P&G to Launch Online ‘Learning Lab’
Procter & Gamble has built its business on consumer
insights and the company is looking to gain even more with a new “eStore.” Selling
directly to consumers, the online store will feature its top brands, including
Crest, Gillette, Olay, Pampers and Tide.
Company spokesperson Tressie Long told The Wall Street Journal that
is looking at its new venture as a “learning lab.” The company currently derives
roughly $500 million in annual sales from online, a small fraction of its $79
billion total. Most of those sales come from retailers, including Alice.com,
Amazon.com and Walmart.com.
Perry, P&G vice president for North America, told The Associated Press, “We’re
not in the business of being a retailer and we don’t want to be.”
sought to better understand consumer shopping behavior online in recent years
including taking a one percent stake in Ocado, an online grocer in U.K., back
in late 2008. Prior to that, Field Companies Inc. started theessentials.com,
an online site selling only P&G products.
In a December 2008 RetailWire poll,
80 percent of respondents said P&G’s
involvement with Ocado and theessentials.com would help it “somewhat” or “a
great deal” in understanding consumers.
The eStore will launch with a pilot test of
5,000 consumers and will be owned and operated by PFSweb, an e-commerce provider.
Consumers who buy from the site will be charged a flat $5 shipping fee on orders.
The site is expected to go live to the public in the spring.
Mark Layton, chief
executive of PFSweb, called the site a “giant sandbox for the brands to play
Questions: Will the eStore enable P&G to gain consumer insights that it
is not currently getting by selling through the other e-tailers? Does the online
learning have practical value that P&G can share with traditional brick & mortar
stores, as well?
- Procter & Gamble to Test Online Store – The Wall
jumping into retail online, testing new site – The Associated Press/Cincinnati.com