By: Allison Febrey, Manager, Research & Insights, and Doug Baker, Vice President, Industry Relations, FMI
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Through this pandemic era of shifting grocery shopping habits, the question of whether these habits will stick remains. One such shift has been in private brands. According to IRI sales data, while private brands achieved considerable growth and product trial during the pandemic period, its overall sales performance throughout 2021 was mixed in relation to manufacturer brand products. FMI’s 2021 Power of Private Brands report finds ecommerce presents an opportunity both to increase private brands sales and to increase shopper loyalty.

Private brands are a driver for consumer choice of a primary store, according to FMI’s U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends. Online shoppers (47%), and particularly frequent online shoppers (53%), are more likely than non-online shoppers (32%) to connect private brands to their selection of a primary store. This coupled with the dramatic growth of online shopping makes it more important than ever for private brands to compete in the evolving omnichannel world.

Enhancing private brands in ecommerce is an imperative for food retailers with their own private brands and improving execution is crucial to driving success. Many retailers have already recognized this and have taken steps below towards boosting their private brand strategies for ecommerce.

  • 39% leveraged exposure through email promotions, digital circulars, etc.
  • 33% focused on search engine optimization (SEO).
  • 33% prioritized online brand pages and storefronts.

However, more work remains to be done for private brands to capture these online shoppers. The consultancy firm, FitForCommerce, mystery shopped 25 food retailers’ ecommerce sites to provide insights on how the industry is currently promoting private brands online and recommended strategies for improvement. The suggestions address many aspects of how private brands show up in ecommerce, including for the homepage, navigation menus, category pages, recipes and digital circulars.

Here are three key recommendations that private brands owners should consider:

  • Add private brands as a separate category in dropdown navigation menus.
  • Improve the presence of private brands in online brand filters, such as using a logo/icon or by placing private brands produce as the first listing in search results.
  • Add a section for new or featured private brand products on the new products listing page.

The report, The Power of Private Brands 2021: Accelerating Private Brands in Ecommerce, is a great tool for private brands professionals to start discussions with their website, marketing and communications teams about ecommerce and private brands.  

Download The Power of Private Brands 2021: Accelerating Private Brands in Ecommerce