This fall Kantar Retail released a digital industry benchmarking study which found that retailers and manufacturers have a long way to go in the digital space. The study ranked companies in three tiers: the top having made significant investments in digital which they called “performing”; the second “progressing” and those only just emerging from a brick-and-mortar approach “participating”. P&G and Unilever were some of the manufacturers rated as “top tier” or “performing”; but many companies were simply not evolving. One retailer respondent said of their experience with manufacturers that: “No one is doing a good job of building their brands via digital. They are using digital as just another form of advertising.”
The mantra is that “the shopper has gone digital and the industry must follow” – so why the dragging feet on the part of so many consumer packaged goods manufacturers? A recent Consumer Goods Technology article called “Optimizing Brand Value” gives some good insight as to why. Much of the issue lies in the complexity of CPG data. Executives from Hub Designs and Stibo Systems related the difficulties that CPG manufacturers are having entering the online space in the Consumer Goods Technology article.
The article states: “Consumers today have many new avenues available for finding products; however the information they seek is often on websites that the CPG company doesn’t even control. As a result, these sites often provide inaccurate information copied or scraped from yet another website or third party app.”
They go on to explain that a combination of staff issues with fragmented business units and information systems that are siloed cause major challenges for brand and product information. Issues such as out-of-stocks; missing or inaccurate ingredients or poor translations of product information, they say, can add up to potentially damaging customers’ experiences with the brand – driving consumers to the competition. “Poor data quality is not just an internal issue anymore; inaccurate data may have damaging consequences for everyone in the value chain and it can lead to bad press and negatively affect your customers’ perception of your brand.”