In the age of the digital consumer, says the report, leading CPG companies and retailers benefit from responding to the speed of the connected consumer and balancing operational quality with innovation. Numerous digital channels, accelerated mobile adoption and direct-to-consumer approach are rewriting the rules of retailing and CPG manufacturing. Top-performing companies see success by identifying their consumers, engaging with them and focusing on innovation that directly reach their customers.
Pamela G. Bailey, president and CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, says “... providing consumers with innovative products and convenient, cutting-edge shopping experiences... CPG companies are... positioned to enhance consumer loyalty and profitability.” And Steven Barr, PwC, points out that 52% of U.S. consumers are already buying directly online from brands they trust.
In 2013, more than 40% of CPG companies expect to sell products directly to consumers, up from 24% in 2012, says the report. Direct-to-consumer is a potent vehicle for testing new products and reaching out to new consumers faster and more effectively than ever before, says the report, making the retail store aisle no longer the last mile in the purchase journey. Flexibility, it says, will be essential, as companies will need to manage a new set of risks and security concerns.
Bert Alfonso, President, International for The Hershey Company, says “... consumers today share much more readily with each other and with companies... input tends to be about product’s characteristics... what they like and don’t like... a rich body of information... much more spontaneous and actionable than... in the past...”
Lisa Feigen Dugal, PwC’s North American advisory leader, concludes that “... today’s consumers want solutions... experiences, and value... CPG’s and retailers can address this emergence through social media, innovation and direct-to-consumer channels... “
Among the key findings of the report:
The report further highlights best-practices for developing loyalists, determining appropriate social media channels that align with business goals, along with successfully identifying target segments within their organization.
For more about the study, please visit GMA Online here.