Global Executives Survey: The impact and influence of social media and online retail on the CPG industry

eRetail is set to become an increasingly important sales channel for groceries and personal care products, with 93% of CPG companies predicting growth in their country of operation. Alongside benefits, such as increased sales and revenue, the format brings its own challenges – traditional retail approaches will need to be significantly modified for the format, with distribution infrastructure investment, the development of online marketing, and packaging innovation being key to success. The majority of CPG companies currently make use of social media, with 92% having a presence on at least one online platform. Usage strategies are, however, currently underdeveloped with many companies lacking a coherent multi-platform plan, significant financial investment, or sophisticated usage monitoring systems. With user uptake of social media set to rise further over the next three years due to increasing use of smartphone technology, it is vital that companies develop strategies to engage a lucrative interactive consumer base.


This report examines the executive opinion about the current and future trends related to social media and online shopping and their retrospective effect on the CPG industry. Furthermore, it analyses the types of social media being used, challenges faced in implementing social media marketing, expected growth of online retail, and key reasons for growth in online retail over the next three years.

In particular, it provides an in-depth analysis of the following:

Social media and online shopping trends: analyzes industry sentiments about the latest trends related to social media and online shopping, and their impact upon investment decisions and growth prospects within the CPG industry.

Current and future trends: examines the executive opinion about the current and future trends related to social media and online shopping.

Current inhibitors of online sales: Identifies current inhibitors for increasing online sales from both consumer and industry perspective.

Key packaging developments: identifies key developments in the packaging industry which were influenced by the growth of online shopping.

Change in consumer behavior: analyses the key changes in consumer behavior levels regarding usage of social media and online shopping.

Leading challenges: identifies key challenges faced by industry executives when it comes to having an effective social media strategy.

Concerns related to online shopping behavior: analyzes the key concerns to online shopping behavior.

Implications from online shopping growth: identifies the key implications from the rise in online shopping, from both consumer and industry perspective.

Reasons to buy

The report will provide the user with information related to the significance of social media marketing and online shopping behavior and its impact on CPG industry.

This report will give the user a thorough analysis about the key drivers, pressing business concerns, and key benefits with respect to social media and online shopping.

The report has placed a significant emphasis on budget allocation by companies towards social media strategy in 2014 which will provide the user with the future opportunities that can be tapped, resulting in revenue expansion. Ex: Survey results reveal that, 24% of executive who operate in Asia-Pacific region indicated budgets to range between ‘US$500,000–US$ 1,000,000’ for social media strategy.

The report guides users in understanding purchasing pattern and trends about online retail and outlines major packaging developments indicated by industry players.

The report is based on primary survey research conducted by Canadean accessing its B2B panels, comprised of senior purchase decision makers across the global CPG industry.

Companies mentioned

PepsiCo, Danone, Cargill, Hancock, Woolsworth, Iceland Foods, and Loblaws.

Table of Contents

Definitions and methodology

• Canadean’s view on social media and online retail

• Increased retailer investment and consumer demand will drive sales through online channels, however the format’s advent brings its own challenges

– eRetail is set to grow considerably over the next three years, with ‘click and collect’ formats proving popular

– Improved eRetail marketing and distribution will attract consumers seeking convenient, affordable shopping solutions

– High set up costs, the inability to physically evaluate products, and difficult website navigation inhibit online sales

– Developments in transit packaging and simplified pack designs are key for online sales growth

• Usage of social media as a tool is very high, however many companies lack a developed usage strategy, despite predicting a rise in consumer uptake

– The majority of companies have allocated a social media marketing budget of less than US$500,000 for 2014, with the highest average spend in Asia-Pacific

– A company’s own website is the primary platform used to increase social media presence

– The primary use of social media is to enhance brand image and communicate information about new products

– An increasing number of consumers will use their smartphones to buy products and access real-time promotions

• About Canadean

List of Tables


List of Figures



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