In the past, CPG businesses have focused on the physical shelf in order to understand their success and define next steps. However, these decades of practice don’t clearly translate to the digital shelf. Digital marketing and sales require different techniques in order to determine best practices, keep up with new pure play entrants, and keep trade promotions results positive.
What makes this more difficult is the fact that it’s impossible to accurately predict what customers will want. That’s why we compiled some of the most important (and exciting) tests you can run using your product information. What attracts interest? What converts? Let’s find out what can help you drive more CPG sales in the modern market.
Keep your data services in mind
Automation and smart tools are required in order to make product content and data manageable for CPG sales and marketing teams to perform experiments. In order to perform the following tests and optimizations quickly, businesses will need to find a data syndication solution that matches their specific needs. For now, on to the experiments!
Have fun with keywords and SEO
No matter how beautifully designed and branded a product’s packaging may be, digital images don’t demand attention quite like a physical product. For digital marketing and sales, the job of “grabbing attention” often belongs to keywords and SEO. These have two functions: getting products higher in the results for relevant searches and driving a user to click on the listing or ad.
Appearing on the first page can make a huge difference to the bottom line. In fact, Amazon reports that 81% of purchases on the platform take place on the first page of the search results.
- Compile exact data on what terms are searched and how your products will compare against those listings. Most channels won’t have a dedicated research tool, so you may need to leverage numerous sources to find inspiration. __Infuse these keywords into titles, descriptions, and creative.__ Try testing both slight variations as well as completely different terms. Also be sure to retest every once in a while, as fluctuations can occur.
For example, Gen Z is shown to care immensely about environmental impact and social good. If you’re selling makeup, there are all kinds of keywords that may apply to your product. These are only a tiny handful of the numerous keywords to consider!
- __To gauge success, track the ranking of specific, chosen keywords.__ See if reaching the first page actually results in increased sales and, if so, how much. That’s a clear, positive ROI you can take to any stakeholders.
Tools required: Keyword analytics, easy content manipulation and bulk editing
Get more (and more) creative - yes, that includes video!
An online shopper can’t pick up a product and examine it first-hand. Instead, product content acts as the product’s digital packaging. The exact size, weight, color, shape, and everything else can only be related through written content and images. This is especially important with food and other perishables, as people care immensely about the products they use every day.
“[An] analysis of the top 20 best-selling products on Amazon for chocolate, dog food, and toothpaste shows a clear correlation between comprehensive product information (# of images, average word count description) and sales.”
Profitero, *CPG eCommerce Insight: Winning at the Digital Shelf*
Absolute clarity and comprehensive information is key to selling fast-moving goods online.
- __Experiment with different imagery and creative and accompanying copy.__ For strict channels like Amazon or Google, simply include the most high resolution and comprehensive photos possible. For other channels like Instagram or your own site, test emotive pictures that show the product in use. Also test adding product details, such as size, color, or related texts like “free shipping,” into the images.
- __Replace static ads with video, particularly on Facebook or Youtube.__ With shoppers expecting more innovative ads each day, it may be worth adding video to the creative portfolio. This should only be done if your team has an easy way to generate dynamic product. (For example, Productsup’s dynamic videos.
Tools required: easy content manipulation and bulk editing, multiple (and exciting) product images, dynamic video creation
See which custom labels work for you
One of the key findings from Forrester’s 2019 CPG report was that businesses struggle to turn insights into actionable steps quickly. This isn’t a surprise, given the amount of data out there. However, there is a brilliant combination to combat this: advanced product data management tools with custom labels. Together, these allow you to automatically update product content and enrich it based on analytics data.
Here are some popular methods. Products with great clicks and ROI all can be labelled “bestsellers.” Or, products with high CPC and low ROI can be marked as “low value.” There are some popular best practices, but, if you can generate labels based on any data, get creative and see what happens.
- __Highlight top performers or poor performers.__ For example, products that get lots of clicks, but few conversions would be “poor performers.” By removing these, you may be able to push ad dollars towards products that perform better.
- Use promotional feeds to automatically __create labels for promoted products.__ This can be leveraged at the campaign level to make the product stand out. (If you use dynamic images or editing, you can also add this information to creative and copy.)
- __Segment based on user *type*.__
- For example, Amazon has three types of overall users: regular shoppers, Prime members, and Subscribe & Save users. Each of these groups have different shopping patterns, demographics, and expectations. Identify which products are outstanding (doing either very well or poorly) within these audiences.
Tools required: automated custom label application, easy integration of additional feeds (analytics, local inventory, etc.), sale data by audience segment
CPG sales and success will rely on complete transformation - and a willingness to experiment
In the past, CPG businesses have not needed to invest as much in online advertising and sales as those in other industries. However, this is already beginning to change. These businesses will need to start adding ecommerce to their core strategies - and that can include a lot of technological changes. However, this also provides a number of opportunities. There are ways to increase CPG sales and capitalize on the market that didn't exist in the past.
New solutions help make it easy to manage and transform product content. The key will be finding the solution that fits your team and needs. One thing, however, remains clear: the CPG industry is moving forward. Businesses who adapt these changes, and start working within a new, digitally transformed framework will have a greater chance to succeed.