It is easy to think that people shop online for “everything,” but there is still considerable room for increases in online shopping. In 2013, CPG products accounted for only about 1 percent of web sales revenue, but by 2025, CPG products could account for 20 percent of web sales revenue.
CPG brands are an increasingly important element of the product mix shoppers seek in their online shopping.
Brands are following this trend and other trends, because strong knowledge of CPG trends today sets brands up for sustained success, whatever their ultimate mix of online and in-store sales. Here are seven top CPG trends for 2018 to which brands should pay attention.
1. Informing Customers About What Goes on Behind the Scenes
There is seemingly no limit to how informed consumers want to be. They have always researched major purchases, like large appliances and vehicles, but today they research shoes, tools, makeup, office products, and soup as well. What is more, they love brands that also give their customers a look at what goes on behind the scenes. The Paris Opera Ballet, for example, developed a strong Instagram following by offering fans looks at rehearsals and backstage operations.
2. Sharing Values Like Commitment to Sustainability
With online shopping opening up so many choices to consumers everywhere, more people are trying to choose brands with values that align with their own. Consumers who are committed to environmental responsibility increasingly choose brands that are as well. Consumers concerned about social issues will choose brands that share their concerns.
3. In-Store Discounts to Stimulate Brick-and-Mortar Shopping
The joke used to be that big-box stores and shoe stores were “showrooms” for things people would ultimately buy online, and this hurt many brick-and-mortar businesses. People almost reflexively think that buying something online is cheaper, but that may be changing. Stores with strong online presences are beginning to use in-store discounts rather than online discounts to bring shoppers physically into stores. Online may not always be the most cost-effective option.
4. Store Remodeling to Accommodate Omnichannel Shopping
If you are old enough, you may remember in the 1980s when supermarkets remodeled to include extras like video rentals. While that may have gone away, stores are now remodeling with an eye toward the omnichannel shopping in which more people engage. Free ship-to-store delivery brings customers who have already made purchases into stores to pick their orders up, and stores are tweaking their designs to better serve these customers and hopefully make their in-store experience as positive as their online experience.
Retailers are increasingly making their physical stores better coordinated for omnichannel shopping.
5. Increased Diversity of Payment Options
Mobile pay is available at more popular retailers, including discount retailers, and 2018 should see a strengthening of other relevant CPG trends. More brick-and-mortar retailers are not only accepting mobile payment options, they are starting to accept cryptocurrency payments as well. While this technology is still largely uncharted, the huge interest in cryptocurrency that came about in 2017 is likely to have more CPG brands figuring out how they can participate.
6. Continuous Improvements in Logistics
Logistics may not be exciting, but without them, the customer experience will not be good. Shoppers expect omnichannel retailing from their favorite brands and stores, and the brands and retailers that deliver as quickly and painlessly as possible will have a clear advantage. Consumers do not want shopping to feel like a chore, and it is largely the logistics behind the scenes that ensure that it does not.
7. Continued Recognition of the Value of Word of Mouth
Word of mouth does not necessarily mean that a conversation takes place directly between two people, but make no mistake: word of mouth means more than it ever has. Brands that are best poised to take advantage of CPG trends in online and omnichannel shopping are also the brands that never forget the importance of good word-of-mouth reviews, whether between friends or on social media.
CPG trends still lean toward the online world, but not exclusively. More brands and more shoppers are recognizing the unique experiences and values associated with shopping in physical stores. CPG brands that lock down both outstanding online strategies, as well as great in-store strategies, are the ones that will ride today’s CPG trends most successfully.
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