IRI's Times & Trends highlights new developments and critical events across all major CPG categories and channels, providing powerful benchmarking data to help guide your strategic decisions. To provide a framework for protecting and growing share of the nearly $737 billion omni-channel CPG world, IRI conducted a granular analysis of consumers’ evolving path to purchase and its impact on existing and emerging channel trends.
Economic conditions, demographic changes, consumer behavior and technology innovations…during the past decade, these forces converged to set off cataclysmic changes in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry. They spawned a consumer marketplace that demands and is adept at finding value. They have supported growth of less traditional grocery channels, such as drug, as well as emerging channels, such as value operators and the Internet. And the influence that Internet-based media, specifically, has had on consumers’ path to purchase is simply profound. Ultimately, all of these forces have combined to forever change consumer engagement and the CPG shopping journey—and the evolution is far from over.
Today, the knowledge and the power lay firmly in the hands of the consumer. The good news for CPG marketers is that mobile and digital technology is exploding, generating vast volumes of data on consumer shopping preferences and behaviors. Critical to success is an adept ability to harness and transform these abundant data into insights—insights that must be the foundation for carefully targeted marketing programs that demonstrate a concrete understanding of channel usage patterns of marketers’ most valuable shoppers.
Sophisticated retail execution has become a critical skill among CPG manufacturers and retailers alike. To succeed, retailers and manufacturers must work as partners, embracing fast-paced joint business planning to get the right products to the right shelf at the right place and time.
CPG marketers can and must provide an individualized level of service. First and foremost is getting the right products to the right place at the right time. More than 80 percent of shoppers note that having a good product selection is key to an enjoyable shopping experience. To be a good selection of products, assortment must meet the needs of the shopper.
CPG marketers must go digital or go home. In 2014, e-commerce sales are projected to surpass $10 billion. A number of factors support rapid e-commerce growth, including advancements in technology, increased urbanization, changing demographics and an increasing presence of the country’s largest retailers on the e-commerce playing field. And, there is no doubt: Digital is having a profound impact along the entire path to purchase by creating a much broader set of potential ways for shoppers to engage, particularly during the “discovery” and “search” phases of the purchase process.
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