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Digital Food and Beverage Conference 2022 Wrap-Up

Driving Results From Digital Commerce: The Digital Food & Beverage Conference 2022 Wrapped Up

The Digital Food & Beverage conference wrapped up in March 2022. Read on how to drive results from digital commerce.

The Digital Food & Beverage conference took place in March and for the first time in a while, it was a chance for e-commerce and Digital leaders from some of Europe’s biggest F&B brands to reconnect face-to-face, share their learnings and discuss the state of the industry.

Salesforce’s own Consumer Goods Director and Industry Advisor Mariam Chahin and David Harker, Senior Sales Director, hosted a lunchtime masterclass to discuss how to ‘Drive Solid Results From The Small & Complicated Channel That Is Digital Commerce.’ They covered the top tips to grow digital revenue and transform relationships with consumers through insights, technology and new routes to market.

Read on to find out more from the day, and see how you could get a piece of the pie – after all, $55m of groceries are sold every hour through e-commerce globally – can you afford to be left behind?

Digital Commerce is about so much more than just a sales channel. It’s the way we transform our relationships with consumers. The trick is to have a bias for action over frameworks. It’s all in the tactics, the space is growing and changing too fast to believe there is only one way. Do. Learn. Experience. Share – teaming this with an unhindered focus on consumer-centricity is the way to drive solid results.’ Mariam Chahin, Consumers Goods Director and Industry Advisor

2022 European Grocery Shopping Consumer Report

The Story of Grocery Shopping is direct from today’s consumers across the UK and Europe.

The Story of Grocery Shopping direct from today's consumers across Europe

1. Commit to Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) for the right reasons

Digital commerce is an opportunity to transform your relationships with consumers through insights into new behaviours. Much more than just the sell, it’s the gateway to brand love and building a loyal consumer base. This really matters; a loyal customer will spend 67% more than a new customer – and a more emotionally connected consumer is 2x more valuable to a business than a new shopper.

Going DTC is primarily a data play. If it’s price & convenience, Amazon can nearly always do it better. If it’s to make a profit? The physical store often wins. So why do it? Well, let’s take a leaf out of KIND’s book. They were already the No.1 selling snack bar on Amazon and available in more than 300,000 stores globally. Spinning up a new DTC channel allowed them to build meaningful relationships with their loyal customers – and offer a differentiated brand experience through their ‘Build Your Own Box’ subscription service.

The result? KIND now has access to rich audience insights to learn more about shopper behaviour, like what products are being purchased together frequently or what types of content increased page views. Looking at DTC beyond a sales channel can help improve its chances for success. Whilst profit is always the end goal – First Party Data collection and insight are just as important to shape your business strategy and accelerate growth.

2. Get personal, beyond First Party Data (1PD)

So we’ve explored a few of the benefits of collecting 1PD to drive loyalty and improve customer experience – but actually, it’s just as important to look beyond the walls of our own consumer data to really dive into buying trends.

Google is now the map of customer intent. Facebook, the map of connection. Instagram, the map of inspiration, The weather? The instigator of behaviour – we all know what happens to beverage consumption as the temperature rises. But did you know that restaurant footfall increases by 62% with the 5-degree increase between 15 & 20 Celsius? Or that there’s a 54% increase in pizza deliveries when a new show drops on Netflix?

It’s no wonder Retail and Consumer Goods’ Executives plan to hire 33% more data analysts by the end of 2023. Like the old adage goes – the best predictor of future behaviour is a look back at the past. Our top takeaway? If institutional knowledge and gut feeling guide your decisions, you’re missing a trick. 58% of companies that make decisions based on data are more likely to beat revenue targets than those that don’t.

3. It takes two

Ant and Dec… Gin & Tonic… Bangers & Mash. Why do the best things in life come in twos? It’s time for Food & Beverage retailers to partner up – but with the need to think about the consumers and occasion first, not the products. For instance, 40% of drinks are consumed with meals but only 1 in 8 food orders online include a drink. There is a clear gap in the market to align these trends to drive sales.

With the right partnerships in place, food and beverage retailers can open new Routes to Market to bring the right products, to the right point of sale at the right time. Time to get in touch with the likes of Deliveroo, and Uber Eats, as well as the growing swell of on-demand grocery and convenience players such as Getir and Gorillas to ensure your brand is available wherever your shopper chooses to be.

4. Don’t you, forget about me B2B customers

50% of B2B sales have gone digital, driving businesses to reimagine how they build trusted relationships and replace in-person experiences with online ones. But it’s not enough to just launch or manage an online warehouse. B2B buyers, conditioned by the personalised and frictionless experiences they get when shopping with B2C brands expect this from B2B sellers too – and 88% of business buyers will turn to a competitor if the supplier’s digital channel can’t keep up with their needs.

So what can Food & Beverage suppliers do, to bring a little of the B2C magic into the B2B world? Here are some top tips to think about to improve the customer shopping experience:

  • Over 65% of orders were placed from a mobile in Q4 2021. Is your site optimised to serve customers who visit your site on a smartphone, so they don’t exit in frustration before checkout?
  • If you know what your customers order time and time again, are you using AI to serve them the best recommended next product or items they might also like?
  • Are your digital channels open for 24-hour ordering – so your customers can click, swipe and place an order after stock-taking, whenever it suits them, post-midnight?

5. Let’s get phygital

Despite an online presence being crucial to success, many consumers still prefer to shop in brick-and-mortar stores for their groceries – in fact, for 25% of UK consumers, this is their preference.

Brands like Hotel Chocolat are recognising the importance of both physical and online stores to their strategy, and striving to make both work together seamlessly. Their website enables visitors to seamlessly explore the entire Hotel Chocolat brand, for example, they can search for nearby locations, schedule click-and-collect slots, and make restaurant reservations through an integration with OpenTable.

60% of offline purchases are impacted by an online experience and vice versa. Consumers are omni-channel, so you don’t have to win online alone. Codify what works for you in-store and bring it to the digital experience, it goes both ways.

What’s Next?

With so much to think about in the digital revolution, it can be hard to know where to start. Ultimately though, the grass is greener where you water it. These tips are a great starting point, and can act as a checklist to move the needle within your business – but here are a few final thoughts to help you plan your journey to digital commerce:

  • Define your success criteria: This should include both short-term wins and a longer-term strategy to keep up with the competition.
  • Ask your partners to share: How are they leveraging digital routes to market and what can you learn from them?
  • Don’t ignore the importance of First Party Data: Whilst this may not bring the speediest sales growth, it’s crucial to build consumer insight & relationships that can inform your broader strategy and reward your loyal consumers

Want to learn more about the challenges and opportunities facing food & beverage retailers in the grocery market? Read our latest report here.

2022 European Grocery Shopping Consumer Report

The Story of Grocery Shopping is direct from today’s consumers across the UK and Europe.

The Story of Grocery Shopping direct from today's consumers across Europe
Grace Meldrum

Grace Meldrum is a Product and Solutions Marketing Manager, supporting the Salesforce business and their customers across UK & Ireland. Her passion and focus is to help brands create more meaningful customer experiences with digital-first solutions that span the entire lifecycle - ultimately leading to increased loyalty and revenue. Before joining Salesforce, Grace worked client-side for over 12 years in retention-based marketing roles across the Retail, Travel and Automotive sectors.

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