When most people think aboutinternet marketingand ecommerce, they rarely think about foods and beverages. For a long time, the web was too underdeveloped and delivery times were too slow for ecommerce to be a viable solution for people shopping for groceries, drinks, or ordering from restaurants other than pizzerias. The rise of smartphones and tablets, improvements in mobile internet connectivity, and better delivery options have made the internet a more inviting place for food and beverage sales at the consumer level. Restaurant and grocery store owners who may have undervalued internet marketing in the past should give it another look. Here are 10 stats that show the internet marketing is necessary for the sellers of food and drinks.

  1. A lot of money is already spent on online grocery sales and it’s expected to increase.According to a recent report from L2, US online grocery sales should reach $10 billion annually by 2018, up from $6.5 billion last year.

  2. A Nielsen report stated 30 percent of online consumers worldwide plan to purchase groceries online in the next six months. So retailers should make sure their site is up to the challenge.

  3. The growth in online grocery sales is fueled by young consumers. Sullivan, Higdon & Sink released a study that found Americans under the age of 45 were twice as likelsocial-media-word-cloudy to buy groceries online than those older than 45.

  4. Grocery stores can use online ordering to help serve the needs of an aging customer base. Nielsen found that 11 percent of North American seniors order groceries online for curbside pickup.

  1. Online grocery sales is one area where Europe is ahead of America in technology, which makes it a good place to look for future trends in the US. According to eMarketer, 57 percent of online UK adults have purchased groceries online. US food sellers should expect growing participation rates from online American adults.

  2. The emarketer study also showed that online food sales aren’t restricted to brand owned sites. It may seem strange, but 45 percent of Germans have bought food on Amazon and 25.5 percent have used eBay. In many cases, these people were looking for specialty or hard-to-find items.

  3. Some and drink retailers have been able to increase the reach of their ads by targeting consumers searching for their favorite brand. The L2 study mentioned earlier found that paid ads appear on 80 percent of Google beverage brand searches, but brands only control 17 percent of the paid results.

  4. Also from the L2 study, grocery stores that are using internet marketing should know that 70 percent of US mobile consumers prefer tablets to smartphones for grocery shopping.

There are also ways that restaurants can use internet marketing, ecommerce, and mobile technology to improve their business.

  1. Nielsen found that 49 percent of Americans who use mobile payments have done so at restaurants.

  2. Online ordering allows sit-down restaurants a way to offer speed that rivals fast food establishments. The Sullivan, Higdon & Sink paper cited before noted that 26 percent of Americans ordered food from restaurants online in the past year.

These stats show that there are a lot of reasons for food and drink retailers to take advantage of internet marketing. The growth in internet technology has changed the way a lot of people shop for groceries or order food from their favorite restaurants. Businesses that don’t adapt to these changes will have a difficult time growing and attracting new customers.

For more ideas on how internet marketing can be used for grocery stores, read this article aboutdigital coupons and local commerce.