P&G has launched their first comprehensive online store giving consumers a way to buy direct. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds in the coming months. E-commerce is a new skill-set for P&G but they're fast learners and consumers will be the winners. The quesiton is how their current retail partners are going to feel about it - the Walmarts and Targets of the world. And how online pure plays that have a nice piece of business selling P&G's products are going to react. Amazon.com's number one seller in their grocery department is diapers. And then there is the pure, pure diaper play, diapers.com that has grown massively in 5 years and has championed fast-free shipping. (and are a great partner of ours). The other rumbling I hear is walmart.com ramping up its efforts and taking on amazon.com. Times they are a changing.
An interesting take from Kevin Coupe of MorningNewsBeat:
It may simply be that P&G is tired of paying slotting allowances,
tired of sponsoring golf tournaments (which it doesn’t do much anymore),
tired of helping to support companies that suddenly are in love with
private label, tired of exhibiting at trade shows where it doesn’t sell
much, and tired of having to bow and scrape to a retail community that
it sees as being sometimes adversarial and usually self-serving.
In my mind, the question is not whether P&G will be successful in these efforts. The real question is how many other manufacturers are considering similar moves.