Mondelez Bets Big on E-Commerce With Shoppable Ads and 'Buy Now' Buttons

By: Staff | May 21 2015
Amid doubts, CPG giant sees opportunity ahead

Mondelez International—the makers of Oreo cookies, Cadbury chocolate and Trident gum, among other treats—quietly started becoming an e-commerce brand with a a small test in Europe earlier this year. Now, Mondelez plans to convert all its digital media in 25 countries into shoppable ads with "buy now" buttons to drive sales through retailers like Walmart and Amazon.

The goal is to double Mondelez's online revenue over the next couple of years, particularly on social media where millennials are spending a substantial amount of time.

Despite the hefty, multiyear investment, consumer-packaged-goods brands like Mondelez have long struggled with e-commerce—90 percent of grocery sales are still made in stores, and some experts question how big a dent the Deerfield, Ill.-based company can make.

"I doubt that anyone at Mondelez or anywhere else thinks it will be groundbreaking or an enormous new revenue strategy, but it shows they're willing to test and learn," said Forrester Research analyst Sucharita Mulpuru. "It doesn't cost much to experiment in this way, and at least they capture some data and insights that could help personalization and marketing efforts later.”

Calls to action on Mondelez's video, social and display media prompt people to buy the products being advertised. The ads are geo-targeted to retailers' websites. For example, an ad served in New York might link to online grocery-shopping site Peapod, while a promo viewed in Chicago could direct potential customers to Walmart.com. In both examples, users can buy a snack and have it shipped from a nearby store.

Cindy Chen, Mondelez's global head of e-commerce, acknowledged that CPGs have a hard time with e-commerce but claimed retailers like the buy button because it gives them a bit of free traffic. "The role of our 'buy now' button is really taking the traffic that we have from the brand side to the retailer," Chen said.

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