Nearly a quarter of companies (24%) in the consumer packaged goods sector claim that providing consistent customer experience is their top multi-channel concern, followed by the need to control consistency of their brand across all channels (23%), according to new research.
The study, from Master Data Management company Stibo Systems reveals the pressures felt by companies across Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industries (including retail, manufacturing and marketing services) due to the explosion of the multi-channel eCommerce environment.
The multi-channel environment has created new challenges for CPG companies managing product information and, consequently, over half of companies have a degree of difficulty in controlling their brand and messaging to the world. 70 percent of companies manage several variations of product copy for some or all of their products to target different segments, markets and campaigns, and nearly 60 percent update some or all of their content information in real time adding to the pressures to deliver a multi-channel experience.
Although most CPG companies already collaborate across departments and brands to create quality and consistent product information, over a third of companies surveyed are only doing this to some extent or not at all. Moreover, for over half of companies, brand management is, or is to an extent, still segmented within separate business units (55 percent).
Two thirds of respondents cited that too many silos of data are slowing them down, highlighting the importance of being able to access data from one central resource. In turn, nearly 65 percent of CPG companies believe that the number of product data attributes required per product has increased in the last two years and half now manage multiple language versions of product information for some or all of their products. With the internet and eCommerce opening the playing field across the world, offering product information in local languages is imperative to international growth.
Simon Walker, director of innovations at Stibo Systems, comments: “Our research reveals that businesses in the CPG space are facing new challenges due to the explosion of the multi-channel eCommerce environment. With the internet meaning that businesses can offer a wider choice of products, and with customers looking to numerous channels before making a purchase, the customer’s interaction with products has changed. Therefore putting detailed product data in place across all channels is essential for businesses to encourage conversions and to improve the customer experience.”
He continues: “Once product data or brand messaging has been passed onto third parties, such as retailers, CPG companies have to work even harder to control and manage that data. Product information is key to supporting consumer expectations and it is imperative that these CPG companies are the source of this information. In the future it’s likely that these companies will be able to sell directly to consumers online; they do not have the skill set or technology to do it yet, but it will certainly be a key growth area in the future.”
The survey data was collected from 295 respondents in collaboration with The Grocer from February 2014.