I met with a few CPG clients recently who are launching or have launched their new e-commerce shops. This is exciting because it’s a risk not usually taken by CPG companies, and has the potential to profit handsomely. Of course, one of the biggest opportunities of e-commerce is to build a direct relationship with the consumer, to cut out the middleman, the retailer. It’s a big job and brands seem up for the challenge.
There are plenty of studies showing e-commerce is growing for CPG brands. A report by BI Intelligence found that the health and personal care products category is predicted to reach $350 billion by 2020; 11% from e-commerce. There are even studies showing CPG brands how to ensure a successful e-comm launch. A lot of the conversation covers purchase and conversion. Not discussed as much is how to keep consumers engaged between sales. Of course, if you are Amazon.com, you not only have subscribe and save, but a wealth of shopping options that make it easy for consumers to engage on an ongoing basis. But if you are Chapstick, it can be difficult to stay top-of-mind to a busy, over-advertised-to customer.
Here are three ways CPG brands can engage customers between purchases, with the goal of generating repeat sales on your brand’s e-commerce site, increasing their basket size, and driving referrals.
Brand websites host tons of content, and 55% of any website traffic on a CPG brand is to the brand’s website. CPG brands need to have a content strategy and must ask themselves; is the content relevant? Is it engaging or even interesting? One of the most common mistakes CPG brands make is to take the same content and re-purpose it on all of their branded channels, website and social media profiles. Why is content important? If you have relevant and engaging content, consumers will come back to visit. Once on your site they can be directed to make a purchase.
Consumers are more than willing to provide information to brands as long as they know brands will use the information. Eighty-five percent of consumers said they have given some form of feedback to a brand or company, but just 46% of those people say they feel their feedback was used in a constructive way. Additionally, 83% of consumers said they would be more loyal to a brand if they knew that brand would act on their feedback and make improvements. You can poll your customers and use the findings to to provide more relevant offers, content and engagement. Let your customers know they are part of the innovation process and that their opinions matter. Use insights to test content, social media posts and promotions on your e-commerce site.
Loyalty and rewards
Loyalty programs are not novel, and surely have proven to keep consumers coming back. Brands can take these one step further and drive loyalty and rewards for engagements other than purchase, or between purchases. Brands should look at their engagement metrics and reward customers who do talk to the brand. For example, content views are important and brands can ask consumers to share branded content on their behalf. Then, when someone views the branded content, they can receive a reward. Provide points or virtual incentives for sharing about an experience with your brand, this can encourage word-of-mouth, which drives traffic back to your e-commerce site. Don’t forget that reviews are important, too. Brands can easily prompt consumers to post online reviews on the e-commerce site.
Marketers recognize that e-commerce is a tremendous opportunity, but an e-commerce strategy can also be a huge challenge. You must not only manage dozens if not thousands of SKUs and transactions, you also have to compete for consumers’ very divided attention. Engagement can be the key to attracting the attention of your fickle consumer and getting them to come back to your website to purchase. So instead of spending your entire budget on digital media to compete for that attention, consider using some of your budget to engage your loyalists and let them share your story, which in turns gets you more leads.