Growing Shopper Loyalty Through Product Attribute and Sales Data
As consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands and retailers strive to strengthen their relationship with the consumer, particularly in a retail climate increasingly affected by inflation and supply chain issues, there are two converging trends to consider — enriching the omnichannel shopping experience and meeting specific consumer need states in new ways.
These aren’t new trends, but they're increasingly crucial to how consumers shop today. Brands and retailers can drive more value and earn greater customer loyalty by merging their shopper insights around these trends.
More than ever, consumers are shopping and purchasing a wider variety of goods online: placing online grocery stock-up orders for delivery and fulfilling quick-trip milk runs for curbside pickup, for example. They’re seeking a simple, fast and easy omnichannel shopping experience.
At the same time, their awareness is heightened about buying products that have attributes around sustainability, sourcing, and added health and wellness benefits. The pandemic has amplified existing trends for personal health and well-being in the sense that consumers are focused on staying as healthy as possible. They’re also increasingly driven by a desire to prioritize caring for the planet and their communities.
Sitting right in the middle of these two desires is where brands and retailers can win over consumers.
With the right data, organizations can drill down into the product attributes and claims that matter most to consumers. Furthermore, they can better understand how consumers are omni-shopping online and in-store to deliver the right wellness-based products being searched for.
Strengthening Loyalty Through Transparency
Getting the right product attribute information to shoppers starts with improved transparency. Of course, rising prices and out-of-stocks can impact a customer's loyalty. NielsenIQ research shows that three in 10 shoppers will switch retailers if the one they’re shopping at doesn’t have the goods they’re looking for, and 70 percent will purchase a different brand if their favorite brand is out of stock. But a lack of transparency can be just as damaging.
A 2022 FMI and NielsenIQ survey, Transparency in an Evolving Omnichannel World, found that 42 percent of respondents will look at a competing product to better understand its ingredients. This behavior could be a direct line to brand-switching, especially if that competing product has more insightful information or tells a more transparent story.
The study also found that 40 percent of consumers are researching ingredients online, creating an opportunity for brands and retailers to provide meaningful product information on product pages to win over shoppers. Conversely, retailers and brands missing information online can lose shoppers to those with robust product pages that include ingredients and attribute information.
Catering to the Conscious Consumer
There's a tremendous opportunity for brands and retailers to earn shoppers’ loyalty by providing detailed product information and being more transparent about what’s inside their products and where they came from. The same FMI and NielsenIQ survey found that 72 percent of consumers consider transparency to be “important” or “extremely important,” and nearly seven in 10 want transparency to support a better planet. By utilizing omnichannel data, brands can meet these conscious consumers where they like to shop.
Winning With Attributes
In line with transparency, NielsenIQ has seen a rise in sales of products with specific attributes, particularly around sustainability claims. For instance, sales of a product with an attribute claiming to be “Plastic Free” increased by 96.4 percent in 2021 compared with two years prior. Products claiming to use “Eco-Friendly Packaging” saw sales increase 21.3 percennt over that period, and products made from “100% Recycled Paperboard” were up 8.1 percent for the same period.
Another example is the entire coffee category. NielsenIQ data shows that coffee products with the attribute “Fair Trade” or “Socially Responsible” increased 27 percent in 2021 vs. two years prior. A recent report, Assessing Attributes, also highlights the coffee category and how attribute data alongside omnichannel sales data can grow sales and meet growing shopper need states.
The task for brands and retailers is factoring in how consumers are omni-shopping for specific products — online, in-store and both — and how brands can meet shoppers where they want to purchase. Consumers are looking to brands for help to find products in the shopping channel they want and to find products with the claims that matter to them.
In a fragile climate in which it’s become much easier to lose customers, making it straightforward for consumers to buy the products they need across channels and easily find products that meet their health, wellness and sustainability expectations is how CPGs and retailers can win over shoppers.
Sherry Frey is vice president, Total Wellness, NielsenIQ. She has more than two decades of industry experience and is a recognized thought leader on health and wellness shopping and consumption trends.
Sherry Frey has more than two decades of industry experience and is a recognized thought leader on health and wellness shopping and consumption trends. With a background in marketing, market research, innovation and consulting, Frey shares a view that extends beyond personal health and wellness and into the health of the planet.