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Get smart about showcasing your brand online

Hand of female using mobile phone to online shopping. Christmas and New Year holiday online shopping concept. Big sale in winter holiday.

Australia’s online grocery space is more competitive than ever before, with thousands of brands battling it out to capture the attention of consumers.

Digital channels are multiplying fast and becoming increasingly important to a new generation of shoppers, and in doing so are generating a larger proportion of sales revenue each year.

But today’s consumers want more. They expect detailed information on products, captivating imagery as well as a consistent experience across channels and devices. Too often, FMCG brands fail to deliver on this front.

“For those supplying to the major grocery retailers, digital product assets tend to be the final step in the demanding process of product development and their value can often be overlooked,” said Mark Blitenthall, Service Engagement manager at GS1 Australia.

“At this stage in the process, brand owners have been through a concentrated period of product development and are focused on the finish line. As a result they can be tempted to overlook the important role that enriched product content, a complete set of product images and comprehensive on-pack information, can play in communicating their brand proposition to their end-consumer in the  online world,” he told Inside FMCG.

The increasingly sophisticated shopper is expecting the online shopping experience to mirror the satisfaction of an in-store, bricks and mortar experience.

“They want to be able, in a virtual sense, to pick products up and turn them over in their hands, to examine a product’s packaging for ingredients and allergens and have their marketing message convince them of the product benefits,” Blitenthall said.

“And it behoves brand owners to meet these expectations as far as possible.”

Enriched product content, a complete set of product images and comprehensive on-pack information, play a pivotal role in communicating a brand’s proposition, according to Blitenthall. Furthermore, in a society with a heightened awareness of allergens, this information is crucial to many.

“Enhanced searchability on many retailer websites, makes the ability to search for products using key search terms increasingly important. Products that don’t deliver the data to facilitate this don’t even make it into the consumer’s consideration set.”

Great digital product content increases the level of engagement that consumers have with a product online and high quality photographs provide the best chance of that all important click, “add to cart”.

“A set of high quality images of all sides of a product allows shoppers to zoom in and examine a product in detail to review ingredients, allergens and marketing messages. Options for 2D and 3D product images also allow shoppers to see products from a different perspective.”

Brand owners have more recently started to explore renders as another way of presenting their brands.

“Renders involve the use of computers and software to create a digital likeness of a physical product and have the advantage of allowing brand owners to produce product images before the actual physical product has been created. They also allow product images to be quickly updated to reflect changes driven by the evolution of product packaging.”

In terms of brand claims, Blitenthall says “natural”, “organic” and “free from” continue to remain popular and sustainability is always high on the agenda.

“Consumers are also increasingly aware of sustainability and ethical sourcing so claims around fair trade, sustainable sourcing and free range are also on the radar of many consumers.”

“Things such as reporting requirements for packaging sustainability will become increasingly important and will likely gain momentum over the next couple of years,” he added.

GS1’s assists brand owners to develop and share digital product content that engages consumers and drives sales growth. With direct integration into the on-line platforms of major supermarkets, brand owners’ product information can be updated automatically without any additional intervention on the part of the brand owner.

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