E-commerce platforms have become a preferred channel for manufacturers, brands and merchants to launch and test the viability of new products. In addition to offering wider customer outreach, the expansion of services around warehousing, delivery and payments has only made online platforms a more attractive route to market. However, selecting the right e-commerce platform to partner with is critical to the success of an online product launch.
Identifying the e-commerce platforms most active in launching new products
Identifying e-commerce platforms that excel at new product launches enables brands to determine the best potential online partners for their go-to-market strategies. Euromonitor International helps do this by tracking new brand and subbrand launches on e-commerce platforms across 32 countries, scraping details of new products detected across 10 industries covering 50 product categories as they emerge online. This uncovers valuable insights about new product developments (NPDs), where they are taking place, which companies are innovating, and which retailers are most active in launching new products across different categories and markets.
In the chart below, Euromonitor provides a view of the top 10 retail e-commerce platforms in terms of new product launches over the course of 2022. These represented 35% of all launches detected across the tracked categories in 2022, highlighting their importance as strategic partners for brands taking new products to market.
Grocery giant Carrefour was the leading digital platform in terms of new brand launches in 2022, followed by Promofarma and NTUC FairPrice.
Grocery e-commerce retailers represent six of the top 10 players. Singapore-based NTUC FairPrice was the next key grocery e-commerce retailer, after Carrefour, ranking third on the overall list. With a wider footprint, Carrefour saw product launches across 11 of the tracked markets in Passport Innovation. The grocery retailer launched the highest number of new products in the United Arab Emirates, followed by Brazil and France, the latter being top markets for new product launches overall. NTUC FairPrice, while focused on Singapore, launched a high level of new products for soft drinks, which elevated its rank on the list in 2022. Walmart, on the other hand, is focused primarily on the Americas, with the US being its biggest market.
Though Walmart launched almost twice the number of new brands in the US compared to the number that Carrefour launched in the UAE, its new product launch activity remains minimal in other markets in which it operates across the Americas, such as Mexico and Canada
Source: Euromonitor International
The share of new brand launches on these retailers’ digital platforms also offers useful insights into the strengths and successes across categories.
Beauty and personal care accounted for the highest volume of new launches across all tracked industries during 2022, 37% of which were detected first on the digital shelves of these leading players
Source: Euromonitor International
These players also hold significance for the consumer health and hot drinks industries, where they accounted for more new brand launches, with 45% and 42% of overall launches in those two industries, respectively. Thus, positioning products on online platforms that are the best strategic fit can translate into better visibility when launching new products, a greater share of digital shelf and sales conversion for brands.
Using insights from the new product launch mix across e-commerce platforms
While many e-commerce retailers support new product launches across a range of industries and product categories, monitoring activity helps identify certain specialities and inform companies’ decisions when choosing the platform best suited to their products and target market. Carrefour, for example, stands out for its expertise in the packaged food segment, seeing the highest number of new launches in the category, especially in sweet biscuits, ice cream and chocolate confectionery. On the other hand, 45% of new launches detected in Walmart were in the beauty and personal care categories. It is noteworthy that 35% of all new product launches in beauty and personal care detected in the US were first seen on Walmart’s online platform during 2022.
In consumer health categories, new launches are dominated by health and beauty specialist e-commerce retailers, which – combined with their high level of activity in beauty and personal care launches – ensures that Spanish Promofarma and Docti Pharma are among the top 10 tracked e-commerce retailers across the 32 markets covered. Vitamins and dietary supplements is a key category that saw the highest level of product innovation in consumer health during 2022, and indeed across all the categories tracked, with 18% of all activity.
For businesses looking to launch new products, identifying, and monitoring the activity of potential retail partners, their areas of expertise and ability to reach the right target consumer can mean the difference between success and failure.
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