On July 27, ClearCut’s Head of Business Development, Dan Harari, participated in a live panel discussion at the 2021 NBJ Summit focused on optimizing retail channel strategies in an omnichannel environment. The panel was hosted by Claire Morton Reynolds, Senior Industry Analyst, Nutrition Business Journal, and included two other notable speakers: Kathryn Peters, Executive Vice President, SPINS, and Robert Row, Digital Marketing and Analytics Manager, Nordic Naturals.
If you missed the panel, or are just interested in a refresher, read on for our 3 key takeaways:
1. Brands are learning that eCommerce data unlocks insights into the future to mitigate risks.
Dan Harari of ClearCut Analytics explained how eCommerce data enables brands to see market trends early and navigate uncertainty. Brands often struggle with the uncertainty of which retail strategies will stick, and where they should be investing (or not) in order to receive long-term ROI. Dan says that this is where eCommerce data and insights can help create a plan for the future.
Dan specifically touched on the fact that Amazon data can help predict future retail trends 2 years before conventional brick and mortar (B&M) stores. This data is an essential piece of a brands’ toolkit, as they can swiftly unlock trends online and then bring innovative products to market before competitors.
Dan also noted that brands have the ability to take more risks online and fail fast, thereby avoiding the higher cost of failing in B&M. For example, a brand can create a new product, quickly launch a product page, and instantly gauge consumer interest on Amazon through reviews. If consumer feedback is negative, and the product demonstrates a short “digital shelf life,” the brand can avoid putting the associated retail chain at risk.
2. The pandemic made it clear that now is the time to invest in eCommerce data.
Robert Row of Nordic Naturals explained how the COVID-19 pandemic underscored the importance of having visibility into online sales trends and consumer behavior. He and his team leveraged eCommerce data to determine where to put their marketing dollars during such unparalleled times and drive ROI. He particularly noted how online storefronts have been an area where they invested quite a bit of time and resources, as they have opened the gates to further educate consumers about their brand and products.
Robert additionally mentioned how eCommerce data is an incredible asset for getting products into B&M stores. He shared that when category managers see strong sales performance on Amazon, it is a clear risk mitigation metric, and has increased the likelihood for their products to be placed on physical shelves.
3. Brands need to embrace an omnichannel strategy to win.
Kathryn Peters of SPINS agreed about the importance of selling online and harnessing its data. However, she also reinforced that brands must embrace an omnichannel strategy to thrive in our ever-changing environment. Here are some examples as to why:
- In-person shopping offers the opportunity to gain deep connections and cultivate brand loyalty through deep human connection.
- The educational component of physically shopping in-store is difficult to replicate. For example, consumers may not know that certain products or ingredients exist until innovative supermarkets educate consumers about what to search for.
- There are also higher barriers to entry for B&M. Kathryn pointed out that if brands don’t do their research, they have limited time to be successful in stores. She says it can often be beneficial for brands to build enough equity on the digital side first where barriers to entry are lower and the cost of failing is much less.
It’s clear that brands are being forced to rethink their omnichannel strategy in today’s retail market. Harnessing both online and B&M data proves to be the most effective way to build strategic, long-lasting results.