Global online FMCG sales grow by 13% –Kantar Worldpanel


(Source Kantar Worldpanel | November 22, 2018)

Online sales of groceries grew by 13% globally in 12 months until June, 2018, nowacquiring a share of 6.3% of all fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sales, based on Kantar Worldpanel report.

This compares with a 1.6% increase in total FMCG (online and offline) sales though it is the slowest e-commerce growth in five years.

The biggest contributors to FMCG e-commerce growth are China Mainland and the US, which both grew at 30% – in line with the average growth rate for global online FMCG sales over the past half decade. In terms of online share of total sales, Asian economies lead the way. South Korea leads with an online value market share of 19.9% followed by China Mainland (9.5%), where access to rural areas is crucial in expanding e-commerce penetration. It is followed by Taiwan (8.0%), Japan (7.6%), the UK (7.2%) and France (5.6%).

Pure players beat traditional competitors to drive online growth

Online pure players like Amazon, Alibaba and are attracting new shoppers while traditional retailers are seeing a decline in online customers. In Asia, pure players have made significant steps in consolidating their market growth over the past year – in South Korea alone, pure players now account for 84.5% of the online FMCG market and are attracting three out of four online grocery shoppers.

Online purchase behaviour

Almost nine out of 10 Chinese shoppers prefer using their smartphone to make FMCG purchases online. This is in contrast to only 29% of British shoppers – almost half of consumers in the UK use a laptop, similar to French and Spanish trends.

Online grocery home delivery has been adopted by almost all British and Chinese online shoppers but there is growth in France and Spain. Meanwhile, British consumers are increasingly moving to a new fulfilment model – subscriptions, which are used by 16.1% of the country’s online shoppers – representing an opportunity for the rest of Europe and in China Mainland.


“Only a quarter of the world’s population currently shops for their groceries online, so it will be vital to attract new shoppers by providing a frictionless, convenient and pleasant shopping experience both online and off,” says Stéphane Roger, global shopper and retail director at Kantar Worldpanel.

“We predict that by 2025 online will represent over 10% of global FMCG sales. While China Mainland and the US will continue to lead the way and Asian markets will stay at the cutting edge of online adoption, there is still much to play for worldwide – especially by exploring opportunities to invest in emerging markets like India, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico and Africa.”


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