Today, search and discovery is broken in online grocery. A search for “peanut free” returns peanut butter, peanuts, and ice cream with peanuts in it. The search for “egg free” returns a carton of eggs. For millions of consumers suffering from allergies, getting this right has potentially critical consequences. The list of searches that return significantly limited to zero results is just as dire. This is a huge shortcoming in the CPG industry.
Grocery e-commerce is witnessing massive shifts in consumer behavior. While grocery shopping was almost entirely brick-and-mortar as little as five years ago, innovations in fulfillment, such as same-day delivery and click-and-collect, have made grocery e-commerce more attractive. The number of households ordering groceries online has risen over 145% from August 2019 to March 2020, and 43% of households surveyed said they are either extremely likely or very likely to stick with online grocery buying even after the current pandemic is over. But grocery brands are leaving money on the table by not optimizing their CPG product listings according to the way consumers are searching.
My name is Daniel Hawks, and I am the Product Manager for the Label Insight Explore team. We are the team responsible for the Explore data API and Explore web platform. The past four years of my career as a Product Manager have been spent in the retail and CPG industry, specifically working to help shoppers find the products they are looking for. In my work day, I spend a lot of my time thinking about grocery stores and looking at the hundreds of thousands of food products in the Label Insight database. My private life also revolves heavily around food. I love to cook, my family watches a lot of food shows on Netflix, and I’ve recently started reading memoirs of restaurant industry professionals. I am constantly searching for relatable analogies to help explain the work we do at Label Insight. I must have had food on my mind when our marketing department asked me to write this blog highlighting the work the Explore team has done this quarter. The Explore team’s primary focus is building solutions to deliver Label Insight’s product data to our customers. The two pillars at the heart of our solutions are the aforementioned Explore data API and Explore web platform.
Working with retailers to enable incredible Health & Wellness programs has been in our wheel house since we were founded. We grew our business and technology by working with retailers to power their highly flexible, attribute-based shelf tag programs. We have been leaders in this space for over a decade, and work directly with leaders in the market. 2018 saw us continue to innovate in this critical space. In our shelf edge solution, we leveraged artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically rank attributes by category or department, providing retailers with a highly customized and scalable attribute solution. We also worked to expand our product types to include food, personal care, pet food, household cleaners, OTC medicine, supplements, and alcohol. Generally, most of our retail partners implement their Health & Wellness (H&W) initiatives with a phased approach, first starting with food, then expanding into adjacent product types over time. We're excited to offer them more options for future expansion, following the consumer trend in holistic transparency: "in me, on me, around me."
E-comm & Omnichannel at Label Insight: Here at Label Insight, we have been working with retailers to manage their product data since our founding in 2008. Recently, we expanded our offering to include solutions that leverage LI high-order-attriibutes (HOAs) to power search and filter tools that increase engagement in omnichannel experiences.