“It’s very surprising for me how slow especially the food industry has been to embrace this [e-commerce] versus how quickly the consumer is changing—and has changed—the way that they shop.”
—Kevin McCarthy, CEO, Unreal
Part 1: Meet the panel, brand e-commerce stats
- Discover each company’s online sales strategy and its path to market.
- Get current and forecasted brand e-commerce stats.
Part 2: Business and supply chain complexities as a natural brand grows
- Mike Mackay: It’s an ever-evolving balance between your in-house capabilities and your agency partners.
- Kevin McCarthy: It’s very important to have a single person on your team dedicated to e-commerce.
- Sarah Bird: We rely heavily on agencies at this juncture: one for the branded website, one for Amazon.
- Mackay: Managing consumer expectation is key. Fulfillment has the challenge to make delivery faster.
- McCarthy: We always lead with taste. It’s a main tenet of our brand, but it poses e-commerce fulfillment challenges.
- Bird: What are the right pack configurations to maximize our Amazon ring?
Part 3: E-commerce vs. brick-and-mortar strategy, retail questions
- McCarthy: People are willing to spend a bit more online but you can be priced out of the category.
- Bird discusses how to drive awareness and trial: Start on Amazon, then come to brand site.
- Mackay: MAP pricing and maintaining price integrity.
- McCarthy talks using success in e-commerce to drive more distribution when it comes to larger national retailers.
- Bird: We need to make sure our distributors aren’t selling to Amazon and undercutting us.
Part 4: Marketing efforts for customer acquisition, biggest surprises in the e-commerce cycle
- Mackay: The return on mobile ad spend is rising.
- Mackay: Sample and trial is still the bread and butter: “Bars in bellies” is the biggest thing we’re focused on.
- McCarthy: A test-and-learn approach: How do we make our community as active and passionate a part of our brand as possible?
- Bird explains how to use the Gleam tool for e-newsletter success.
- Amazon is such a dynamic platform, you need to be able to be nimble.
This session—Fueling Sales in an Omnichannel World: Digital and eCommerce Strategy Panel--Making it Work—was recorded at Natural Products Expo West 2019.