10 Common Digital Mistakes Made by CPG Brands in 2019

10 Common Digital Mistakes Made by CPG Brands in 2019

Authored by Ameex Technologies on 12 Feb 2019

Tom Pirovano
VP of Market Research & Digital Business Growth
Ameex Technologies

Your online presence is the gateway to your brand – a place for shoppers to find product details, discover where to buy, and learn what sets your brand apart from competitors. In 2019, CPG manufacturers increasingly rely on their websites, apps, and social media to connect directly with their shoppers. But having a great product doesn’t always translate to a great online presence. After spending many years in the CPG/FMCG industry, here are some common digital mistakes being made by CPG brands that continue to frustrate me as a consumer.

#1 – Slow-Loading Mobile Sites

According to Google, “53% of mobile site visits leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load.” Among many solutions out there to manage page speed, consider exploring Google’s recommendation of Accelerated Mobile Pages or “AMP”. AMP-enabled mobile pages load noticeably faster than conventional mobile pages. If your site takes more than 3 seconds to load on a phone, consider making it AMP-enabled. To learn more about the Google AMP project, view this YouTube AMP video.

To test your own site performance, try these sites:
PageSpeed Insights

#2 - Building Mobile Apps with No Value for the Consumer

There are more than 5 million mobile applications available today. Too many brands release apps with limited value. Think about how customers use your app. Can they get the same information from a good mobile site? In most cases, shoppers prefer a mobile site without adding app-clutter to their home screens. As an alternative to apps, consider PWAs (Progressive Web Applications). PWAs are meant to create app-like experience and deliver superior performance when compared to the native apps. According to Google, “PWAs are quickly becoming the new standard for web interactions.”

How many apps does Coke need?


#3 - Limited Presence on Amazon (or Other Ecommerce Sites)

There was a time when CPG brands debated whether they should do business with Amazon. Times have changed. Even brands with strong retailer relationships need to be available on Amazon for (1) driving SEO & visibility, (2) posting product details, and (3) sales. Another added benefit is learning from online buyer reviews. And don’t stop at Amazon. Which other Ecommerce sites are a good match for your brand?

#4 - Allowing Third Parties to Sell YOUR Brand online.

According to Forbes, third party sellers on Amazon can be a headache for both shoppers and traditional brands. These third party vendors could deliver poor service including expired freshness codes, slow delivery, or even counterfeit products – damaging the brand equity you’ve spent years to build. Many CPG brands now have exclusive agreements to prevent third party vendors from selling their brands on Amazon.

#5 – Online Pricing Undercutting Distributor Partners

Just because a manufacturer can sell direct-to-consumer, they don’t need to compete with their distributors on price. Let your consumers shop online for information and convenience, but avoid damaging retailer relationships by competing with them on price.

Example: $8.99 on Sale at Jewel Foods and $7.99 on Amazon.


#6 – Not Understanding Factors Driving SEO

People don’t search just for brands – they search for categories. And your brand needs to be among the top results. Even the best CPG websites need to be found. There are several factors that decide your SEO. Learn more about SEO.

#7 - Ignoring Paid Search to Drive Site Traffic

While organic search is good, paid search can help you reach your target shoppers efficiently. Once you’ve identified your target consumer, paid search allows you to focus on specific search terms that may be relevant for your brand like “organic baby food” or “non-drowsy allergy medicine” or “gluten-free pasta”. Traditional broadcast advertising is seen by wider audiences and can increase brand awareness. But paid search is focused on a target audience that is actively searching for your category or brand. Learn more about advertising with Google.

#8 – Disconnected Omnichannel Marketing

Some of the biggest brands in CPG spend millions on their advertising campaigns without tying the messaging and imagery to their websites. Super Bowl Ads are a great example. Burger King’s “Eat with Andy” Super Bowl commercial featured Andy Warhol eating a Burger King hamburger. Whether or not you liked the ad, Burger King’s website makes no mention of this commercial. Pepsi also ran Super Bowl commercials with major celebrities while their website had no reference to their ads. PepsiCo’s Doritos brand, however, included videos of their Chance the Rapper Super Bowl ads on their website.

#9 – Lack of a YouTube Strategy

YouTube continues to evolve from a source of entertainment to a source of information. A recent Google study reports that “90% of people say they discover new brands or products on YouTube.” It’s easy for a brand to just post TV ads to YouTube, but more smart brands are targeting shoppers with their videos. Like your website, YouTube can be a great way to communicate brand differentiation, usage ideas and product news.

#10– Lack of ML/AI in Online Personalization

Online personalization is about engaging with the right customers at the right time with the right message – across devices. Machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) can be wonderful tools for personalized connections with your customers by understanding where they visit, what they watch, and how they navigate your site. This customer information is out there, and ML & AI can help to utilize it. Learn more about online personalization.

We’ve identified some of the most common mistakes made by CPG manufacturers, and we’re just scratching the surface. As a consumer, you’ve experienced many of these yourself. If you’d like to learn more about building a stronger online presence, Contact Ameex Technologies.