Reaching grocery shoppers through digital commerce

According to a Deloitte study out this month, consumer packaged goods (CPG) executives overwhelmingly (92%) consider e-commerce to be a strategic sales channel, but fewer than half (43%) believe their company has a clear, well-understood digital commerce strategy.

Deloitte reports, “Not only do executives see digital commerce improving brand awareness (90 percent) and driving product trial/initial purchase (86 percent), but it also has an important role in driving repeat purchases (93 percent) and reconnecting with lapsed consumers (88 percent). Also, the importance of digital commerce is expected to be amplified by the rapid pace of technological change. Most CPG executives plan to increase investment in in-store shopper engagement (74 percent), social referral (70 percent), mobile consumer engagement (68 percent), mobile market research (67 percent) and mobile e-commerce (67 percent).”

Still, the executives apparently underestimate several factors driving consumers, such as their distaste for the inconvenience, crowds and travel to traditional supermarkets, and the percentage of online purchases that the customer would not otherwise have made.

CPG firms well recognize the imperative for reaching customers through social media platforms, but the coordination with local retailers and development of overarching, coordinated digital commerce strategies are clearly still lagging. Organizational realignment and the hiring and assignment of new digital roles are likely required for more firms to satisfy the imperative for a continuously evolving digital strategy.