CPG Brands in a supermarket aisle

CPG Brands: Engaging with shoppers using the Direct to Shopper approach

Until a decade ago, shoppers would walk into a store with a handwritten shopping list. However, they wouldn’t necessarily have written down specific brands for those items. Shoppers at that time would be informed about different brands either through the advertising or the interaction they would have had with the brand or what the label on the product explained.

Today, shoppers are no longer restricted to the labels or brand interactions. They are fully equipped with multiple resources to make purchase decisions. They can discover anything about a brand just by using their smartphones to browse product or brand reviews and other shoppers’ opinions. Today’s shoppers are better informed about products even before having to enter the store.

The current situation

The economic conditions of the past decade have impacted the way people shop. However, Consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands have not been able to scale with the rapidly changing consumer behavior at the same pace.

Shoppers today are more demanding of the products they purchase and expect that every product that they purchase is worth the expense, so they invest time and effort into researching and purchasing products via social media platforms or online outlets. While this bump in the volume of data generated by shoppers is valuable, CPG brands are still yet to make business decisions to align themselves with this new wave of shoppers.

The direct to shopper approach

CPG brands need to have end-to-end capabilities to market directly to today’s demanding and high value-focused shopper. However, brands need to better understand how today’s shopper has evolved. The technology today is directed towards a seamless customer experience and is placing the power into the shopper’s hands, opening a wealth of opportunities for brands as all the touch points with a shopper have become digital.

Millennials shoppers are the prime focus as they are technologically savvy and adapt to new technologies far more easily than their previous generations. This group of shoppers also prefer to have social interactions to inform their shopping decisions. Millennials, compared to any other demographic, expect their shopping experience to be personalized and don’t hesitate to express their grief via social media or other portals if the brand fails to deliver on their promise. CPGs can not only leverage this data to influence the shoppers’ purchasing decisions but also to invest in digital platforms to be more involved in their shopping journey.

Implementing an effective Direct to Shopper strategy

CPG brands can leverage email addresses and build on shopper preferences, allowing shoppers to indicate product interests, lifestyle preferences, and communication channels. This would help build a holistic view of the shopper, and develop basic shopper segmentation. These shopper segments can then be used to develop offers and shopping experiences. This further helps evaluate the Direct to shopper effectiveness in an e-commerce environment and help design e-commerce into the greater business model.

This enables CPG brands to acquire complete shopper data including information such as browsing history, purchase behavior information and help develop a true personal shopper experience.

Shoppers are constantly interacting with different brands through digital and mobile. The key for CPG brands to make meaningful revenue growth is to directly target today’s shopper by directly being involved in the shopper’s journey by interacting directly with them. This would help them to further emphasize the shopper needs, leading to an increase in shopper activation, and drive stronger revenue growth.

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