Mitigating Ecommerce Risks

Find out how using the e.fundamentals platform helped an ambient food brand mitigate ecommerce risks during a recent online food joint venture.

Presented by: 
Josi Mathar2021

CHALLENGE

In 2020, the UK retailer Marks &Spencer (M&S) launched an online food joint venture with Ocado, a UK-based pure-play grocer. During this venture M&S announced the introduction of a large own-label range and a commitment to price match, thereby creating a competitive new entrant into existing categories that offered a compelling price position to engage shoppers with.

The launch led a large ambient food manufacturer to approach e.fundamentals to help them understand the potential impact on their business through the online retailer and to identify strategies to mitigate the eCommerce risks presented by the venture.

The key risks e.fundamentals were challenged to mitigate were:

  • Identify quickly new category entrants that could directly compete against the client's SKUs.
  • Prevent a loss of sales due to a price focused competitor.
  • Ensure no loss of search visibility as a result of new products being promoted organically or via paid sponsorship on shelf or in search.
  • Asses how shoppers would rate & review the new entrant's range

APPROACH

The client knew it needed category-level data to understand possible eCommerce risks and impacts and so worked together with the e.fundamentals Customer Success team to find answers to a set of key questions using the e.fundamentals platform:

  • Which of their brands were most likely to be impacted by the change in range?
  • What were the implications for their pricing and promotional strategy?
  • Would there be a lasting impact on their brands' visibility through search and if so, how could they take steps to mitigate this impact?
  • How would shoppers rate & review the new range and what would the impact be on the client's position within the category?

RESULTS

Using the e.fundamentals platform the client quickly uncovered which SKUs were most at risk. They were able to easily identify the actions needed to mitigate any damage e.g. adjusting their messaging across relevant product detail pages.

Having access to full-category data allowed the brand to identify a cost per size advantage on key SKUs against the new category entrant. This further helped them validate and refine their retail search and promotional strategies. It was key for the client to continue to deliver value to their shopper base; unearthing this pack-size related advantage through the data was critical to maintaining the brand's category position.

Importantly, using the data insights further highlighted the need for a dedicated ratings and review strategy for specific areas of their range to increase volume and frequency of shopper reviews. The client has been keeping momentum in working with e.fundamentals Customer Success team to define clear steps for devising the strategy and measurable outcomes.

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