FMCG companies have never traditionally thought of themselves as eCommerce companies. Why? Because traditionally, eCommerce has been about buying and selling goods directly and FMCGs don’t fit this model. But in today’s hyper-connected world, every touchpoint should be a potential sales opportunity and FMCG companies need to exploit eCommerce much more aggressively.
FMCG brands have always relied on retailers like Tesco.com and Boots.com to sell products online. On the one hand, these retailers offer FMCGs an indispensable platform to reach and target millions of relevant and engaged shoppers directly at the point of sale. On the other hand, there is a price to pay for these privileges. Within the retailer platforms, each brand competes with hundreds of others. In search results, it’s a challenge to achieve standout, especially when the ever growing selection of own-label products is proritised in the listings.
What’s more, traditional methods of in-store marketing are obsolete online. Customers can’t touch, smell or taste products and they can’t see, feel or examine packaging. With shoppers repeat buying their previous week’s shopping list and no longer walking past shelves of enticing products, impulse buying is drastically lower. It’s a major challenge to get new products into shoppers’ baskets, or to replace an existing (competitor) brand choice within it.
In today’s hyper-connected world with its new digital path to purchase, every touchpoint should be a potential sales opportunity. Content and the ability to purchase must be seamlessly integrated so that any time a shopper engages with a brand – whether via TV, the brand website or a print ad – commerce is right there at their fingertips. It is not enough for a brand to limit its points of purchase to supermarket shelves and websites.
For FMCGs, the solution must be one involving deeper integration between brand content and the retailer platform. In this way, all parties win. Brands drive more sales, monetise their marketing and make their content pay, and have more say over the shopper experience. For their part, retailers boost sales by extending their influence and reach to new and perse places.
Win or Die: FMCG companies must exploit eCommerce much more aggressively. In the UK alone, online grocery shopping is expected to grow by 98% over the next 5 years. And throughout Europe, the US and other markets, Click and Collect is fast gaining ground. The Digital Era has shown no mercy to companies which have failed to embrace and evolve with it: Blockbuster and HMV to name but 2 casualties.
Though they have come somewhat later to the eCommerce game, FMCGs are now well and truly players within it. In this context, it’s not the taking part that counts. The future market leaders will be those brands which are in it to digitally win it.
Katie Harvey is a Founding Director of Shopwyre, (www.shopwyre.com), an eCommerce technology for FMCGs. Dedicated to helping FMCGs drive online sales and track marketing ROI, Shopwyre enables them to turn any marketing touchpoint/brand content into a multi-retailer point of sale. With one click and without going to the retailer website, shoppers can add products to their personal shopping basket at their preferred online retailer from anywhere.
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