Amazon’s plan to buy Whole Foods foreshadows a period where e-commerce will begin to transform shopping for consumables—exposing them to an impact that is now rapidly advancing in discretionary goods categories from apparel to electronics.
The e-commerce impact on the grocery, health and beauty categories will become evident in various ways. Among the most difficult to quantify will be the impact compared with other goods categories in the broader retail landscape.
This big-picture e-commerce impact is captured in a recently released MacroSavvy™ report, which finds:
- Double the growth. E-commerce sales of consumable goods—grocery, health and beauty categories—will grow more than twice as fast as e-commerce sales of discretionary goods categories over the next five years.
- Tripling share. The e-commerce penetration of consumable categories—i.e., e-commerce market share of consumables—will triple over the next five years. At the same time, consumables will continue to lag the e-commerce market share of discretionary categories (as consumables grow from a small base).
- In-store consumables growth toll of 1 PPT. The toll on in-store growth for consumable goods will become much more noticeable over the next five years. In-store growth for consumables categories will be more than a percentage point weaker than total growth of consumables categories (i.e., online + in store) over the next five years.
- In-store discretionary growth toll of 2.5 PPTs. The impact on in-store growth will remain much worse for discretionary categories than consumables, given the more advanced ecommerce penetration of discretionary categories. In-store growth for discretionary goods categories will be 2.5 percentage points weaker than total growth of discretionary goods categories (i.e., online + in store) over the next five years.
- Advancing impact from apparel to toys. The e-commerce impact in discretionary goods also is notable in how it is advancing most rapidly in certain discretionary categories such as toys, sporting goods, apparel/footwear, furniture/home furnishings, hardware and other miscellaneous goods.
- More brick & mortar shakeout. The e-commerce toll on in-store growth will mean further and growing pressure to close stores and consolidate over the next five years. The pressure and shakeout, however, will differ by category and retail channel over time.