P&G sees 50% increase in eCommerce, goes on price hike

Proctor & Gamble (P&G) has reported a 50% increase in its eCommerce sales for the third quarter of its financial year of 2021 ended 31 March. Meanwhile, Jon Moeller, vice chairman and chief operating officer, said P&G's market shares in eCommerce are "about equal to its brick-and-mortar [shares]". 

According to Moeller, P&G is looking to scale its offerings in a way that best serve eCommerce and digital commerce consumers. One example of its initiatives is to improve on its packaging, particularly for liquid products. P&G wants to ensure its products survive the journey to a consumer’s home, up until the moment when he or she opens the box. "The conditions that the bottle travels through are much more strenuous in an eCommerce context, and we need to have packaging that’s designed for that in mind," Moeller said. 

P&G sales in Q3 2021 were US$18.1 billion, which was a 5% increase compared to the previous year. Excluding the impacts of foreign exchange, acquisitions and divestitures, its organic sales increased by 4%, driven by 2% of increased pricing and 2% of positive mix impact. Meanwhile, its positive mix was driven by the "disproportionate growth" of the higher-priced home care, oral care and appliances categories, as well as the Greater China and North America regions. China, in particular, saw a 22% growth in top-line albeit against a base that was partly lockdown-affected. Meanwhile, it grew 7% on the top-line in the US. 

Additionally, P&G said in its financial report that it has started the process of implementing price increases on its baby care, feminine care and adult incontinence product categories in the US. This is to offset a portion of the impact of rising commodity costs, the FMCG company said. The price increase will take effect in mid-September, and the exact amount of the price increase will vary by brand and sub-brand in the range of mid-to-high single-digit percentages. 

Closer to home in Singapore, P&G unveiled plans to invest up to SG$50 million in total business expenditure in Singapore linked to new digital capabilities last October. It will also be training over 50 employees to take on new digital roles over the next three years. This is part of its newly-launched iFuture digital capability programme which is in collaboration with the Singapore Economic Development Board. The programme is aimed to further accelerate digital innovation in Singapore.

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