Jim Tonkin provides an overview of the opportunities in online retailing (or e-tailing) that are often overlooked by beverage companies.
In the face of rising costs in high street retailing, brand owners are finding opportunity for growth, higher profit margins, more focused contact with core consumers and marketing investment payoffs in the digital realm.
Amazon is one of the many new internet vehicles that has embraced buying products from brands in every segment of the beverage business, and in turn offering them its online opt-in consumer base at competitive prices and delivered directly to home or office in as little as two days.
Amazon has been in the marketplace for almost two decades, but has only recently (by managing to push its sizeable long-term investment on to the profit side) begun to give traditional retailers a real run for their money.
I believe that online retailing is the future. No longer effectively and profitably can bricks-and-mortar, established platforms be as effective as e-tailing given the flexibility and lower cost of operations and direct-to-consumer marketing.
They can make on-the-fly changes to programmes that are perhaps not effective, and in minutes reorient and redirect efforts online to reach target audiences. This is virtually impossible to achieve traditionally in food, drug and mass retailing (FDM).
Without delineating all the different programming offered by e-tailers such as Amazon, suffice to say that with more than 122 billion consumers to market beverage products to, these marketing directives can show almost immediate impact, as sales are monitored in real time. This is yet another feedback mechanism completely unavailable for FDM retailers. Waiting for IRISymphony or Spins data to arrive months after sales occur is outdated and is almost useless information.
Some of the tools used on Amazon include Adzinia, IMDb and DPR. Simply put, the Adzinia programme allows a brand owner to buy in to direct media against a specific target audience, with an investment of dollars yielding almost always a guaranteed return (or purchase of product by Amazon) of three times the investment. This is almost unheard of in the industry.
In addition, the use of IMDb (Internet Movie Database) in order to place ads created for movie searchers online helps to spur sales.
DPR (digital photography review) is yet another vehicle by which advertisers can place specific ads about their products next to or inside online photography pages. These are just a few of the tools that e-tailers can use to market directly to consumers.
It's worth taking a little time to check into online retailing, as I predict a robust and profitable future in this innovative, flexible and fast-changing route to market.
James Tonkin is president and owner at HealthyBrandBuilders and TonkinConsulting, and is a brand and marketing development professional.
- Waitrose to install concierge-style welcome desks
- The 10 fastest growing spirits brands of 2012
- Soho Coffee moves into leisure centre market
- Beverage > Alcohol
- Food > Confectionery
- Beverage > Dairy
- Beverage > Juices
- Beverage > Soft Drinks
- Beverage > Tea & Coffee
- Beverage > Water