As Americans buy more groceries online, home care brands are stepping up their digital investments. Online grocery sales doubled to $11 billion between 2009 and 2014, motivating P&G – the largest advertiser in the U.S. – to spend 30% of its media budget on digital channels. However, L2’s Insight Report on home care enterprise investments reveals that not all brands are pushing into digital at the same pace.
P&G leads the pack with an average Digital IQ of 116 for 13 brands, closely followed by Kimberly-Clark, Georgia-Pacific and Reckitt Benckiser. These enterprises’ commitment to digital is evidenced not only by brand websites and advertising strategies, but also by major investments in e-tailers.
While nearly 58% of brands surveyed in 2013 have significantly overhauled their desktop sites since then, these enterprises stand out from the crowd. For instance, P&G’s sites boast strong product pages and e-commerce sophistication, while Kimberly-Clark’s have widely adopted ratings and reviews functionality and buy-now buttons.
Crucially, they maintain this strength when it comes to mobile. Although 75% of Index brands have mobile sites, only 46% are mobile-optimized and feature user ratings or reviews. P&G has mobile-optimized sites for all of its brands, and most are highly sophisticated, including four of the five top mobile sites in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Home Care.
As home care enterprises bolster their own websites, they’re also making investments in e-tailers like Georgia-Pacific’s major advertising push on Amazon in 2014. (Along with P&G, Georgia-Pacific took the most advantage of Amazon.com and Walmart.com as advertising platforms.) P&G, Reckitt Benckiser and Kimberly-Clark brands have the highest average enterprise search visibility on Amazon, Walmart and Target, while Kimberly-Clark, Georgia-Pacific and P&G have the strongest commitments to merchandising features like thumbnail images and Vine reviews on their Amazon product pages.
Not all home care brands have been equally eager to dive into digital. Sun Products, for instance, has completely ignored the mobile web: the company recently relaunched brand sites for Sun and Wisk, but only on desktop. Colgate-Palmolive also lags in terms of site investment, with many brand sites offering users a dated experience. At the same time, these companies have scant branded investments in e-tailers, making it even harder to hit targets for distribution and visibility. As more shoppers fill their carts online, the digital discrepancy between these enterprises and trailblazers like P&G and Georgia-Pacific could become a critical flaw.