In order to create a CPG sales strategy that translates from online sales to in-store sales, brands must leverage new technology. In the past, online grocery and CPG sales were limited due to their relatively low cost and short shelf life. New omnichannel fulfillment systems coupled with faster shipping windows make it so many consumers now use a combination of online and in-store options to purchase CPG products.
Brands must be aware of new delivery options and how they will impact them in the years to come. Grocery delivery apps, like Instacart and Postmates, are becoming mainstream choices for consumers. The same goes for emerging devices, like smart speakers, which allow voice-enabled ordering. Even in-store sales must be digitally enabled, as consumers turn to their devices to guide them to products in the shopping aisle.
Improving the Online CPG Sales Strategy
New trends in CPG ordering and delivery have driven significant growth in e-commerce. Nowadays, consumers can get most of their everyday purchases from the comfort of their home. We’re likely to see orders in the following categories grow as these options become more prevalent:
- Click-and-collect: Omnichannel solutions where consumers can shop online and then pick up their completed order at the store provide convenience for consumers. These strategies have also helped traditional brick-and-mortar retailers like Walmart and Target compete with major online retailers like Amazon. Such approaches offer the best of both worlds for consumers. They can enjoy the convenience of online orders, and at the same time, they have a physical location they can go to for same-day pick-up or delivery services.
- Voice-based ordering: While voice-based ordering has been slow to take off, that’s likely because smart speakers and other smart home devices have not reached full market saturation. The smart home market is expected to grow by about 27% in 2019 and speakers are often the entry-level devices consumers use when taking advantage of these innovations. As consumers learn more about their devices, it’s likely they’ll use more advanced features like voice ordering. This is an area poised for growth for CPG brands.
- Same-day grocery delivery: Between January 2017 and January 2019, purchases through Instacart, the leading same-day grocery delivery service, grew by an astonishing 256%. Consumers enjoy these options, and right now, they’re not even available in every market. As companies see success with same-day grocery delivery, it’s likely new opportunities will be introduced, and the demand for such programs will explode.
Brands must prepare for these new options in online ordering by partnering with retailers. They should optimize their listings to work with platforms like Instacart and Amazon Prime. As the consumer’s first interaction with a product in these scenarios will be web-based, online reputation management is critical. Brands need to encourage loyal consumers to leave reviews and ratings of their products. These ratings are crucial drivers of how products are displayed. Keeping scores as high as possible will garner stronger sales.
Enhancing CPG Sales in the Shopping Aisle With Mobile Apps
Omnichannel experiences are also relevant in the shopping aisle, as consumers turn to their smartphones to improve their shopping trips. About 40% of all website traffic comes from mobile, and as new devices enter the market, this will grow. Mobile apps are strong resources for brands that wish to minimize competition and become top-of-mind as the consumer starts their purchase journey.
Mobile app engagement was something Purina leveraged when partnering with Shopkick to help boost in-store sales on select products. Users of the app received a listing of Purina products where kicks (aka rewards points) were available. Users could earn these kicks by seeking out the product in store, interacting with the product by scanning it’s UPC, or by purchasing the product. The majority of buyers, 85%, reported Shopkick drove their decision to make purchases. Also, 36% reported becoming aware of products which they weren’t before.
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Using a strategy which requires that consumers physically handle products is ideal for increasing sales, as holding a product creates a sense of ownership and drives trial and consideration. Such campaigns also decrease a brand’s reliance on margin-diluting discounts, as consumers seek out the products to receive rewards rather than coupons. In many cases, consumers perceive rewards as having a higher value than their simple face amount, as there is an emotional return from receiving the kicks.
Brands must make digital options a significant part of their CPG sales strategy to maintain and grow their market share as shopping options expand.
Brands must make digital options a significant part of their CPG sales strategy to maintain and grow their market share as shopping options expand. Consumers are no longer tied to an either-or scenario between e-commerce and physical stores, and many companies offer omnichannel options. Brands should ensure their products are digitally optimized by focusing on reputation management and enhancing the customer experience. Through these strategies, brands can take advantage of new sales platforms as they emerge.
Shopkick helps our partners harness innovative customer engagement ideas with our unique mobile app that incentivizes product interaction. To see the results for some of our partners, check out a few of our success stories.
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