As expected, the pandemic significantly accelerated the growth of online sales for many categories. This expansion of e-commerce platforms is expected to be permanent, especially since the full potential of the existing e-commerce infrastructure is yet to be fully exploited and has the capacity to support even further growth.
Companies are now realising the importance of revamping their e-commerce strategies to ensure future success. There is a lot of e-commerce data available, from a wide variety of sources. The difficult part is understanding how to best harness all this data to develop successful competitive strategies, to inform both long-term objectives and short-term goals.
Developing a strategic plan
The everchanging world of retailing and marketing FMCG products has resulted in brand manager roles that combine both the everyday tactical managing of product sales in addition to the design of longer-term strategic goals.
Say for example, you are looking to expand your brand into a new market or category, what are some of the considerations required to develop a strategic plan?
By evaluating where you sit in the online space, you can evaluate the competitive environment to determine:
- The competitive set in the space that best meets your revenue and profit goals
- The price points where you may best compete
- The product, including its features, benefit spaces and assortment size required to win
- The appropriate channel, in this case online, and retail partners to maximise sales
A key consideration is to make sure you will be able to compete effectively at the right price point, to meet your profitability goals. However, a brand needs to ensure it can be competitive not just on price but also in the attributes and benefit areas it offers consumers. E-commerce data can provide a clear picture, both at a broad and granular level, of the critical attributes a brand must have to win within a particular competitive space. Similarly, online SKU data highlights the breadth of assortment required to succeed and the potential level of investment required to play.
You’ve set the strategy, what next?
Once a strategic plan is in place, you must focus on how to manage a brand tactically in order to be able to achieve your strategic objectives. These goals need to be tracked and adjusted on a frequent basis to ensure a brand can compete consistently. Whereas the strategic plan focused on identifying where to play, the tactical plan is focused on how to play – the execution of the broader plan.
A key component of building the tactical plan is competitor-led. However, it is equally important to look at other factors such as:
- Demand patterns
- Price elasticities
- Stock levels
Once you have determined the space in which the company will play, the focus now is to detect competitor behaviour and price, product and retail patterns on an on-going and frequent basis to remain ahead of the competition.
How e-commerce data helps you grow your brand
In the white paper, ‘Using E-commerce Data to Identify Growth Opportunities for your Brand’, we show you how to size opportunities and win in the digital space. We’ll use an example of a global beauty player in the US facial care space to highlight some of the indispensable ways e-commerce data can be applied to building both strategic and tactical brand goals. These illustrated use cases can be similarly applied within any FMCG category with an online presence. Learn more.