While we are best known for our work in consumer affairs software, Wilke Global also provides a product locator solution to several hundred CPG brands in the United States (and coming in 2018 to Canada, the UK, and other European markets!).
While the shopping behavior of the US consumer may be studied and measured more than anything else in the world, we have seen a lack of research on what consumers do when they are unable to find a particular product, and how efforts to find a specific SKU bridge the brick and mortar and online world. So in 2016 we launched a very focused study to learn more. We just updated the study for 2017 and are pleased to share a few of the key findings.
If you are interested in learning more - feel free to download our whitepaper detailing what we learned!
First, we found that getting distribution remains fundamental to winning with consumers. Just about half of consumers (48% in 2016, 49% in 2017) reported that they would buy another brand if the product they were searching for was not available on the shelf of the grocery or drug store where they were shopping.
Secondly, when faced with a product they don't find at their retailer of choice, relatively few consumers seek to complete their pruchase online. While the proportion is up 50% from 2016 to 2017 (7% and 10% respectively) it still remails comparatively small. If the growth trend continues we may indeed see a fundamental shift in FMCG purchases by consumers, but for today - when consumers set out to buy 'IRL' they don't readily make the shift to ecommerce.
Finally, when consumers do set out to make purchases online, their starting points are what you would expect - with Amazon, Google and WalMart leading the way. Consumers who want to buy online are not terribly likely to visit the brand website, a finding that is consistent both years, and in fact is slightly down (8% in 2016, 6% in 2017). What this bodes for 'owned' ecommerce efforts by CPG brands remains to be seen.