Big-name brands are considering manufacturing bulk packs of household products for sale exclusively online.
The plans could see manufacturers producing packs of 50 or more toilet rolls and supersize packs of nappies to appeal to internet shoppers in search of bargains and home delivery, according to David Buckingham, the commercial director of Loyalty Management Group's insight and communications division, which manages the data collected by the Sainsbury's Nectar loyalty scheme.
He said shopping habits were different online than in-store and identified Kimberly-Clark, which owns Andrex, as one company considering such a move. A subscription website launched by LMG in April allows manufacturers to analyse Sainsbury's purchases. The online tool backed up anecdotal evidence that online shoppers were more inclined to buy bigger packs, he said.
"What it shows is how and who shops online, and there is evidence of people buying in bulk particularly in nappies and toilet tissue," he said.
As the online grocery retail market matured, manufacturers would tailor their products specifically for either online or in-store, he predicted.
"As fmcg manufacturers see sales increase online they start to think, 'how can we market more effectively?' They think, 'Should we have a different range online? Should we be marketing in a different way?'"
Kimberly-Clark said it had no current plans to sell Andrex online in the UK and denied there were plans to launch bulk packs.