According to a recent study by grocery analysts IGD, manufactured food and consumer goods brands are increasingly prone to develop direct sales channels online to achieve greater consumer participation.

The study notes that 27% of foods and manufacturers are considering building a brand in e-commerce stores to sell their products directly to consumers. An example we see with GlaxoSmithKline, which in an attempt to better understand their customers in regard to online shopping habits and thus improve their marketing.

Others like Procter & Gamble have turned to Facebook, which offers a great opportunity for brands to build a direct relationship with consumers and sell products through the site. This shows that online sales opportunities increase for manufacturers and retailers.

In the report of the IGD called “Ability to build a digital future”, it is revealed that 43% of brand manufacturers expect that 10% of their total revenues come from their stores and digital actions by 2015. Currently, only 18% of manufacturers can reach this.

At the end of 2010, sales through this channel were worth 4.8 billion pounds, representing 3.2% of total grocery spending, and is expected to reach 5.4% by 2015 .

While the category of fastest growth in online sales was that of supermarkets, shipping costs and slots remain the biggest obstacles for online shoppers.

Joanne Denney-Finch, CEO of IGD, said: “The strong growth expected for online sales represents a great opportunity for companies of all sizes and types (retailers, manufacturers, local producers, etc.), to meet the needs of the buyers of several channels at present. It’s encouraging to see that manufacturers are looking for flexible models for their businesses, participating in the digital explosion and trying to attract consumers in different ways. “