KANSAS CITY — The playbook for e-commerce is changing. Recent reports indicate e-commerce transactions declined slightly a year ago while in-store sales jumped in the low double digits. While shifting their purchase patterns, consumers also are spending more of their discretionary dollars on travel and other experiences. However, so many e-opportunities remain.

“Bakeries and snack makers no longer have a choice in engaging with e-commerce,” noted Lucas Cuni-Mertz, associate editor, Baking & Snack, in his online trends report in May. “The pandemic dramatically shifted consumer shopping habits, and soon more than a third of all groceries will be purchased online. This growth means brands can no longer think of e-commerce as its own separate category. It should play a part in every decision they make.”

While brands look to establish themselves both online and in-store to drive sales growth, social media could be just as important. Mr. Cuni-Mertz noted most Americans use some form of social media, especially younger generations who will soon make up the bulk of shoppers. Simply putting a company’s product online isn’t enough, and food brands need to take to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok to capture the attention of consumers.

“We need to drop the letter ‘E’ from e-commerce,” said Stephen Chriss, vice president of digital commerce and omni shopper marketing, Campbell Snacks. “E-commerce and commerce are becoming synonymous. Thinking of them as the same thing and part of one strategy is a start in the right direction.”

Yes, e-commerce is shifting, but for e-savvy food companies, it remains a crucial avenue for driving growth.