Procter & Gamble Bolsters its Digital Commitment

By Rose Anthony

Procter and Gamble believes that superior digital execution propels the growth of product categories and its brands. And the consumer products giant is investing with that goal in mind.
Chief Executive Officer David Taylor said P&G is leading the disruption of  retail execution with the Future X Smart Store, which the global prestige skincare brand SK-11 debuted at the 2019 Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in January. The store offers an AI-supported shopping experience with personalized recommendations based on smart scans of a person's skin, product browsing on virtual shelves and shopping through the wave of a hand.

At the Future X Smart Store, SK-II introduced the concept of a seamless "phygital" retail environment where visitors can explore immersive, personalized mixed media experiences that merge the physical and digital to learn about their skin in a way never possible before.

“It’s the first augmented reality retail environment, which merges physical and digital technology to give the shoppers exactly the skincare regimen needed in a new smart packaging that features a companion app for personalized skincare every day,” Taylor explained in a recent presentation at the Barclays Global Consumer Staples Conference.

Powered by the latest technologies that include state-of-the-art facial recognition, computer vision, Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology augmented by SK-II's proprietary Skin Science and Diagnostics innovation, the Future X Smart Store aims to offer a unique skincare experience for each visitor.

“We're reinventing brand building,” said Taylor, “moving from wasteful mass marketing to mass one-to-one brand building, fueled by data and technology with a propensity focus.”
In the U.S, P&G built a data and analytics learning lab based on anonymous media audience data and retail purchase information.

“We're moving from generic demographic targets, like women 18 to 49 years old, to more than 350 precise, smart audiences, like first-time moms, millennial young professionals, first-time washing machine owners and many more, to reach the right people at the right place at the right time,” said Taylor.

In the fabric care category, P&G is “addressing the needs of e-commerce through a ship-and-own container, executions that enable a direct shipment from P&G to the market, P&G to retailers to consumers without the need to manipulate the package. [It’s] a more appealing execution with less packaging, a more sustainable solution, said Taylor.

In the recently published 2018 Global Advantage Report, an independent retailer assessment of manufacturers across seven key performance areas, omnichannel results were tabulated for the first time. P&G was identified as the leading manufacturer overall with the #1 position in the U.S., China, France and Turkey.

“Superiority and productivity are critical, but are insufficient to keep us ahead in a world with a constantly changing retail environment, quickly evolving consumer needs, media ecosystem transformation, and revolutionary changes in technology,” Taylor noted. “We must and are leading the constructive disruption of our industry across all areas of the value chain. Each of these drivers are required to win in a highly dynamic and competitive environment we face today: superiority, productivity and constructive disruption.”

Editor’s Note: This story is based partially on a transcript provided by Seeking Alpha (

                                                                        Mid-September 2019
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