How CPG Brands Can Create an E-Commerce Experience That Mirrors In-Store Shopping
By Sophie Donoghue
For CPG brands, enhancing the customer e-commerce experience became particularly important throughout the pandemic, as related lockdowns and social distancing mandates caused consumers to buy goods online that they would normally only shop for in person, such as groceries. This change in behavior resulted in higher consumer standards for CPG brands in terms of mirroring in-store experiences online — an expectation that continues today.
The rise of e-commerce in areas such as grocery has found more consumers leaning into the convenience of bulk online orders, providing a significant opportunity for brands to capture loyalty. Companies who undergo rapid digital transformation will secure repeat customers, while those relying on old habits will fall behind.
With the addition of a rise in subscription and DTC companies forcing more traditional brands to become savvier online, it’s important now more than ever to prioritize the online customer experience.
Here are four ways CPG brands can enhance their online strategies to stay competitive:
1. Leverage First-Party Data to Personalize the Online Shopping Experience
Consumers are largely willing to share more personal data with brands in order to enjoy a more relevant shopping experience, but most companies sit on data that can help achieve this. By tapping into first-party data, brands can tailor the online shopping experience to each customer. Seeing the same products upsold gets repetitive for consumers, but by presenting related offers based on a customer’s purchase history, brands can enhance each user’s experience and drive conversion.
2. Monetize the Transaction Moment
Overwhelmed and irritated by irrelevant marketing messages and other online friction, more than 70% of the shoppers who leave a site abandon their carts at checkout. Brands can drive additional revenue and value at the transaction moment, when shoppers are finalizing their purchases, by directing consumers to relevant offers and best next steps when their attention and engagement is at its highest.
3. Optimize for Mobile First
As brands continue to innovate the best e-commerce experience on their websites, they must keep in mind the rising popularity of mobile commerce, for which sales hit $359.32 billion in 2021 according to Business Insider. Consumers who shop within brand apps tend to be more loyal, so driving customers to mobile settings can provide more value. Retailers should optimize their sites for apps, as well as desktop and mobile web browsers, to ensure customers can shop from wherever, whenever they want.
4.Integrate Loyalty Options Throughout the Entire Checkout Flow
Pre-pandemic, consumers were more likely to be selective with where they purchased CPG products, but the convenience of ordering in bulk online has enabled more opportunity for brands to vie for customer loyalty. Using the transaction moment to their advantage, brands can add value by driving customers to sign up for loyalty programs or offering subscriptions on the confirmation page as a way to lead consumers to a desired next best step. By ensuring a good customer experience throughout the purchasing journey and introducing a loyalty component at the end, brands can turn a one-time purchase into repeat buying.
—Sophie Donoghue, Director of Customer Success, Rokt
We talk with Rob Mills, Tractor Supply EVP, chief technology, digital commerce, and strategy officer, about how they’re using things like wayfinding, mobile apps, and artificial intelligence to improve the consumer experience.