Prioritizing Objectives in an Innovation-Fueled eCommerce Market

What’s next when it comes to foodservice operator buyer expectations?

That’s a useful question, with lots of answers. When we narrow the scope to the world of eCommerce, companies should consider several factors when creating a strategic framework for the future.

Food for thought: action items for the immediate future.

#1. Prepare for a continuous process of mapping the opportunities and challenges that come along with emerging technologies. Adding complication to this is the fact that the pace of innovation is accelerating. Since 2015, eCommerce sourcing by operators grew 16.7% annually and is expected to grow nearly twice as fast over the next three years.

#2. Strive to maintain customer intimacy while offering more efficient transactions to achieve modern commerce success. Accessibility across multiple digital platforms is critical when serving today’s foodservice operators. After all, more B2B food businesses operate within the context of the emerging omnichannel marketplace. Additionally, artificial intelligence and machine learning have introduced new opportunities for salespeople to cross-sell and upsell customers using data-powered, personalized recommendations based on past purchases and other criteria. Leading manufacturers will ensure technology doesn’t add unnecessary complexity and enhances relationships.

#3. Remove friction from the buying process to strengthen the foundation of your eCommerce strategy. This objective, however, is somewhat of a moving target because the amount of information available to customers is on the rise. Additionally, this information lives in databases, unstructured content and video/dynamic content repositories. Because machine learning remains at the vanguard of sales-oriented platforms, integrating science-based recommendations for buyers (based on past purchases and purchases of similar customers) can add significant value, when deployed properly. According to research conducted by McKinsey & Co., the growth rate for investments in machine learning and artificial intelligence is one of the fastest growing technologies in development today.

Want to discover additional strategies related to changing buyer expectations? Download Navigating Operator Buyer Expectations.

About the Author

Guest Contributor, Erik Thoresen, Principal, Technomic

Working closely with clients as a strategic advisor, Erik draws from a broad range of research and consulting experience in market analysis, product development, technology and forecast modeling throughout the food and hospitality industries. Since 2002, Erik has managed proprietary studies and consulting projects for leading food and beverage companies as well as developed new global information products and services.

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