Clorox Leverages Technology on Speedy Path to Purchase

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Clorox Leverages Technology on Speedy Path to Purchase

By Samantha Nelson - 12/22/2016

Rosemont, Ill. — Digital and mobile commerce allows consumers to go from planning mode to purchasing in a matter of seconds, while auto-replenishment keeps them locked into buyer mode and can shut competing brands out.

CPGs must adapt to the way technology is affecting the retail landscape if they want to stay relevant, said Tiffany Tan Kohler, associate director, marketing communications, Clorox Co., in September during a session at the Path to Purchase Expo. “Having really compelling shopper marketing is absolutely critical.”

Technology is advancing rapidly and consumers are quick to embrace new innovations. E-commerce spending has surpassed 10% of total retail sales in the U.S. and has been driving most retail growth since the turn of the century, Kohler said. And by 2020, it’s expected that e-commerce will account for $530.6 billion worth of purchases, about half of which will be made using a mobile device. Kohler reported that according to a recent study by Deloitte, mobile already impacts 56% percent of in-store retail purchases, and that number is expected to rise to 75% by 2020.

TPN conducted research this summer to gain a better understanding of how shoppers look at technology, which technologies are interesting to them and how new devices influence the way they shop. The multigenerational study of Millennials, Generation X and Baby Boomers shows that they were fairly aware of almost everything they were asked about, including virtual reality, smart watches and self-service kiosks.

“When they own these technologies, more often than not, with the notable exception of gaming, they’re using them to shop,” said co-presenter Joe Scartz, managing director, digital commerce & integration, TPN. “Everybody believed that shopping has been made easier by technology in the last five years.”

These insights have allowed Clorox to tailor recent programs to take advantage of the technologies consumers are using to plan purchases and shop. Clorox bleach is the largest business in the portfolio, but the manufacturer wanted to build awareness of other products within the brand. “We saw a huge opportunity to drive shoppers who were really loyal to Clorox wipes or bleach to start buying across our portfolio,” Kohler said.

To deepen loyalty, Clorox partnered with receipt validation mobile application Checkout 51 for a “Clean Home Challenge” that rewarded shoppers who bought four of the brand’s products in four weeks. The app also delivered offers for related products. What was more important than the purchase boost was the data the program provided, showing Clorox what products a shopper was mostly likely to buy if they were already picking up wipes or bleach.

Hidden Valley also has been trying to get shoppers to buy more products in their portfolio. The brand worked with inMarket Media during the 2015 back-to-school season for a program that used beacons to suggest that shoppers or consumers near a participating store “make dinner easy tonight” with the brand’s dry mix packets. Messages were sent to consumers who had agreed to accept notifications through other apps inMarket owns and those who opted in proved to be very engaged, scanning products in store aisles to get recipes. The manufacturer plans to repeat some elements of the campaign during a promotion for Soy Vay sauces.

Clorox also recently worked with Quotient Technology’s Shopmium mobile app to try to encourage Millennials to think of Kingsford charcoal beyond summer holidays.

“We took a look at the audience and mined some research on Millennials,” said co-presenter Sarah Ortman, associate director, national shopper marketing, Clorox. “We know they don’t like to drive, they want everything on demand and they’re impatient. We asked them what their favorite holiday is and they said, ‘My birthday.’”

Those insights led Kingsford to deliver Facebook ads to Millennials ahead of their birthday encouraging them to celebrate by gathering around the grill with family and friends. Clicking on the ads directed them to Shopmium, where they could upload a receipt from buying Kingsford to get money back. They also received an extra $2 off if they shared a selfie showing them grilling with Kingsford.

Clorox’s Fresh Step modernized its long-running Paw Points loyalty program this year by launching an app that lets people scan their receipt to earn discounts, sweepstakes entries and other rewards. Shoppers can also donate their points to animal shelters.

“These are our best shoppers, our most loyal users that we want to keep engaged with the franchise,” Ortman said. “We wanted to deliver a fully seamless experience for the consumer where they didn’t have to cut out the code from a cardboard box, mail in a receipt or upload the codes.”

The manufacturer has also been experimenting more with e-commerce. Clorox’s Brita is a longtime sponsor of the Sundance Film Festival, offering hydration stations where attendees can refill water bottles. “We were really building a lot of good will,” Kohler said. “We asked ourselves how we can harness all this goodness and convert it into a sale.”

Brita is also tapping into the fast growth of the Internet of Things with the release of the Brita Infinity pitcher, which connects with an Amazon Dash Button to order new filters whenever the appliance has been used to clean 40 gallons of water.