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Selling consumer packaged goods online has been slow to take off, with ecommerce sales low compared to those in established merchandise categories like apparel or consumer electronics. But CPG sales are growing faster online than offline, and research indicates that manufacturers and online sellers will need to work together to continue to support this growth.
Online sales consulting agency etailing solutions and RetailNet Group asked both US CPG manufacturers and etailers in Q2 2012 how each could help the other increase online sales of CPG products. The CPG manufacturers indicated a need to draw on the ecommerce expertise of online merchants: Nearly seven in 10 hoped for stronger shopper insights from their etailing partners, while about two-thirds wanted more sharing of best practices.
The etailers surveyed had a different focus—with solid foundations in the basics of online selling, they were more concerned with assets that CPG manufacturers are in a unique position to bring to the table, including new and exclusive products, demanded by fully 100% of respondents. Web-only product offerings were attractive to more than seven in 10 online retailers, and there was also significant demand for better product info and more marketing investment from CPG brands.
The viewpoints of CPG manufacturers and etailers may be different, but the “2012 eRankings Study” noted that their needs were complementary. Manufacturers are aware of the strengths of online sellers, while merchants know only brands can provide compelling products—along with enough information and marketing materials to successfully sell them online.
“Both manufacturers and etailers should think of CPG ecommerce as a real-time innovation lab with unique opportunities for in-market testing of new products, offers/messages, and new vehicles for driving shopper engagement,” noted the report.
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Check out today’s other articles, “P&G’s Digital Push Deepens Personal Touch for Olympics and Beyond” and “Broadcasters in Canada Take to the Web for the Games.”
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