As a recruiter in the FMCG Sales and Marketing space I hire National Account Managers into all kinds of manufacturers, small and large.
It has been noticeable however that at PIE we have been asked to find candidates with more specific online account knowledge, rather than it being a 'bolt on' to the larger bricks and mortar accounts.
So much to say we've actually registered 3 x as many vacancies relating specifically to e-commerce accounts this year vs the last 12 months.
So are the manufacturers finally waking up to the fact that Amazon, Ocado and the .coms are adding far more value to the shopper? That the online shopper is becoming as important as the one instore - it would definitely appear so.
I read the blog below from Bridgethorne with interest...
Nick Kirby, eCommerce Director at Bridgethorne, says that grocery manufacturers and suppliers will need to look hard at their trade investment and marketing budgets to ensure that they have a balance in spend across all channels and that they are investing substantially enough to engage and attract new shoppers and convert them to purchase where they are conducting their shopping.
“With a rise in the number of grocery shoppers only engaging with brands when conducting an online shop, it is becoming even more important to optimise digital shelf activation and amplify online communication using the right messages at the right point of the online shopper journey,” explains Kirby.
“With shoppers switching between channels – for example, supermarkets to discounters – to complement their online purchasing, it is essential that manufacturers have winning channel strategies in place that are both effective in their own right, as well as allowing for a seamless omni-channel shopping experience.”
As an early adopter to the online grocery shopping community, I can safely say that things have changed over the years, but nowhere near as quickly as the offerings in-store to the shopper.
As a consumer, the online experience (in my opinion) is still a bit shabby, but it does appear that manufacturers are starting to hire more experts to work harder for their online customers.
Category and shopper management specialist Bridgethorne says that manufacturers need to upskill their sales, category and marketing teams to ensure they are well equipped to capitalise on this developing online opportunity. The comments come following the publication of a report from Mintel, which suggested that the proportion of households doing all of their grocery shopping online has doubled since 2014. The report said the number of us shopping purely online has risen from 7% to 14%, with 48% doing at least some grocery shopping online, up from 43%.