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Why Online Presence is Becoming a Necessity for Consumer Packaged Goods

A report from Nielsen and Rakuten shows the consumer packaged goods market has been expanding slowly in the U.S., seeing a 2.6% sales growth from August 25, 2017, to August 25, 2018. An incredible 40% of this growth came from e-commerce sales which only made up about 5% of the CPG market during this time period. Other reports looking at the 2018 calendar year report e-commerce sales growing 35.4% and making up 11% of the CPG market. And sales aren’t projected to slow down either. E-commerce grocery sales are projected to grow at ten times the rate of in-store sales over the next five years! Whatever the exact numbers may be, the outcome is clear: e-commerce is becoming a huge piece of the consumer packaged goods puzzle. So, what does that mean for those working in the CPG industry? You need to increase the online presence of your products or there is a good chance you’ll get left behind.

How Do You Increase the Online Presence of Your CPG Products?

We don’t pretend to have all of the answers; we are a butter company, not online specialists, but we have spent a lot of time improving our own online presence over the last year and have talked to digital marketing experts who know their stuff. Below are a few strategies you can put into action to make sure you’re taking advantage of the trend in online sales.

1. Establish an Online Presence for Your Consumer Packaged Goods

This may be a little obvious, but if you don’t already have an established online presence, you need to create one. Having a website that lists out all of your products with dazzling imagery and descriptive text is incredibly important. Giving your shoppers the ability to purchase these products online is even more so. Customers that once walked into a store, now want to go to a website and order their consumer packaged goods. If you want to stay on top of this change in the way your customers are shopping, you need to make sure they have an easy and apparent way to shop your products from the convenience of their couch. A big part of this is utilizing the click-and-collect shopping method. In this method, shoppers go to a grocery store’s website, select their products, and pay for them online. Their products are then gathered by store employees and delivered to a convenient pick-up location. This saves shoppers time and gives them a new, more convenient way to purchase your CPG products.

2. Partner with Grocery Delivery Service Apps.

With the growth of e-commerce sales in the CPG industry (and perhaps a contributing factor to the growth), has come yet another way consumers can shop: grocery delivery service applications. Applications such as Shipt, Instacart, and Postmates are becoming increasingly popular and many people who were once traditional in-store shoppers are now opting to have others do their shopping for them. This wouldn’t be a problem if every app allowed users to shop any grocery store of their choice, but most applications partner with specific stores, forcing users to buy from specific grocers in specific locations. If your goods aren’t offered in a store that is partnering with these apps, you are most likely losing sales — even if a shopper would rather purchase your product. Convenience sometimes beats out brand loyalty, especially if consumers are ordering multiple products through their shopping applications.

3. Make Your Products’ Names and Packaging Memorable

Standing out isn’t a new or revolutionary idea in the CPG industry, but for a while, simple naming was the way to go — immediately communicate to the shopper what your product is and why they should purchase it. While this information is still important, it is paramount to name your products something that is simple enough to remember, but distinct enough to stand out from other products in your category. Why? Well, it has to do with the applications we just discussed. Using apps such as Shipt, users select a store near them. They can then search for products that are carried in that store and add them to their virtual list or cart.

This drastically changes the shopping experience. In a traditional shopping experience, a shopper could write “frozen green beans” down on their shopping list, go to the frozen vegetable aisle, look through the options, and choose one. In an online experience, they can type “green beans” into their in-app search bar and see their product options. However, if they are loyal to a particular brand or product, they can type in its specific name. This allows them to self-select a specific product without seeing any other options. If your product name and packaging isn’t distinct and memorable, this could negatively impact its sales in two ways.

  1. A loyal customer who might recognize your product in-store and immediately grab it from the shelf, might not remember the name while searching for it online. They might then search a broad term for your product, not notice it in their list, and purchase something else.
  2. A customer might remember the specific name for another company’s product, search for it, and select it. In this scenario, you’ll never have an opportunity to snag that customer from your competitor.

What can you do to combat this? Like we said, make your product name and packaging memorable. Instead of “frozen green beans” maybe you name your product “Ready-to-eat Garlic Garnished Green Beans.” The alliteration and the mention of a flavor make this name easy to recall, whereas “frozen green beans” could apply to any number of products from other companies.

4. Add a Distinct Flavor to Your Products

We aren’t done making your products stand out yet. Along with giving your products memorable names and packaging, a unique and distinct flavor will help e-commerce shoppers search and find your products with ease (whether they are using an app or a click-and-collect service). How? A specific flavor is just one more thing that sets your product apart from others — “Jamaican spiced rice” stands out more than “rice” — but there is actually some science to flavor improving recall as well. Smell and taste are the easiest of the five senses for us to recall as humans. If you create a delicious garlic-lime rice, consumers who have had your product before don’t have to recall the name of your product alone; the smell and taste of your unique flavor might stand out to them and lead them to your specific product.

As for users who have never had your product before, when scrolling through a list of vegetable medley products which do you think stands out most?

  1. Vegetable Medley
  2. Stir Fry Vegetable Medley
  3. Garden Vegetable Medley
  4. Lightly Seasoned Vegetable Medley
  5. Buttery-Garlic Vegetable Medley

Unless you love stir fry, the buttery-garlic option probably stuck out to you the most. The taste describing adjectives, make it sound delicious, and it stands out among the more generically named products. This shows that a little flavor can go a long way when it comes to your CPG products.

Let Butterball® Farms Help You Improve Your CPG E-Commerce Sales

Here at Butterball® Farms, we are no strangers to reinventing products. We’ve helped hundreds of companies nationwide develop unique flavor profiles and custom butter flavors to increase the taste and salability of their products. If you’re looking to differentiate your consumer packaged goods with a delicious, memorable flavor, we can help you. Just let us know you are interested here. If you’d like a little more information about us before getting in touch, you can view our story here or you can jump straight into seeing our products for yourself by exploring our products and ordering a free sample.