E-commerce: Are consumer products companies leaving money on the table?

April 2, 2019
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Consumer products companies lag behind many other industries in online sales, but in the US by 2022, we estimate that e-commerce could grow to $175 billion, or 15% of all consumer products sales. Companies not positioning themselves with the right digital strategy risk losing sales, market share, and growth potential.

Introducing our e-commerce series

Consumer behavior has been changing more slowly in consumer products than in some other spaces, but we expect the change of pace to accelerate. And many consumer products companies have been playing catch up in digital transformation, focusing more on internal capabilities rather than external strategies. Consumer products companies must implement forward-looking, digitally-enabled strategies to connect in new ways with consumers.

We believe consumer products companies should consider the following, which will be discussed more fully as this series progresses:

  1. Assortment
    E-commerce may be an 'endless aisle,' but winning in this channel is not only about product placement but also innovation, differentiation, and exclusivity

  2. Consumer experience
    Thrive by mastering a consistent, omni-channel presence and by ensuring quality products and timely delivery

  3. Supply chain optimization
    Choosing and optimizing the right supply chain strategy must be adapted case-by-case, balancing costs, service, control, and pricing

  4. Opportunistic M&A
    In an era of slow organic growth, M&A can be a core pillar of developing an e-commerce strategy

  5. Capability
    Putting in place the right capabilities and structures is critical to winning

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