CPG is a notoriously stable and low-growth vertical, but in 2015, sales for 62 of the top 100 CPG brands declined. Ninety percent lost market share, pointing to the removal of barriers to entry in the industry. Venture capital-backed new players like Dollar Shave Club are shaking up the market with low-cost subscription models and minimal advertising, and distribution channels are shifting from big box players to online retailers. A survey of Amazon Prime members finds that they are 37% more likely to buy household products on Amazon.com in 2016 than the past year.
While no barriers exist to listing on Amazon, appearing on the top-sellers list is no easy feat. Ninety-six percent of Personal Care brands distribute on Amazon, but just 33% have products that appear on the list of the retailer’s 100 best-selling products. The fact that small and medium sized brands can list on Amazon and direct traffic to their product page with the right keywords has increased competition for CPG giants, who in turn have increased their paid media investments.
Search result position on Amazon is the equivalent of grocery store shelf space, and is an indicator of a company’s future health.