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With a 6-month-old son now running our household, our shopping patterns have changed dramatically. What used to be about meandering shopping trips has now transformed into focused shopping, looking for the best deals and convenience. If I have to choose between a half hour drive to the closest Babies R Us, fighting traffic and crowds along the way, or going to Diapers.com, ordering everything we need and finding it on our doorstep the next day, well, the decision is pretty easy.
To me, overnight shipping on baby products is my new definition of instant gratification.
It’s still a bit odd to me that CPG has not taken to e-commerce opportunities as much as other industries have - eMarketer projects CPG B2C e-commerce sales to be only about 3% of overall B2C e-commerce sales by 2012* - but there are signs of progress.
My hope is that Alice.com becomes a true competitor to the traditional retail channels and that they’re able to win customers over as much as CPG Brand Managers do today.
The P&G e-store model is also an interesting one. I’m not sure that I see it as a game-changing commerce channel for P&G per se, but the idea is spot on - sell what you can directly, while also learning about your customers and testing new products and offerings. In today’s economy, information can be equally as valuable as a final sale.
This is an exciting time for the CPG space and figuring out how best to capitalize on e-commerce will be vital to long-term success.
R.J. Hilgers - CPG Specialist with Microsoft Advertising
*SOURCE: eMarketer, “Consumer Packaged Goods Take E-Commerce Path”, May 2010
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