TECHNOLOGY

Survey: Online CPG sales track consumer financial health

BY Dan Berthiaume

Consumers’ online CPG purchase habits mirrored the general state of their households during 2018.

According to the Q4 2018 Consumer Connect survey from predictive analytics data provider IRI, consumers at the close of 2018 were buoyed by their strong household financial health and were spending online accordingly. Results find that nearly 55% of consumers report their households were in good financial shape in Q4 2018, up 4% from Q3 2018 and 2% from Q4 2017.

E-commerce sales grew with rising levels of household financial confidence. IRI data reveals e-commerce sales reached $58.9 billion in 2018, up 35.4% from the prior 52-week period. This only accounted for 11% of total CPG retail sales, but e-commerce represented 64% of omnichannel growth in the CPG sector.

Specifically, Q4 Consumer Connect survey respondents say buying online allows them to find lower-priced beauty and personal care product options — 29% of total U.S. consumers, 45% of Millennials, 35% of Gen Xers, 27% of Boomers and 14% of seniors. These results closely mirror those for home care products, with 30% of total consumers, 43% of Millennials, 36% of Gen Xers, 27% of boomers and 19% of seniors saying they find lower-priced options online.

IRI E-Market Insights reports that vitamins, pet food and supplies, and skin care products are the top-selling online CPG items. IRI E-Market Insights also finds that gastrointestinal and adult incontinence products are among the largest e-commerce growth categories. While fresh and frozen items rank among the bottom of e-commerce CPG sales categories, IRI analysis finds signs of significant growth.

Other notable findings include:

• Pure-play retailers garner more than half of all online CPG purchases, but traditional brick-and-mortar retailers continue to invest and win share of online CPG sales.

• About four in 10 (38%) of all consumers like ordering CPG goods online and picking them up in the store, including 49% of Millennials, 48% of Gen Xers, 38% of Boomers and 24% of seniors.

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