The food & beverage (FAB) e-commerce market has exploded in total value over the past few years, rapidly growing after the COVID pandemic. Some of the top e-commerce food trends that have evolved from this surge demonstrate the industry’s changing nature. Over the past 18 months, we’ve seen this field focus more on sustainability, change billing models, and integrate new technology.
The 2023 trends are distinct from even those forged only one year ago, demonstrating the frenetic speed with which FAB develops. At present, the e-commerce food industry is worth over $57 billion USD, with a growth rate of 17.6% CAGR foreshadowing spectacular future growth.
In order to stay on top in this ever-changing and competitive industry, e-commerce food platforms need to understand current trends and adapt their business models to succeed. To put you on the right track, here are some of the top e-commerce food trends of 2023:
- An Increased Commitment to Sustainability
- Alternative Billing Systems
- Amplified Payment Options
- Movement Toward Automation
An Increased Commitment to Sustainability
Sustainability has been the word on the world’s lips for the past few years – and for a good reason. We’re currently at a turning point in terms of climate change, with our current decisions having a direct impact on future generations. The vast majority of consumers are aware of their responsibility in the fight against climate change.
In 2022, 55% of consumers were more likely to purchase packaged food if it displays information about sustainability on the package. In 2023, this figure is even higher, with the World Economic Forum reporting that 65% of consumer now want to see sustainable choices from brands.
When shopping with e-commerce food brands, customers want to know that the items they’re purchasing align with sustainable goals. For example, 63% of consumers want products to be sustainability sourced, and 39% want to see reduced packaging.
E-commerce food brands should focus on improving their own sustainable practices. If they can show the world that they’re making more conscious decisions, they will be able to win over more customers and improve the likelihood of acquiring a new user to their platform.
Alternative Billing Systems
In the world of e-commerce food, there has been a huge shift toward subscription services and food box deliveries. For many users, the ability to sign up for a service that automatically delivers their groceries or meal-prep to their food helps to save time and reduce stress. The e-commerce subscription market has a staggeringly high CAGR of 71.45% until 2025.
By 2025, this industry will reach a total of nearly $500 billion. The e-commerce food space is certainly not shy to this trend, with more shoppers than ever before seeking subscription box services. Typically, these subscriptions feed well into loyalty services.
For example, Wave Grocery offers extensive loyalty schemes for customers. Wave Grocery is able to integrate customized loyalty services and schemes into its partners’ e-grocery applications. Alongside the subscription service business model, the ability for customers to earn digital loyalty cards and discount coupons will help to radically decrease customer churn.
As this e-commerce food trend continues to solidify itself across the sector, we’re likely going to see a major rise in loyalty schemes, partnerships, and other micro-trends that sustain this macro-movement.
Amplified Payment Options
As shoppers are using e-commerce food stores now more than ever, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of supported payment options. Whereas credit cards and PayPal were once the two leading payment options, they are now increasingly less frequently utilized.
According to recent Statista data, digital wallets are now the leading payment form with e-commerce transactions. Considering that 90% of e-commerce food shoppers buy from their phone, it’s hardly surprising that the easily accessible Apple or Google Pay wallet have risen to the top.
Wave Grocery’s native mobile applications have allowed many grocery businesses to create comprehensive mobile apps for their consumers. By facilitating a new way of shopping, one that is fully on-demand and can be done from the comfort of your home, services like these are further accelerating the shop-from-mobile approach.
With these streamlined options, it has become easier than ever for e-commerce food brands to incorporate loyalty schemes directly into their grocery store applications. Over time, this can convert into a powerful force for retaining customers.
Movement Toward Automation
Another major e-commerce food trend that has occurred over the past year has been the introduction and widespread usage of AI tools. We’ve seen almost every industry under the sun have an AI disruption, with around 40% of fields noticing an immediate impact of AI. The e-commerce food sector is no different here, with companies like Wave Grocery integrating AI and machine learning tools into their platforms.
Wave Grocery allows its partners to rapidly create streamlined web & mobile applications for their supermarkets. Within these applications, partners can use AI to offer personalized product recommendations for their customers. Personalization within e-commerce is a winning marketing strategy, helping sellers to increase total sales, boost average cart value, and augment customer satisfaction.
As the food industry shifts further into the digital world, e-commerce food sales are skyrocketing. A whole range of e-commerce food trends has evolved out of this shift, with the field entering a new age of technical advancement, customer satisfaction, and modern practices.
The four trends we explored in this article are some of the most impactful trends we’ve seen over this past year. From the shifting consumer priority toward sustainability to the industry-altering introduction of AI tools, these e-commerce food trends will likely impact the industry for years to come.
By staying in line with current trends, food and grocery companies will be better prepared to please their customers and stay competitive in this expanding industry.