised and direct relationship with the shopper also helps build loyalty and supports repeat purchases. And through this greater connectivity, customers provide a valuable source of data and customer insight, which benefits new product development.

Innovation support for Scottish food and drink companies

There are plenty of opportunities for Scottish producers to flourish online, stand out, and grow their business. If you want to understand more about e-commerce in Scotland get in touch. Our Make Innovation Happen team are on hand to help companies improve processes, people and product.

Make Innovation Happen is a single source of innovation support for businesses involved in the Scottish food and drink supply chain.

Scotland Food & Drink, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands & Islands Enterprise work in partnership across academia, the public sector and the industry to deliver a comprehensive innovation support service.

Make Innovation Happen can help your business by providing:

  • Access to 'connectors', who can offer support, advice and mentoring, as well as direction to appropriate support
  • Ideas and insights on how to innovate through articles and events
  • Funding through the Collaborative Innovation Fund
  • Help to access other innovation services provided by Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, Interface and others

Looking for innovation support?

Our Make Innovation Happen service can help you improve employee, product and process productivity.