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Levin focuses on digital in path to purchase

BY Gina Acosta

BOSTON — Beauty is three times stronger in terms of its relative share online, and the category presents a huge opportunity for retailers, according to new data from IRI.

Larry Levin, EVP consumer insights and thought leadership at IRI, presented the data during an Insight Session titled “The Impact of Digital Marketing in Shaping the Path to Purchase” at NACDS Total Store Expo on Monday.

“Beauty is 6.5% of total CPG sales. But when you look at online CPG sales, beauty makes up 14%. The opportunities are enormous to connect with beauty customers. It’s also really important to drive beauty because it helps to drive a bigger basket,” Levin said.

Although all of the categories within beauty have been increasingly strong online, Levin said, fragrance and skin care sales have been especially robust.

“A lot of that has to do with YouTube, how-to videos and social. So when you think about your assortment, you have to think about whether you are bringing the right products and promotions in front of your customers,” Levin said.

The data show consumers continue to rely on digital media — social and paid — as a critical partner to plan their path to purchase. Many categories, especially in the area of health and wellness, are capitalizing on consumers’ thirst for knowledge and products that satisfy their needs to look and live a vibrant life.

Levin also said retailers in the digital age also must plan their assortments around “click ’n pick.”

“How are you making sure the right products are online to be clicked and picked? But also, both manufacturers and retailers have to think about the customers who don’t just pick up their stuff and leave. You want to put the right product in front of those who walk the store and see what else could be bought,” Levin said.

Levin ended with four key takeaways for both CPG companies and retailers:

  1. Online retailers fighting below Amazon have an opportunity to take that No. 2 spot.
  2. Make sure that you are connected to Internet influencers who support your products.
  3. Consumers expect more personalization than ever before.
  4. Leverage the blurring between health and wellness. Beauty also is about wellness.

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Walmart buying Jet.com for $3 billion

BY Marianne Wilson
Walmart Stores announced it will acquire retail start-up — and would-be Amazon rival — Jet.com for approximately $3 billion in cash. Additionally, $300 million of Walmart shares will be paid over time as part of the transaction.
 
The deal will go a long way to helping Walmart expand its e-commerce growth and customer reach, and also give it more firing power as it competes with Amazon.  And Jet.com’s popularity with millennials will help the discounter attract a younger, higher-income customer. 
 
“We’re looking for ways to lower prices, broaden our assortment and offer the simplest, easiest shopping experience because that’s what our customers want,” said Doug McMillon, president and CEO, Walmart Stores. “We believe the acquisition of Jet accelerates our progress across these priorities. Walmart.com will grow faster, the seamless shopping experience we’re pursuing will happen quicker, and we’ll enable the Jet brand to be even more successful in a shorter period of time. Our customers will win. It’s another jolt of entrepreneurial spirit being injected into Walmart.”
 
Launched in 2015, Jet.com was co-founded by Mike Hanrahan, Nate Faust and Marc Lore, who serves as its CEO. Among other things, Lore previously co-founded and led Quidsi, the parent company of e-commerce sites Diapers.com, Soap.com and Wag.com. 
 
Jet.com says it has more than 400,000 new shoppers added monthly, with an average of 25,000 daily processed orders. It features some 12 million SKUs, and counts more than 2,400 retailer and brand “partners.” The company uses a proprietary, real-time pricing algorithm to find the lowest possible price on each item from its network of retail partners, and offers free two-to-five day shipping for orders more than $35.
 
“We started Jet with the vision of creating a new shopping experience,” Lore said. “Today, I couldn’t be more excited that we will be joining with Walmart to help fuel the realization of that vision. The combination of Walmart’s retail expertise, purchasing scale, sourcing capabilities, distribution footprint, and digital assets — together with the team, technology and business we have built here at Jet – will allow us to deliver more value to customers.”
 
Walmart and Jet will maintain distinct brands, with Walmart.com focusing on delivering the company’s everyday low price strategy, while Jet will continue to provide a differentiated customer experience with curated assortment. Walmart and Jet will leverage innovative technology solutions from both companies to develop new offerings. 
 
The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approval, has been approved by the boards of companies and is expected to close this calendar year.

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SLIDESHOW: NACDS TSE 2016 Sunday – Emerson Group Party

BY DSN STAFF

BOSTON — The Emerson Group hosted a party on Sunday night at The State Room in Boston during NACDS Total Store Expo 2016.

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