Accenture, comScore, and dunnhumbyUSA Study Shows Direct Correlation Between CPG Brand Website Usage and In-Store Purchase Behavior
CPG Brand Website Visitors Spend 37% More on the Brand and 53% More on Product Category in Retail Stores
Website Features that Attract Visitors Include Compelling Brand Value Messages Updated on a Frequent Basis Along with Content that Engages Visitors
RESTON, VA, Jan. 30, 2012 – A groundbreaking study from Accenture (NYSE: ACN), comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), and dunnhumbyUSA aimed at helping consumer packaged goods (CPG) marketers better understand the link between consumers’ usage of brand websites and their in-store brand buying behavior found that visitors to CPG brand websites buy 37% more in retail stores than non-visitors to the brand site. The study, Are Your CPG Brands Maximizing the Return on Your Digital Investment?, also concluded, that to maximize impact, website content needs to be updated regularly and contain brand value messaging that both engages visitors while also providing compelling reasons for them to purchase the brand at retail.
“CPG marketers currently invest millions of dollars in their brand websites, and the results of this study confirm the importance of this investment. Brand websites can attract and influence the behavior of the most valuable segments of any brand’s franchise,” said comScore vice president Mike Zeman. “But it’s clear that the content and utilities on these sites need to be highly engaging if they are to attract a meaningful numbers of visitors. Marketers who do this successfully stand to gain an attractive return by growing their brands’ sales in retail stores.”
Brand Website Visitors are Heavier Buyers of the Brand and Category at Retail
The study found that visitors to CPG brand websites are valuable and frequent buyers of the brand in retail stores, completing 41 percent more transactions than non-visitors. As a result, brand websites are able to attract heavier-than-average brand buyers, who spend 37 percent more on the brand in retail stores than non-visitors. Website visitors also are also heavier buyers within a brand’s product category, spending 53 percent more category dollars than non-visitors.
|In-Store Performance Metric
|Monthly Brand Dollars
|Monthly Category Dollars
|No. of Brand Buying Occasions in Six Month Period
John LaRocca, Vice President, Strategic Partnerships at dunnhumbyUSA, noted: “The Accenture / comScore / dunnhumbyUSA research highlights the significant yet underutilized potential of brand websites and digital communications as key drivers for building customer loyalty and preference for CPG brands. Since website visitors have higher affinity to the brand and the overall product category, there is an opportunity for brand marketers to drive loyalty through personalizing the website experience, catering to the preferences of their best customers.”
Compelling Features of Successful Brand Websites
The length of time that visitors spend on a brand’s website was found to be a key determinant of their likelihood to buy the brand in retail stores. The study identified three important characteristics of brand websites that are associated with a higher likelihood that visitors will buy the brand in retail stores:
1. Brand value messaging that provides a persuasive reason for a website visitor to buy the brand
2. Fresh content updated on at least a weekly basis, such as “pulse surveys”, user generated reviews, status on weight loss plans, etc.
3. Content that engages visitors. This can include promotions, philanthropic appeals, demonstrations, live chat, apps and games.
Jerry Lohse, senior director, Accenture Interactive said, “Marketers who create compelling CPG brand website experiences for consumers are extremely effective in driving incremental and profitable in-store sales.” To illustrate his point, Lohse said, “Analysis shows that consumers visiting the best of the ten CPG brand websites evaluated in the research study, spent over 200 percent more on the brand than non-visitors. Moreover, the research shows that the price paid per unit of the brand at the best of the ten CPG brand websites in the study was two percent more than for non-visitors in brand.”
Research Study Design
The study was based on an integrated panel of one million U.S. Internet users who have given comScore explicit permission to have their online activities continuously measured and matched to their in-store brand buying behavior provided by dunnhumbyUSA. This integrated panel provided a single-source, privacy-protected data mart containing each panelist’s online activities and their in-store buying behavior. Using the comScore-dunnhumbyUSA database, the study examined ten individual food and household product brands with annual sales between $40 million and $3 billion. These brands had at least 100,000 unique visitors to their websites and as many as 2.3 million per month. The study covered the time period from September 2010 through February 2011. Leveraging comScore’s knowledge of the digital user, dunnhumby’s shopper understanding, and Accenture’s experience in operating and maintaining consumer packaged goods websites, the study quantified the linkage between CPG brand buying at retail and digital behavior by comparing the in-store purchase behavior of website visitors and non-visitors and identifying the common components of successful CPG brand websites. For website performance scoring criteria, the Accenture Web Evaluator was used for this survey. The Accenture Web Evaluator provides a comprehensive assessment of how well companies use their websites to attract and retain customers, support and reinforce their brand, deliver services and generate sales.
The research was conducted with the endorsement of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), and the results were presented January 29th at their joint board meeting in Orlando. “Creating a better understanding of the relationship between a brand’s online presence and real-world shopping is important, relevant and timely to our membership and their future growth potential,” noted Denny Belcastro, Executive Vice President, Industry Affairs and Collaboration, GMA. Patrick Walsh, Senior Vice President, Industry Relations, Education and Research, FMI, added, “Finally some tangible observations pointing to a return on our members’ brand digital spend…looking forward to the next phase that adds social media as well.”
To obtain a copy of the study report, Are Your CPG Brands Maximizing the Return on Your Digital Investment? please visit any of the following links:
A follow up study is planned for 2012 to help CPG brand marketers better understand the difference between brand websites, social networks and other digital marketing channels, including display advertising, in their ability to reach specific types of in-store brand buyers. CPG brand marketers interested in participating in this research study should contact the following:
Deadline to participate is March 31, 2012.
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with more than 244,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$25.5 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2011. Its home page is www.accenture.com.
comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital business analytics. comScore provides syndicated and custom solutions in online audience measurement, e-commerce, advertising, search, video and mobile and offers dedicated analysts with digital marketing and vertical-specific industry expertise. Advertising agencies, publishers, marketers and financial analysts turn to comScore for the industry-leading solutions needed to craft successful digital, marketing, sales, product development and trading strategies. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com/companyinfo.
dunnhumby is the leader in personalizing the world’s experience of retailers and brands. Analyzing data from over 350 million people in 28 countries, we help companies put customers at the center of every decision. We use our insight to improve customers’ experience of stores and communications to earn their lifetime loyalty. Our work with some of the world’s biggest retailers and brands has demonstrated that companies which deliver value to customers through personalization become and stay their customers’ first choice. This strategic approach to putting the customer first in business improves our clients’ like-for-like sales and profit margins – or, put simply, their brand value. dunnhumbyUSA is a joint venture of The Kroger Company and London-based dunnhumby. Employing more than 1,900 people in 30 offices in Europe, Asia and the Americas, dunnhumby serves a prestigious list of companies including The Kroger Co., Tesco, Coca-Cola, General Mills, Kimberly-Clark, Macy’s, Panera Bread Company, PepsiCo and Procter & Gamble. dunnhumby also includes the word of mouth marketing experts BzzAgent and price optimization company KSS Retail. For more information, visit www.dunnhumby.com
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