Will consumers buy subscriptions for Tide from P&G?
Procter & Gamble has launched a test of a new online subscription service — Tide Wash Club — that enables consumers to receive regular deliveries of the company’s Tide Pods laundry detergent.
The pilot is not the first time that P&G has sought to gain deeper insights into shopping behaviors by selling directly to consumers. It has sold products through its own e-store, on shopping walls using QR codes, pop-up stores, on Facebook and in a variety of other online and physical environments.
A Wall Street Journal article suggests that P&G has launched its subscription service test in part because it was unprepared for the impact that Dollar Shave Club would have on its Gillette shaving business. The CPG giant has seen its share of the category decline in recent years while Dollar Shave Club and other competitors benefitted.
P&G is testing the price elasticity of its Tide Pods with its Wash Club program. The Journal article, for example, found that the price per pod on Amazon was roughly a nickel lower than the subscription price offered directly from the manufacturer.
“We know that consumers are increasingly seeking new ways to purchase our products, especially online,” a P&G spokesperson told Internet Retailer. “We expect this service will serve our consumers who don’t wish to venture out to replenish their supply of Tide Pods for their ongoing laundry needs.”
- P&G Starts Online Subscription Service for Tide Pods – The Wall Street Journal (sub. required)
- P&G tests if shopppers will embrace a Dollar Shave Club approach to buying Tide detergent – Internet Retailer
- Brands Skip Retailers, Go Directly to Consumers – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How do you expect Procter & Gamble’s retailer customers to react to its Tide Wash Club pilot? Do you think there are opportunities for P&G and other CPG companies to market brand subscription services to consumers in addition to or in place of traditional trading partner relationships?