One of the hallmarks of consumer products companies that are thriving in the digital economy is their ability to deliver in-the-moment consumer experiences.
Whether it’s Under Armour helping consumers achieve fitness goals every day or McCormick & Company feeding consumers personalized recipe recommendations to expand their culinary horizons, CP companies are carving out roles for themselves in the lives of today’s connected consumers to be both relevant and useful.
It’s something all CP companies should be asking themselves today: How can we deliver a seamless brand experience that helps consumers in their moments of need, regardless of when and where those moments occur?
In some cases, that experience has become as simple and seamless as the push of a button. The Amazon Dash button is now available for dozens of CP companies, allowing consumers to immediately reorder products such as diapers, detergent or dog treats by simply pressing a Dash button.
For consumers, technologies like the Dash button provide a new level of convenience. For CP companies, these tools can help counter dwindling brand loyalty by being there for consumers in the moment of need.
Creating the Experience
A number of changes are happening behind the scenes that are largely invisible to consumers but that are helping enable these types of seamless brand experiences.
For example, retailers are tapping into third-party logistics providers to help optimize inventory as omni-channel shopping expands.
As Wall Street Journal reported: “Instead of stocking 50 sweaters at each store, some retailers will keep just 10 on hand, leaving the rest at a centralized distribution center that also fills online orders. When that store runs out, it will order 10 more for just-in-time restocking, and UPS or FedEx will get it to the door.”
The ability to optimize business models to deliver on consumer expectations was very beneficial for some retailers during this holiday shopping season, given that more people shopped online than in stores during the Black Friday weekend. Leveraging alternative fulfillment models also allows retailers and CP companies to collaborate on inventory optimization to reduce carrying costs for both parties, while tailoring availability and fulfillment to increasingly local demand patterns.
At the same time, CP companies are leveraging more data and analytics to help drive inventory and logistics. A company that uses the Dash button, for example, can now gain greater visibility all the down into home-level demand for products.
This can shed insight on how much inventory is needed to fulfill demand as it happens. The data can also help CP companies re-examine distribution hubs and identify changes or improvements that need to be made closer to demand sources, especially as more consumers utilize 24-hour and same-day shipping from online retailers.
CP companies seeking to gain a leg up on the competition by creating a seamless brand experience should keep in mind that it requires fundamental, transformative change within their businesses and business processes.
Clearly, they must be able to reach consumers directly and immediately at their points of need. But they also must able to collaborate with retailers and channel partners in real-time to fulfil demand. And they must be agile and flexible whether responding to market disruptions or capitalizing on new opportunities.
This kind of change can only happen with a new generation of ERP – the digital core. To learn more, read this informative article about the digital core’s crucial functions and value in a digital economy.
Learn more about Digital Transformation for Consumer Products at Consumer Products. Reimagined for the new economy.