4 Takeaways from Groceryshop 2019

4 Key Takeaways from Groceryshop 2019

Last week, thousands of professionals in the CPG category - both brands and retailers - met in Las Vegas for Groceryshop 2019. Attendees included traditional enterprise brands, startups, D2C brands, tech, and retailers. The buzz at the conference centered on the challenges CPG brands and retailers face in this rapidly evolving retail landscape and how they can innovate to accommodate a new generation of shoppers that are digitally focused.

The most striking quote from the presentation stage came from Ken Casser, VP of Research for Groceryshop:

The best brands realize the biggest risk to brand equity is slow movement to irrelevance. 

With that sentiment top of mind, here are the top takeaways from Groceryshop for CPG brands looking to innovate:

  1. Content is king. Adriene del Sol, VP of eCommerce at Danone North America, outlined how her team revamped over 800 product skus to ensure that the content across the digital shelf on all retailer sites was consistent, the content was optimized for search, and that the enhanced content told the brand story and engaged the consumer. CPG brands need to think of search in terms of slotting and need to develop content strategies that optimize search and place them on page one of the digital shelf. While it's easy to consider the digital shelf to be endless, it is actually finite because 85% of conversions happen on the first page and 65% on the top row.
  2. Data is an investment. There is a plethora of data available to brands and retailers. Companies need to determine what unique product data is needed, how to acquire it, and then how to turn it into actionable insights. Look at product data from a product and consumer perspective - not a retail perspective and utilize a data-driven flywheel model to gather consumer data.  Omnichannel marketing and influencer marketing is becoming data-driven with data first and marketing second. Head of catalog strategy for Walmart, Ram Rampalli suggests, "Instead of looking at data in terms of e-commerce, teams should consider an e-business model that brings sales and marketing together. Companies need to have a shared metric of success and work across teams."
  3. eCommerce and traditional brands and retailers are dependent on one another.  Winc CEO, Geoffrey McFarlane stated that "online is a marketing strategy to learn about the customer." This is key that digitally native brands uniquely understand and traditional brands and retailers need to utilize. Some brands and retailers in the CPG category have been slow to develop an eCommerce strategy - especially those with fresh products. However, CPG brands who are investing in eCommerce today understand more about how the customer shops. Because consumers seek info online at multiple points on their path to purchase, even at the point of purchase, brands need to have an eCommerce presence in order to scale. The inverse is true for digitally native brands. Trends show D2C brands need retailers to scale, with about 50% of digitally native brands moving into brick and mortar on small scale by building own stores, or by developing a hybrid model of selling D2C, and wholesale online and in brick and mortar retailers.
  4. Consumers are seeking brands that carry a social message.  86% of digitally native brands use social messaging, boast environmental responsibility, and employ messaging that is risky to define the relationship with the consumer. Digitally native brands are anchored by stories driven by pain points that were felt by the founders. This drives a relationship with the consumer. Brands and retailers that understand the consumers need for connection will advance. According to Matt Simon, CMO of Giant Foods, this idea for connection and "need to be there for families when and how how they need us"  spurred Giant Foods to create new retail outlets, community partnerships, and marketing strategies. Consumers are also seeking transparency in ingredients and pricing and employ nutrition-based search (ie gluten-free bread, keto-friendly snacks, etc.).

Did you attend Groceryshop? What were your takeaways? Let me know at debi@getreviewbox.com.

Interested in learning how Reviewbox can provide unique, product data and consumer insights for your brand? Schedule a demo with hillary@getreviewbox.com.