The Top 3 Blind Spots of Consumer Products Companies


Smart Consumer Products

Products that consumers want can be generally classified into 3 types:

  1. Convenience

  2. Shopping

  3. Specialty Goods

Convenience goods are our regular purchased products such as milk. Shopping goods are those that we will research on and make comparison before purchase, for example, mobile phone/TV. As for specialty goods, they are primarily associated with brand preference and considered premium products like the luxury bags.

Consumer Products (CP) companies are in an extremely competitive business especially for the Convenience (FMCG) and Shopping goods. Their markets are influenced by diverse factors in supply chain, sales and marketing. Brand owners faced constant pressure to handle the speed, changes and accuracy in our fast-paced modern environment. With many challenges to tackle, there are some blind spots often being overlooked by companies that are crucial for their continuous success.

1st Blind Spot: Missing Out on Direct Engagement with Consumers

For Convenience and Shopping (C&S) goods, the approach for success used to be relatively simple. So long as companies have great relationships with retailers, with good products and brand awareness, things tend to move smoothly.

Many C&S brands fail to capitalize on Direct to Consumer (DTC) engagement because they are too dependent on retailers for constant revenue. Some might even fear that having a direct consumer business strategy will damage their relationship with the retailers. Furthermore, most companies built their business with retail distribution in mind.

The current market has since become more complex. Consumers want to have engagement and experience. Owning the ultimate relationship with customers is now the only way to build a sustainable business for brands. The insights on consumers trend and behavioral data are the engine of new growth. However, the data often are not being shared real time from the brick & mortar retailers.

With rise of E-commerce space, the “middleman” (retailers) basically moved from Physical departmental stores to Online Platforms such as Amazon, Taobao etc. Retailers have very efficient supply chain and distribution networks. Their advantage over C&S companies are access to millions of end consumers in their systems, hence gain the ability to cater and refine to meet user experience.

A good way to reach out directly to consumers and yet maintain a good relationship with the retailers is to establish an omni-channel approach (Figure 1). By unifying user experiences from brick-and-mortar to mobile browsing and everything in between, brand owner can provide customers with a fully-integrated shopping experience.

Figure 1: Omni Channel Approach: Covering different aspects of marketing engagement channels

According to Harvard Business Review, on a study for 46,000 shoppers in 2017 shows that only 7% were online-only shoppers and 20% were store-only shoppers. The remaining majority, or 73%, used multiple channels during their shopping journey.

Through various sales touch points (both online and offline), better insights about consumer preference and market trend can be gathered. Better marketing engagement and customized products can be provided, which increase customer loyalty and stickiness. This information will be an asset for the brand owners in the new economy.

2nd Blind Spot: Not Getting into Smart Packaging

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