E-commerce isn’t projected to completely replace brick-and-mortar retail anytime soon. Instead, it’s becoming an omnichannel where online experiences mimic what consumers experience in physical stores and vice versa, said Nico Roesler, managing editor, in the April issue of Baking & Snack magazine.
As retailers offer more experiences inside their stores, they should explore consumers’ changing shopping habits and adapt to them. Darren Seifer, food and beverage industry analyst with NPD Group, told Mr. Roesler that consumers today are shopping less often with long lists of basics and more frequently with short-term meal ideas, and food manufacturers must find ways to make it easy to complete those meals. For example, bread is almost never eaten alone but paired with other food categories at breakfast, lunch or dinner. As a result, cross-merchandising and partnering with other meat, produce and other products are ways to expand the consumption of baked foods in the long run.
A similar marketing strategy should be considered for selling baked foods online, where product placement is controlled by algorithms. Mr. Seifer said algorithms suggest other products to buy with baked foods to online shippers as they peruse a web site. For example, if consumers are buying ham and cheese, the site might suggest a brand of bread to complete the sandwich.
“How you become that bread of choice is very important,” Mr. Seifer said. “It’s harnessing the power of the data to make sure that when you’re detecting some of these bread-adjacent categories being added to the cart, that you become the one that the consumers are picking.”