Three Principles for CPG Digital Transformation
In many ways, consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands face many areas of uncharted territory in today’s business climate: pandemics, supply chain disruptions, and ever-changing regulations and consumer expectations. However, despite such volatility, CPGs also face enormous opportunities, as consumer demand continues to rise at an astonishing rate. The following three key principles should be considered by CPG brands as they invest in digitally transforming their businesses to meet this demand and thrive.
1. Drive brand loyalty with a seamless end-to-end experience
Every aspect of the shopping experience affects how consumers perceive brands, as well as how willing they are to become loyal customers. Brands must create a seamless experience from the initial search for a product to the final delivery or in-store pickup—and every step in between. This requires an integrated view of the consumer, personalizing each interaction, and, of course, making sure of product availability.
This process often begins by transitioning away from on-premises data solutions in favor of more flexible cloud-based options. Data that is siloed on-premises offers limited value as compared to that which is combined from across internal business units and from third parties, such as partner retailers. Cloud-based data solutions make this consolidation and centralized management possible. Then, by applying advanced analytics to this data and enabling both internal teams and external partners to access it, brands can make more insightful decisions to create delightful shopping experiences that keep customers coming back for more.
To create personalized nutritional recommendations for pets and their pet parents, Nestlé Purina Australia leveraged AWS IoT Core, AWS IoT Analytics, and Apache Solr to process real-time data collected from a networked smart bowl to a user’s mobile device. Nestlé connected these mobile devices to the cloud and processed hundreds of data points. Then, they combined this information with data on an animal’s activity level to help pet parents care for their pets.
2. Boost organizational agility with intelligent solutions
The flood of fast-moving direct-to-consumer (DTC) and digitally native brands into the market that are eager to compete with incumbent CPG brands shows no signs of abating. Moreover, petabytes of incoming business and customer data continue to mount. The brands that can effectively leverage this data stand the best chance of survival against nimble upstarts. This increasingly demands the implementation of cross-functional analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML).
CPG companies can use AI- and ML-based solutions to glean deeper insights from their data to foresee more opportunities and risks as they emerge in real-time. Furthermore, this visibility empowers brands to take immediate action and accelerate their responsiveness throughout the organization, thereby keeping them one step ahead of the competition.
With more people using its suite of fitness apps every day, Under Armour looked to AWS for help managing their Connected Fitness platform growth. After deciding that a cloud solution would best fit its elasticity and reliability requirements, Under Armour moved its MapMyFitness and UA Record apps to AWS. Then, they could connect sophisticated ML and end-to-end analytics across digital customer experiences with AWS and their broad marketplace of AWS Partners, and elastically scale their Connected Fitness apps up or down based on user demand.
3. Drive operational efficiency and scale to sustainably grow
Although digital transformation is necessary for today’s CPG brands to meet the needs of their customers, it can’t come at a cost that’s financially unsustainable. CPGs must standardize organizational elements, centralize core and disparate systems and data sources, and transition IT infrastructure to the cloud to realize significant cost savings.
Moving data centers and applications to a modern cloud infrastructure shifts the IT burden to the cloud vendor, simplifies IT work effort, and reduces organizational infrastructure. All of this can result in significant savings. Additionally, experienced partners can assist in deploying cloud services that use AI, ML, robotics, computer vision, and microservices that can help achieve new efficiencies for these complex processes, such as logistics and fulfillment, to better enable sustainable growth.
Coca-Cola İçecek (CCI), one of the key bottlers in the Coca-Cola system, worked with AWS to use IoT to optimize its clean-in-place (CIP) process. Within four months of deployment, CCI identified over 30 improvement opportunities that resulted in annual savings of 20% on electricity and 9% on water. Additionally, CCI estimates that it will save 34 days of processing time per year using the AWS digital twin solution. This will reduce overhead costs and further increase efficiency.
Meet volatility with brand experience, agility, and sustainability
To rise to the challenges and opportunities in current market conditions, CPG brands must architect elastic, sustainable, and intelligent cloud-based solutions. By aiming to create seamless end-to-end brand experiences, strengthening the business’ agility in the face of volatility, and making sure of operational efficiency over the long run, CPG companies can gain an edge and newfound resilience.
For more than 15 years, AWS has led the cloud computing industry with the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud offering. Millions of customers, from fast-growing startups to the world’s largest enterprises, trust AWS to help them drive brand loyalty, organizational agility, and operational efficiency.
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