5 Big Questions When Selecting an eCommerce Intelligence Service
As FMCG businesses target eCommerce as a key source of growth, they look for services that can help them assess their selling effectiveness through online retailers. The main providers are Clavis Insights, BrandView, Profitero and new kid on the block E Fundamentals.
In this blog, I want to offer some guidance on how to assess the various services. There are five questions that should be asked of any service provider:
- How will your service generate a strong ROI?
- Will all my sales and marketing managers want to use it?
- Does it give me a complete view of all my categories with online retailers?
- Is it simple to set up, use and maintain?
- How will it deliver real competitive advantage?
How will your service generate a strong ROI?
Many companies are faced with a growing eCommerce business that is already under margin pressure due to pack and promotion mix, the cost of additional marketing through online stores and incremental SG&A. This situation put a strategic decision at the heart of purchasing an eCommerce intelligence, do you buy a service that your eCommerce experts will use or do you upskill your sales and marketing organisation to work effectively in the eCommerce channel? Our view is that eCommerce specialists should be working on best practice development and that businesses should be upskilling the sales and marketing organisation.
Will all my sales and marketing managers want to use it?
Yes, if and only if they can see that the service they are being asked to use meets three conditions:
- The service generates insights that when actioned will lead to either sales growth, profit improvement or at the very least productivity.
- The user is directed to insights that are relevant to their job.
- The user knows what action to take to land the opportunity.
Too often services swamp users with data that simply makes work rather than drives performance.
Does it give me a complete view of all my categories with online retailers?
When businesses start focusing on their eCommerce sales development, they often start with “Fix The Basics” and direct their attention to their own items. This is a reasonable start but insufficient to get traction with retail customers. In our experience, retailers are influenced by suppliers who can provide a full category perspective.
Is it simple to set up, use and maintain?
To get strong adoption of an eCommerce intelligence service in a business, it is essential to establish clear workflows. This is made dramatically simpler when the tool itself has the key work elements (the e-sales fundamentals) built in and uses language already familiar to the sales and marketing professionals.
Anyone buying an eCommerce data analytics service should scrutinise the induction plan as closely as they scrutinise the software.
How will it deliver real competitive advantage?
Only a service that allows itself to be customised to reflect the FMCG businesses categories strategies can offer real competitive advantage. At best a standardised approach delivers productivity.
We have designed E Fundamentals so that we can answer positively to all five of these questions and we would love the opportunity to demonstrate that our service will help upskill your sales and marketing teams, equipping them for sales growth, better profit mix and productivity wins.
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John Maltman, CEO
A former VP at PepsiCo, P&G and Asda (Walmart), John has led fast and profitable growth in a range of marketing services and B2B technology businesses. During this time, he has developed a deep understanding of some of the world's best marketing and sales organisations including Coca-Cola Enterprises, Nestlé, SCA, Groupé SEB and Unilever FS.