Customers love click & collect, Tesco director tells Consumer Goods Forum event

The Consumer Goods Forum’s (CGF) global marketing, IT and supply chain conference featured a full programme of speakers from the world of retail and manufacturing. Dick Boer, president & CEO of Royal Ahold and co-chair of The Consumer Goods Forum, was also in attendance, and with a clear message, driving home the importance of action within the CGF membership to implement the CGF’s resolutions on health and wellness and sustainability.

Highlights from Day 2:

Mike Yorwerth, group technology and architecture director, Tesco, UK: during the IT stream, Yorwerth shared how the market leading retailer in the UK was able to tackle some of the fundamental downsides of home delivery by offering its click & collect service. He highlighted several issues to home delivery, including the fact customers have to be at home when the goods are delivered, the service is costly and it lacks motivation for impulse purchases. Over 17 years, Tesco has been developing its online grocery shopping service, which now reaches 500,000 customers a week in 60 cities around the world.

By enabling customers to pick up their products from stores, the retailer was able to come up with a solution that was fitting to customers’ requirements and be operated more efficiently at the same time. For IT, this meant they had to take an agile development approach that supports constant change. Yorwerth stated that customer acceptance was extremely high. “Customers love it”, he claimed. For the future, Tesco plans to allow customers to collect their groceries from public locations also, such as schools or park & ride sites. This new service is currently being trialled in the UK.

Greg Buckley, senior director customer supply chain, PepsiCo, USA: also part of the IT stream, Buckely introduced three key initiatives of the CGF that are set to answer today’s consumer demand for more accurate and trusted information. The first one, dubbed B2C Information Needs Group (BING), defines and prioritises business needs related to consumers’ use of digital media. In the project, the CGF is defining types of product information that consumers want to know for their shopping decisions, such as sustainability or nutritional facts. In co-operation with GS1, the CGF works on interoperating standards that extends those of the existing Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) standard, mainly serving B2B purposes, towards consumer requirements.

Secondly, the IT Committee is evaluating the need for more information on the barcode. The Next Generation Product Identifier (NGPI) will include additional data the traditional EAN or UPC codes cannot store due to its limitations. This, most importantly, will include information on product variants – minor changes in ingredients and packaging that so far do not result in a new GTIN. The third project is part of the CGF marketing group. Named Consumer Engagement Principles (CEP), it is set to develop a set of principles to build trust with consumers in digital channels. For example, privacy rules to define which customer information can be collected and stored, how this can be done and which permissions have to be gathered.

Wendy Manning, vice president customer services Europe, Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE), UK: during the supply chain stream, about 200 executives from the global retail and food manufacturing industries discussed collaboration strategies aiming to improve the sustainability of their products and operations. Manning shared the ambitious commitment of the largest European bottler in the Coca-Cola world to reduce its carbon footprint by 2020 by one third through the entire supply chain.

She emphasised the relevance of collaboration with the business partners in this context. Her organisation aims to set sustainability initiatives into place with the largest retailer partners – CCE makes the larger share of its business through the shelves of the largest five retailers per market. With Tesco, CCE started the joint initiative ‘Recycling Counts’ that aims to increase awareness among consumers for the relevance of recycling. manning explained in London how the joint initiative uses social media and a rewarding system to drive recycling in the UK. Over the last six years, CCE has managed to reduce its own carbon footprint by more than 100,000 metric tonnes of CO2.

Peter Hinssen, lecturer and writer, Belgium: “The network always wins”, Hinssen stated during the marketing stream. Nowadays, everything is connected to everything and everybody to everybody. Digital is influencing our world but businesses have to adapt and become networks to survive. Networks have an impact on the way consumers consume, enabled through social media and the digital possibilities.

Derek Scobie, head of YouTube brand propositions, Northern & Central Europe: part of the marketing stream, Scobie introduced his theme of a ‘Generation C’ that spends more time online than with all other media combined to connect with peers. They share content on a daily basis to keep friends updated. Scobie highlighted that this Generation C is driven by a hunger for information and that they aim to add value to communities through sharing and creating content. Staying informed and being involved in everything that is going on is the most important thing for digital natives. Because of that, companies have to have a digital strategy to offer a seamless customer experience.