CPG products and brand-consumer relationships are fundamentally different than any other category. CPG products are used intimately, actually going on and being ingested into customers’ bodies, arguably building and requiring a much closer connection with customers.
Therefore, the rapid rise of ecommerce for CPG brands presents an interesting opportunity and challenge. While some say that e-commerce heralds a DE-personalization of the buying experience, smart CPG brands are leveraging the unique opportunities in ecommerce to bring shoppers, brands and their retail partners closer, creating more human, more personal experiences.
Here are a few of the ways CPG brands are making this happen:
1. Commerce enabling every touchpoint. Today’s consumers are busier than ever, so it doesn’t make sense for brands to use influencer content, social media, ads, events or anything else to create shopper demand if they aren’t able to satisfy on-the-spot (I promise you, that busy mom is going to forget the ad she saw yesterday!). The benchmark has become one click to drop a product or basket of products into the customer’s preferred retailer's cart, a seamless and short path-to-purchase where the brand is present the whole way. Smart brands are making their customers’ lives easier before they even receive the product, and that benefit is now tied to the brand.
2. Owning the complete buying experience (wherever it is happening) while keeping retail partners in the fulfillment path. Smart brands have always been, and will continue to be, committed to their retail partners. But, being a good partner doesn’t mean shuttling interested customers off to retailers, hoping the retailer has the right assets to close the sale – and hoping the customer doesn’t get confused by competitive offers on the way. Brands have libraries of valuable consumer content that help create and close desire, and sharing and syndicating this content with their retailers helps everyone. Smart brands continue to help by regularly auditing the product content, ensuring that it stays complete (how many times have you seen a retailer site update take down your content?). The sale concludes in a retailer’s cart … but the brand should be holding its customers’ hands all the way, keeping them close.
3. Continuously watching online consumer patterns to optimize the full product experience loop. All of this hand-holding is an amazing opportunity to learn. How are shoppers searching for our products? What information are they looking at before they buy? What insights can we get from this that let us optimize our products, our distribution and more? What are the latest ingredients that consumers want or that they are seeking to avoid? Online, involved brands are seeing insights like this even before research teams uncover them and can respond faster to meet market needs.