In recent years, the trend for fast-moving consumer goods companies to directly target the end-user has been on the increase. Businesses like Harrys’ Razors, Barkbox pet foods and beer clubs like Beer52 have seen massive year on year growth and taken market share off the traditional market leaders in these sectors. With the high street facing unprecedented cultural shifts and consumer expectations on the change, it should come as no surprise that the direct-to-consumer (D2C) model is providing businesses with a competitive advantage.
While FMCG D2C had been a pipe dream for brands for some time, the speed at which some of the world’s biggest companies have prioritised this channel was unexpected, but perhaps understandable. The ease at which brands can liaise with digital agencies to develop an eCommerce platform served as a catalyst. And, when you consider current demand for consumer purchasing, it made perfect sense for FMCG brands to take advantage of D2C operations.
How Covid-19 contributed to the FMCG direct-to-consumer revolution
The global coronavirus pandemic has created challenges for both consumers and brands. Covid-19 has had a huge impact on the retail environment. It’s changed the way we shop and interact with our favourite brands, as well as the transportation of goods around the world.
In many countries, there was essentially an embargo on non-essential retail in an attempt to reduce the spread of the virus. This meant that FMCG companies had to adapt to continue trading. While many of these brands are likely to rely on retailers to some degree when Covid-19 restrictions end, the pandemic created an opportunity to experiment with the D2C model.
The importance of location intelligence for FMCG
When adopting a direct-to-consumer approach, location intelligence (LI) for FMCG brands is paramount in helping businesses to gain a competitive edge in areas like routing, logistics, sales, marketing and territory management. LI allows firms to pinpoint the ideal locations for balancing the supply and demand of products, based on demand forecasting from existing customer data.
In addition to this, location data can be further utilized in conjunction with customer data to make better marketing decisions. From identifying areas of potential growth to gaining insights into product preferences using a variety of metrics (such as age, location and wealth), brands can more effectively push goods and services to prospects. They can also use this data to make future product development decisions.
Controlling your brand with D2C
Historically, it has been the retailer that has controlled customer experiences on behalf of FMCG brands. Naturally, this creates challenges for brands. After all, who wants to leave such an important aspect of consumer interaction – customer service – to a third party? Unfortunately, when retailers get it wrong, the FMCG brand feels the impact. However, with D2C, brands are beginning to regain control. By delivering directly to the consumer, businesses are finally putting themselves in charge of their own brand’s reputation – and while this may sound like a positive, it’s not without its challenges.
From a logistics perspective, it’s important to fulfil orders on time, at an affordable rate, and with a satisfactory level of service at every step of the process. Location intelligence for FMCG makes this possible by allowing brands to simplify, personalise and ‘own’ the interaction.
For FMCG organisations who may not previously have had to consider the location of consumers it is now vital that they have the right tools in place for analysis. If you would like to know more about how Periscope® could help your brand not only enter the D2C market but obtain a competitive edge, please contact us to request a free demo.