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How Danone created new eCommerce strategies to connect directly with customers with commercetools on Google Cloud

Editor’s note: Today’s blog comes from Luke O’Connell, Head of Data and Technology at Danone. He shares the ways in which using commercetools deployed on Google Cloud is helping Danone to connect more directly with consumers and better understand their needs.

With the rise of large eCommerce players and rapid home delivery, here at Danone we’re seeing big changes in the way that consumers need our products to reach them. They want to be able to connect with brands and purchase products more directly, especially when traditional commerce channels become unavailable. 

Using commercetools deployed on Google Cloud, we’re making the most of this opportunity to develop and deploy new digital and hybrid commercial models, whether that be digital sampling services for healthcare products, subscription services for water or the delivery of goods directly for our infant nutrition brands. 

Solving consumer goods shortages by connecting directly 

In 2013, we experienced how important being able to connect directly with consumers can be, when increased demand for our products in China led to shortages of our baby formula brands across Europe. Accessing food for their babies was an emotive issue for parents, and we needed to find a solution quickly to enable them to buy direct. We chose commercetools as the right solution for Danone because of its flexibility and its MACH-based cloud-native approach. This enabled us to get eCommerce solutions ready to deploy across multiple markets within weeks. 

When the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in 2020, consumers were once again faced with empty shelves in-store as their shopping habits were disrupted on a much larger scale. As we were already working with commercetools, we could easily deploy direct-to-consumer solutions by simply adding a cart function to our existing brand websites. And, because commercetools on Google Cloud is able to powerfully scale to meet demand, we didn’t have to worry about spikes in traffic causing sites to crash.  

Leveraging data to better understand consumer needs

One of the key reasons we chose to work with commercetools on Google Cloud was because the commercetools team understood we needed more than just a shopping cart. While there are many eCommerce vendors focused only on increasing sales, we wanted a flexible solution that helps us to add value and helps us to learn more about our customers.

In the UK, Danone’s healthcare division is deploying commercetools to enable its B2B consumers to order medical samples directly. Not only does that make the process easier for consumers, it’s also helping Danone to gather important data on who its consumers are, and how they use its products.

Connecting commercetools with Google Cloud enables us to collect and analyze this sampling data, as well as stream it into other software to help our reps in the field tailor their conversations with healthcare professionals. 

When it comes to data and the value this can unlock, we have been able to fully understand our consumers’ journeys, which has previously been a challenge for us as a Consumer Packaged Goods company; we would normally rely on third-party data such as that acquired through POS or loyalty cards.

Creating a tailored solution

Our choice of commercetools deployed on Google Cloud is part of a significant shift towards modular technologies that are enabling us to pick and choose the most effective components to suit our requirements. We’ve also recently created local digital transformation teams to integrate technology and data fully alongside business strategy. This is helping us to really understand the specific features we need to connect directly with our consumers, building and extending platforms that reach them quickly and easily.  

commercetools is a next-generation headless enterprise commerce platform that enables customers to easily integrate game-changing features and functionality to their commerce sites. It’s now available via Google Cloud Marketplace, offering brands and retailers deeper product integration, unified billing and an expanded go-to-market relationship, making it easier for customers to select Google Cloud as the cloud platform to drive their business growth with commercetools.

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