What does omnichannel mean for CPG brands?

Online food shopping and door to door delivery has changed the retail landscape forever, and while some FMCG categories have lagged behind, the potential for growth is too significant for CPG brands to ignore the full impact digital is already having on physical retail.

Long live the king!

The pandemic may have increased consumer adoption of online shopping, but physical retail has come out the other side, still on top, and possibly even stronger than ever before. Why is it stronger? Because the crisis has forced physical retailers to quickly develop their omnichannel shopping strategies. 

Without question online shopping will continue to take market share, but physical stores will continue to adapt and evolve, even if only to support and enhance the online shopping experience. 

Right now, many brick and mortar stores have evolved to take on the role of fulfillment center and or acting as pick up points for online consumers, the evolution has only just begun but at this point it looks like physical retail (particularly in the CPG industry) has no interest in giving up its crown for the foreseeable future. 

CPG brands have been quick to follow this trend, going beyond physical shelf placement to driving special focus into digital shelf visibility and all the metrics needed to ensure their products win online search positioning.

CPG brands are learning how to revise their out-of-stock strategies, for a world where their physical shelf can be used to service physical and digital channels, they know old data sharing agreements wont work. 

We are at the junction where single channel data streams we historicallyreact to, are no longer good enough to accurately track performance and avoid out-of-stocks, for a retail partner who has adopted an omnichannel retail strategy. Omnichannel data agreements are being put in place and new methods for tracking sales and consumer behaviors are being developed.

If you are not already ON you are probably already OFF

We sometimes forget that food customers are the very same consumers who are quite comfortable shopping for essentials, luxuries and high priced items across all channels. But for some reason are not as eager to move their food shopping.

Maybe it’s an old shopping habit, value challenges or the lack of real convenience that has kept the online share of food sales way below that of other retail categories. Or perhaps food retailers just haven’t entirely landed the process yet, the way the clothing or beauty retail has. 

Whatever the reason we shouldn’t forget, (young, old, rich or poor) most consumers are happy to buy online these days. Any CPG brands who are waiting for their category to peak before reacting may find it’s already too late. Online positioning today is the only thing that will help sell a product in tomorrow’s world. Thankfully the majority of CPG brands are equally balancing their on and offline retail strategies. 

And while the physical act of reaching for a product on a shelf and placing it in a basket is still driven by the consumer’s relationship with the product, that relationship is mostly cultivated outside of the physical store. As the bulk of brand awareness, brand loyalty, brand connections and product engagement happens online these days, an omnichannel strategy is more important than ever for CPG Brands.

Contact our digital team to learn how we are helping CPG brands navigate this evolution and optimize their digital shelf..

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