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How CPG Companies Can Win the E-Commerce Game

By BLUE Software

E-commerce has arrived, and there are few product categories that haven’t felt its impact.  While the term “CPG” has typically referred to a wide array of manufacturers, sellers, and marketers of physical goods sold through a retailer to an end consumer, this definition has now changed to include the digital landscape.  Consumers are increasingly relying on online research and e-commerce to buy their CPG products. In fact, recent surveys report that approximately 25% of U.S. households already shop for food and beverages online; and research from McKinsey & Company claims the number of U.S. consumers purchasing health and hygiene products online could more than double.

As expected, Amazon is embracing this trend with arms wide open:

  • Amazon Pantry allows Prime users to choose from 2,000+ products to fill a box and have them shipped for a nominal fee.
  • Amazon Prime Now offers home delivery within a couple of hours.
  • The Amazon Dash Button provides a convenient way to order refills.

And Amazon isn’t the only one paving a deep digital path in CPG. For example, regional grocers have been successful with “click and collect” distribution models where products are ordered online and picked up in stores.

Also rising to the occasion are several new pure-play, direct-to-consumer competitors – many with backing from venture capitalists and private-equity firms, and some of which are quickly lighting a fire under long-established CPG manufacturers and retailers.  For example, NatureBox and Graze entered the market, grabbed online market share, and emerged as hundred-million-dollar businesses.

Moving from On-Shelf to Online

CPG companies need to act now, but the roadmaps that led to success in the on-the-shelf arena don’t necessarily work in the digital one. Having an established brand offline doesn’t automatically equate to success online: of the top 15 CPG manufacturers in the bath-and-shower, fragrances, ready-meals, pet-food, and skin-care categories, only 5 are also among the top sellers on Amazon.

But large CPG manufacturers aren’t immobilized. To counter these threats, many are adopting best practices to achieve e-commerce success, one of which is to create what is referred to as the “perfect page.” The “perfect page” is essentially a website page that provides in-depth product data and content that enables favorable search results. This data and content can include high-quality pictures with rollover notes, detailed product descriptions and reviews, product comparisons, and videos – all of which give consumers the “fit-for-purpose” product information and customer-centric brand experience they’re seeking on their buying journey.

Create a Core of Data and Assets

To support these efforts, CPG companies need to have a strong, accessible core of accurate product data and brand assets.  The easiest way to achieve this is through a Label and Artwork Management solution.

A SaaS-based Label and Artwork Management solution includes end-to-end project coordination, workflow management, online collaborative proofing, and business intelligence tools that streamline the creation, approval, organization, and storage of product data and brand assets for omnichannel use for even the most complex product portfolios.

For example, automated workflow management provides CPG companies with more control over the product-data-to-digital-channel process by ensuring every decision maker gives timely, appropriate input on product information and artwork before it is sent to e-commerce channels.

Furthermore, powerful tools like online proofing provide a rapid feedback mechanism for key stakeholders to weigh in on everything from nutrition ingredients, romance copy, product images, video, and other marketing materials – making the approval process much more efficient and reducing the number of approval cycles to get product data ready for distribution quickly.

With Digital Asset Manager features in a Label and Artwork Management solution, you can store all of your product data and brand assets in one single location.  Rather than ask marketing, operations, and regulatory teams to search their own files for the right data and digital assets, you can simply create a single location where the right version of each product data and label component is stored.  Users can easily search, sort, and filter to quickly retrieve the asset they need to create “perfect pages,” and even better – the Digital Asset Manager protects your assets’ integrity by ensuring only those with permission can access the files.

Finally, a cutting-edge Label and Artwork Management solution such as BLUE will have established partnerships with a product content network provider like 1WorldSync. While BLUE’s advanced Label and Artwork Management solution can store the final, approved and audited digital label and artwork files with all product information required for e-commerce, the 1WorldSync platform can pull this product information from BLUE and distribute it across all of the CPG company’s trading networks.

The End Result

The CPG industry stands, like so many others, on the verge of a revolution in which products find new distribution channels and consumers are forever searching for the absolute in convenience, in “fit-for-purpose,” and in consumer experience.  With the right Label and Artwork Management solution in place, they can create tough-to-beat leadership positions in these channels.

To learn how to build a business case for a Label and Artwork Management solution, download this e-book:

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