Shopping habits have changed inexorably after COVID. The pandemic delivered 10 years’ of e-commerce growth in just three months and e-commerce penetration is 35% higher than pre-COVID levels.
75% of shoppers in the US adopted new shopping behaviors during the pandemic, including different shopping methods and putting different products in their trolleys. And, according to IRI Winning in CPG e-commerce report, the majority aren’t looking back.
Customer intent indicates that the consumer changes made during COVID are going to stick. For example, 73% of consumers who tried different brands during the pandemic intend to continue using them, rising to 80% of customers who shifted to own-brand products.
IRI recommends CPG marketers ‘continue to invest with speed in digital capabilities and commerce to gain omnichannel share [...] as winning the omnichannel shopper is critical’.
Of course, omnichannel isn’t just about selling across multiple channels simultaneously. It’s also about communicating across them. With burgeoning platforms to reach customers – within the already complex ecosystem of CPG brands, retailers, distributors, delivery services, and more – CPG marketers need to be on more channels than ever before.
The omnichannel landscape for CPG marketers is highly complex. As this graphic from IRI shows, the buyer’s journey can span social media, print, digital advertising, in-person interactions, and more. And these interactions can occur through brand-owned or partner channels.
Digital and In-Store Shopper Journey in CPG and Retail, Information Resources Inc. (IRI), 2021
It is against this increasingly complex omnichannel landscape that 80% of CEOs are looking to marketing to deliver growth. And although omnichannel looks daunting, marketers who master it can expect significant ROI. Research suggests that leaning into omnichannel marketing is a credible strategy to deliver growth.
Marketers that use three or more channels to connect with customers enjoy 250% more engagement and sales. Furthermore, omnichannel shoppers (those who shop in-store and online) typically spend 4x more than in-store-only customers and e-commerce shoppers exhibit higher brand loyalty than those who shop in physical stores.
So what’s stopping CPG marketers from exploiting the opportunities that omnichannel presents? According to dozens of CPG marketers surveyed by McKinsey and Company, there are two major roadblocks - data strategy and digital asset management.