COVID-19 Has Changed Buying Behavior for Retail

COVID-19 Has Changed Buying Behavior for Retail

Denis Storey
March 22, 2021

On-Demand Webinar: “Networked Specification Management”

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On-Demand Webinar: “Networked Specification Management”

Join TraceGains for an on-demand webinar to learn how networked Specification Management allows teams to create, publish, and update raw material and finished goods specifications in a single networked platform.

Watch Now

More than a year after the start of the pandemic, the timetable for an end to the outbreak remains unclear. Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers in the food and beverage business continue to pursue long-term strategies that consider the economic environment, supply chain management strategies, and consumer buying patterns.

The pandemic drove isolated consumers to online shopping, generating an additional $105 billion in U.S. online revenue in 2020 and accelerating the growth of ecommerce by at least two years, according to Digital Commerce 360.

Over the last decade, U.S. online sales enjoyed 13% to 18% in sales growth annually. In 2020, ecommerce sales jumped more than 32%, based on the latest U.S. Commerce Department data. 

A 2020 Nielsen article, “COVID-19: Tracking The Impact On FMCG, Retail, and Media,” identifies long-term consumer behavioral shifts resulting from COVID-19 and outlines how food businesses can adapt. 

  1. Emphasize Quality and Efficacy: Manufacturers, retailers, and other related industry players need to communicate why consumers should trust their products and supply chains.

  2. Deliver Supply Chain Transparency: Shoppers want complete transparency and details on safety measures taken along the way. Promoting a product’s local origins could help manufacturers and retailers reduce some consumer concerns. 

  3. Leverage Technology: Companies that can leverage technology — by enabling seamless interactions through direct-to-consumer offerings — have the opportunity to earn consumer loyalty well after consumer concerns subside.

In the wake of the pandemic, the likelihood of discord between consumer goods companies and retailers is rising. While government officials have reported no food supply shortage in the United States, much of how the supply chain has traditionally operated has changed.  

Many face-to-face negotiations have shifted to video and voice calls, making them more transactional. And the traditional retail supply chain, which typically consists of wholesalers, distribution centers, and retail stores, is offset by more online shopping, curbside drop-offs, and home deliveries.

The outlook for domestic production of agricultural commodities, including cereals, meat, and dairy, remains robust. USDA’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand (WASDE) report shows most commodities on the rise. Even red meat and poultry continue to recover in 2021. 

How Can Private Label Brand Owners Take Control?

The demand for food products isn’t slowing down as consumers see the light at the end of the tunnel. And many private label brands are reacting quickly to meet rapidly changing consumer preferences.

When it comes to developing new products or making updates to existing products, we hear from many store-brand owners that creating and managing specifications is labor-intensive and slow. Companies struggle with effective collaboration across departments, and when it comes to suppliers, the slow-motion collaboration gets worse.

With TraceGains, companies find that, on average, 80% of their suppliers are already on TraceGains Network when they log on for the first time. With our Specification Management solution, companies can connect to their suppliers, items, and ingredients on TraceGains Network and gain instant access to all that data to speed up the specifications process. They no longer have to track down suppliers and ask for information and documents because they already have what they need. And if a supplier is unable to meet requirements, it’s easy to find a suitable alternative.

Check out our on-demand webinar to learn how networked Specification Management allows teams to create, publish, and update raw material and finished goods specifications in a single networked platform. Register here.