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Consumer products companies are rapidly transitioning to the internet for their product marketing needs. The discussion that follows provides insights into the "who, what, why and how" of consumer products companies' multichannel presence.
A rapidly growing number of consumer products companies are employing e-commerce in some way. They are seeing a new avenue to reach customers with their product offerings and positively engage them. They too have the ability to improve the customer experience with their online capabilities. Statistics show that as many as 50 percent of customers frequently search for products using the internet, even if they plan to buy in a retail store. For this reason, consumer products companies are working hard to get both product and company visibility, as well as generate more sales for their products online.
Consumer products companies are utilizing the internet like never before. They are selling products direct to other businesses and consumers using their own websites, as well as marketplaces that sell products to a large number of online shoppers. Internet shoppers have gone from a fad to an active part of commerce worldwide. Consumer products companies are no longer constrained to the boundaries of retail stores, but can sell to customers anywhere. Those that are not engaged with customers online are missing out on tremendous opportunities.
This is the easiest to identify. Because the customer is “king,” using the internet to show a wide range of products, get the company brand in front of the customer, and having online systems to sell products directly is merely common sense. Companies can no longer ignore the huge potential market that exists for today’s buyers. Even if customers do not buy online, they do much of their research to make product selections online. Being online is an essential part of marketing for consumer products companies.
Consumer products companies are investing in the systems and technologies to bring their products to customers via the internet. The successful online consumer products companies have quickly made the transition to online or have partnered with existing technology providers to get up to speed. A common approach is to use forward marketplaces (e.g., a company’s products are made available on another organizations website). Other consumer products companies have elected to use to their own websites and market similar products from other companies, called a reverse marketplace.
The trend toward more consumer products companies making use of the internet to market and sell products will only grow. The 2014 holiday season was expected to see a steady, double-digit increase in the use of the internet by consumer products companies. Developing effective and efficient online and local delivery capabilities will differentiate the true winners from the losers in this battle for the online marketplace.
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