5 Digital Tools All CPG Brands Should Consider

The recent pandemic has created a massive shift in consumer shopping habits, with online channels emerging as the clear victors. Established online grocery services like Instacart and Shipt, along with digital upstart RangeMe, are disrupting grocery retailing in ways that weren’t imaginable a few years ago. Here are five marketing strategies consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies should be using to get their brands on the digital shelf and into the hands of consumers.

Looking to Cold-Call Connect? Try RangeMe

Part virtual matchmaker and part trade show, this platform brings suppliers and retailers together from anywhere in the world—and it does it without the need for as many in-office meetings and travel. On RangeMe, your brand is exhibited on a customizable digital sell sheet that shares important details about your product and company to over 10,000 retail buyers. Major players like Albertsons and Target browse RangeMe to learn about emerging brands and products. Thrive Market Product Innovators source RangeMe for their private label initiatives. RangeMe enhances brand touchpoints with a retailer, but at the end of the day, the relationships and insights accrued by a food and beverage broker will ultimately benefit your brand placement.

How RangeMe Amps Up Your Brand

Upgrade to RangeMe Premium and your brand can increase its visibility through access to insights, alerts, promotions, and insider support. Another option, RangeMe Verified confirms your product meets certain standards and requirements that RangeMe retail partners look for when doing business, and provides up to seven times more views and easier search capabilities under the “RangeMe Verified” filter.

goPuff—the C-store That Delivers

Founded by two college students, this e-tailer’s mobile app allows customers to shop for anything found in a convenience store—candy bars, beer, OTC meds, baby wipes, pet food—and get it delivered in minutes. A minuscule fee of $1.95 accompanies every order or you can join the fam and receive free unlimited delivery. Available in more than 500 cities, the click and collect business model stores thousands of products in local facilities, and deploys over 4,000 drivers to deliver the goods virtually around the clock.

How CPG brands gain an audience and market share with goPuff

According to Technomic Consumer Insights, millennials make up 51 percent of c-store shoppers. GoPuff’s goal is to give millennials an additional channel to shop. Brands hoping to reach the millennial audience can do so by distributing product samples in goPuff’s delivery bags. GoPuff is a great option for showing demand exists if you are trying to enter a retailer in a specific market.

Instacart—Fueling the Discovery Funnel

The month after the pandemic hit, Instacart saw its app downloads grow by over 200 percent due to consumer fears about visiting grocery stores. By mid-summer of 2020, the delivery service’s online order volume soared by more than 500 percent on a YOY basis. In October, Wall Street sat up and took note by initiating a $200 million round of funding that valued the company at $17.7 billion. Equally astonishing is the fact that Instacart is available to more than 85 percent of U.S. households and more than 70 percent of Canadian households.

Every aspect of this grocery delivery business has boomed, from the number of Instacart retailers and the size of the personal shopping team to its CPG partners (numbering more than 1,000 brands). Instacart makes money from delivery fees, ad fees, and from its partnerships with CPG brands and retailers.

How Instacart prioritizes your product on its site

By deploying Featured Product ads similar to those found on Walmart and Amazon, brands receive a higher placement throughout the entire Instacart shopping funnel (Instacart Analytics found 70% of conversion from search happens in the first row). Instacart offers two Featured Product digital marketing options: Auto targeting where your ads are displayed next to the most relevant products according to Instacart’s proprietary algorithm, and Manual targeting where you set up bids based on high volume keywords. Both types of paid advertising rank your product ahead of the competition and strengthen its ability to reach potential customers.

Freshop—the Independent Retailer’s Brand Champion

Freshop, a comprehensive grocery store and e-commerce solution, provides custom solutions for the unique needs of independent retailers. Their store-branded platforms ensure shoppers are greeted with the same shopping experience on a grocer’s website as when they visit the retailer’s brick and mortar store.

The digital platform also services shoppers with a multi-channel shopping experience that includes click and collect, day delivery, and direct-to-home services at over 3,000 independent retail and specialty store locations.

What Freshop does to maximize product awareness

The recent launch of the company’s Ad Network promotes products at every stage of the customer journey, from weekly grocery market ads and product search, to product detail pages and home pages, checkout intercept, and targeted push notifications. The promoted ads support rich media and integrate with social media for a seamless omnichannel experience.

Amazon—Where Sales & Customer Loyalty Keep Soaring

If last year has proven anything, it’s that Amazon’s march to digital dominance remains undiminished. In 2020, the company reported its most profitable quarter ever as its North America revenue increased 39.3 percent YOY. With over 300 million people around the world shopping on Amazon, it’s no surprise that three-fourths of consumers from a recent survey said that they first search on Amazon to find a product they want. Customers prefer buying groceries on Amazon for multiple reasons: virtually endless aisles, lower price points, convenience, delivery, a frictionless end-to-end experience—and Amazon Prime, the ultimate e-commerce loyalty program.

Why diversification is one of many reasons to be on Amazon

CPG companies wanting to expand their grocery presence can do so through Amazon Fresh and Amazon Pantry. You don’t have to upload your entire catalog on the etail site, however, establishing a footprint can help your brand endure unexpected disruptions in other channels. Brands have the option of customizing product pages and featured offers to impact sales.

These are just a few of the digital solutions your CPG company can use to strategize and grow. If you are interested in selling on Amazon or using Insacart, Alliance can set it up and manage it for you.

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