The UK’s grocery retail sector wastes an estimated minimum of £30.4 million on failed product launches per year, according to new research.
The study by eCommerce analytics platform E Fundamentals showed that over £2.1m of that money is wasted through online grocery platforms alone, with basic errors in product listings the main cause.
According to analysis of new launches so far this year, inaccurate information and listings of new products online mean retailers are failing to reach shoppers when browsing, severely limiting the potential for new products to reach online browsers.
The research found that 63 per cent of the products analysed had errors in their listings with the major online retailers. This included missing product ingredients and shortened product names, making them much harder for shoppers to find.
In addition, 71 per cent of the new products fell outside of the top 100 search results on key product search terms or did not feature in the search results at all.
Two of the 59 products analysed weren’t listed on any online retailers. This means that online shoppers could be unable to easily find three quarters of newly launched products through retailer websites – dramatically limiting their sales potential.
John Maltman, founder of E Fundamentals, said: “When new grocery products launch, awareness of their availability is everything.
“For there to not only be errors in the listings of almost every new product we investigated, and for them to be not turning up in grocery retailers’ search terms when shoppers browse is completely undermining their potential to sell.
“Simply put, online shoppers just can’t find them to purchase.”
Maltman added: “Online grocery retail may still be relatively new to shoppers, but it is tremendously influential and growing. For a small but growing number of people, online is swiftly becoming the only way they get their weekly shop.
“If brands fail to get the fundamentals of their online listings right with retailers, the millions they invest in new product development and launch is simply money down the drain.”
Products were tracked across the Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Tesco, Amazon Fresh, Morrisons and Waitrose online shopping sites.