“Consumer packaged-goods marketers are counting on growth in e-commerce and seeking to drive it, in part because of what it can mean to them in developing closer relationships with their consumers,” reports Jack Neff at AdAge.
“This is an emerging trend for branded manufacturers in particular because they believe, rightfully so, that they’ve lost touch with their end customer, kind of ceded that to the retailer,” said Pat Conroy, vice chairman and U.S. consumer products leader of Deloitte.
While Alice provides a system for CPG to sell direct to consumers (and gain access to consumer data), CEO of Alice.com Brian Wiegand said “it doesn’t really matter to most marketers whether it’s a true direct sale to consumers or through a third party like Amazon or Walmart.com, as long as they can participate directly with consumers in the process.”
“Mr. Wiegand said he’s seeing increasingly ambitious projections from CPG marketers of having 1% to as much as 5% of their sales direct to consumers online — fulfilled either by their own systems or those of e-tailers such as Amazon — by 2015. He believes that may be overly ambitious for an industry that still gets far less than 1% of sales online today. But the bigger goal by CPG manufacturers, he said, is to have “a direct relationship with 50% to 80% of their customers, meaning I have them in a database.”
With retailers typically holding the control over the data and the relationship between manufacturer and consumer, will gaining more access to the customer online help? How else can CPG manufacturers build a more meaningful relationship with their customer?