Blog Posts Food & Beverage Ecommerce: Are You Ready to Take On the Trend?


Key Takeaways

  • Exponential record growth is expected for food and beverage ecommerce this year.
  • Online sales channels require more sophisticated order fulfillment operations.
  • Implementing five smart strategies can help to optimize your ecommerce fulfillment capabilities.

Online CPG food and beverage sales reached $66 billion in 2020 and could top $100 billion in 2021, according to NielsenIQ estimates. The coronavirus pandemic drove record acceleration in the ecommerce space, and the market shows no sign of slowing down.

To capitalize on this growth potential, retailers and food and beverage companies are rushing to add or expand online sales channels. As they do so, however, many are finding that their operations are unprepared to handle common fulfillment challenges – unpredictable demand, increased labor requirements, heightened delivery expectations, lower margins and more.

If these issues sound familiar, Saddle Creek’s Food & Beverage Ecommerce Fulfillment Guide identifies five strategies that can help to shore up your ecommerce fulfillment capabilities.

Following is an excerpt …

5 Fulfillment Strategies for Food & Beverage Ecommerce

  1. Optimize Distribution Network
  2. For effective ecommerce fulfillment, products should be positioned as close to the consumer as possible. Strategically located distribution centers can help to minimize transit time and cost. Utilizing two or more centrally located DCs can help to meet consumers delivery expectations – often using two-day ground service.

    Some grocery retailers handle order fulfillment from stores; however, many are opting for micro-fulfillment centers or dark distribution centers in order to avoid causing congestion and diminishing the customer experience in physical stores.

Online CPG food and beverage sales reached $66 billion in 2020 and could top $100 billion in 2021.

Source: NielsenIQ

  1. Maintain a Single View of Inventory
  2. With inventory distributed across multiple locations, it is critical to understand where products are and how they’re moving. This requires a comprehensive view of inventory across all fulfillment locations, including physical stores, warehouses, vendors, in transit and available to promise.

    Since inventory must be readily available and accessible, it is important to identify fast-moving items in order to prevent stock outs and back-ordered items that could cause consumers to abandon their shopping carts. Also, if a product is out of stock in one location, having a single view of inventory helps to determine another potential source from which to fulfill orders.

For three more strategies to help address the fulfillment challenges associated with food and beverage ecommerce, read the ebook.

Related to: COVID-19, Food & Beverage Selling Online