Reading the headlines it would appear that every pet food and product manufacturer is swimming in profit due to the e-commerce and omni-channel surge over the last 12 to 18 months. This is an estimated 30% growth according to PetfoodIndustry.com.
Realistically, you know that it is just not that simple.
In fact, the exponential increase in e-commerce business adds complexity and uncertainty with:
- More competition offering more choices to consumers
- More demands from more retailers to drive consumer traffic and purchases
- More pressure to have the right products in the right places at the right time
- Less control and oversight of pricing, promotion and discoverability of your products
- Less awareness of market realities, competitive benchmarks, pricing perception or profit drivers
- Less confidence in your digital performance, decision making and ability to tell your internal and external stories.
While these factors are relevant to all CPG brands, the acceleration and penetration of omni-channel shopping and higher shopper loyalty in the pet category elevate the need to address them quickly.
The 3 Pillars of E-Commerce Mastery
Working with pet brands and retailers, we see the most successful organizations focusing on mastering three areas:
The reason these components are critical to e-commerce success is collectively they provide the core controls, causal and drivers of growth. Similarly, deficiency in any of the key areas can directly impact the other areas in a way that compromises the reliability and effectiveness of your entire e-commerce approach.
For example, if you cannot enforce MAP compliance, your visibility into pricing perception is skewed. Add to this the fact that MAP violations may be driving availability issues jeopardizing your ability to be seen by your customers. As a result, your marketing investments and revenue strategy are compromised by an inability to accurately construct a pricing architecture that protects profitability.
How to Manage the 3 Pillars for Growth
Pet brands looking to solidify their e-commerce presence and competitive strategy should use the 3 pillars as foundational building blocks, but also need to understand the factors that strengthen each of these key areas.
For many pet companies, e-commerce has become more about putting out the latest fire than acting strategically. When we look at the driving factors of price, promotion, assortment and availability across your competitive set and retail ecosystem, we can identify which of the pillars is weakening and which can offer the biggest gains.
For example, we often hear from pet brands, “We know we are out of stock. There is nothing we can do about it right now.”
Knowing that out of stocks lead to lost revenue and compromise digital shelf positioning, we need to focus on areas that can balance this loss.
In this case it may be:
- MAP Compliance to protect profitability of our in stock products
- Promotional Compliance to make sure that we are not paying for promotions when there is no stock.
- Digital Shelf visibility to understand how the out of stock is impacting our discoverability and ranking so we can plan for the future
- Market strengths and weaknesses to build a strategy to get back in the cart when we are available
Picking and Choosing Your Battles
Mastering e-commerce is a necessity to compete as a pet brand today. However, doing so shouldn’t feel like a leap of faith. Instead, brands need to be intentional and informed in setting their priorities and making investments.
The 3 pillars and influencing factors are guides to help you derisk your e-commerce business decisions. However, it is not possible to address all these factors at once. You have to choose which battles are worth fighting today.
This is why it is so important that common understanding, prioritization and investment are tethered by accurate, relevant and timely data.
When we have data that informs each of the pillars, we eliminate blindspots in our e-commerce and competitive approach without worrying about crashing.
This is why Bungee Tech is offering any brand the opportunity to benchmark their e-commerce data with a complimentary benchmarking sample aligned with the 3 Pillars.
Bungee Tech was founded on the belief that e-commerce should not be a blind leap, but an adventure for brands and retailers that are securely tethered to solid ground with Bungee Tech’s data and analytics.