CPG operating models for ecommerce

People and tech in CPG operating models

The two most important factors when transforming internally to address the new digital reality are people and technology. McKinsey puts the priority on tech, and BCG on people. Clearly both need to be addressed and a key question to answer is how much if any external talent needs to be brought in to bring existing personnel up to digital speed. 


In any event, teams that are already in place will be affected by the following four CPG operating models for ecommerce that have been identified by Bain & Company

Standalone digital commerce team

This model often works as the first stage in digital adaptation. It is suitable for some companies but can create tensions when P&L is taken away from brand managers and reassigned to the standalone team. Brand leaders need to be on board with this kind of structure, and be quite digitally savvy to understand its necessity. Scaling is difficult with this kind of structure which is why it is usually a temporary stage.

Digital commerce hybrid model

This business model calls for a leader within each business unit that manages its digital commerce agenda. It is an evolution beyond the standalone model, with ecommerce responsibilities more distributed throughout the organization. This method can ensure some harmony by keeping P&L responsibilities in each division. Digital commerce strategists work within each unit and report to the specialist team that is the ‘Execution engine’ that handles digital shelf KPIs like search and ratings and reviews. For this model, ecomm expertise needs to extend into all business units.

Embedded digitization and a center of acceleration

This model, like the previous one, is a hybrid model. Here, digital capabilities are widely embedded across the business, but with the addition of a digital commerce center of excellence or acceleration. Unlike the execution team in the previous model that is concerned with KPIs, the CoA identifies and embeds best digital practices.

This system requires thought leadership and a culture of innovation to attract top talent. 

Fully integrated ecomm operating model

The fully integrated model is appropriate for manufacturers for which ecomm is a priority. It’s most common for companies in China that have a digital-first agenda.

Once a new operating model has been put in place, it’s critical to remember that the model is there to serve a purpose, and it is always modifiable. The omnichannel continues to transform rapidly, so the business models that address it need to change accordingly. 

It’s also critical to ensure that online and offline teams are integrating fully. The CoA needs to be an omnichannel team, bridging the gap between brick and mortar and online so that issues from supply chain to digital shelf details are covered. 

Also, it is a useful practice to revisit the activity of a CoA every six months to review the extent of it’s connectivity to the rest of the organization and the state of its tech capabilities.

Embedding digital capabilities

BCG cites six factors that create a successful digital transformation. They emphasize that it’s only by embedding all six changes that a company actually succeeds, and that management must remain steadfastly committed to the digital shift:

  1. An integrated strategy with clear transformation goals.
    This precise strategy needs to be tied to quantified business outcomes.
  2. Leadership commitment from CEO through middle management. Not only the C-suite, but middle-management also needs ownership and accountability.
  3. Deploying high caliber talent. These resources may be internal or external.
  4. An agile governance mindset that drives broader adoption. Leaders need to enable A/B testing through the wider organization, making it part of the culture.
  5. Effective monitoring of progress toward defined outcomes. All objectives need to be clear and measurable, and outcomes too.
  6. Business-led modular technology and data platform. This tech architecture must be scalable and have a seamless ecosystem integration. 

Typically, when CPGs successfully integrate one of these capabilities, it goes some distance to ensuring the others are also integrated, because they are all connected. 

Don't miss a thing !

CPG ecommerce newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter

Privacy policy

Data collection - Use of cookies - Consent

DataImpact undertakes to ensure that the collection and processing of your data, carried out from the www.dataimpact.io site, comply with the Data Protection Act and the RGPD. This processing is necessary for the execution of our services and the internal functioning of our company. For any information on the protection of personal data, you can also consult the site of the Commission Informatique et Liberté www.cnil.fr.

Identity of the data owner:

Personal data are collected by : Société par actions simplifiée DataImpact whose registered office is at 39 Rue Lucien Sampaix, 75010 Paris, RCS PARIS 799 367 222 T: +33 (0)1 42 51 87 08

Purpose - use of your data:

DataImpact is likely to collect personal data about you for the purposes necessary for its activity, whether in terms of recruitment, responding to your requests for information, execution and monitoring of service contracts. Types of data collected: DataImpact only collects data that is strictly necessary for the purposes of its activity. The personal data collected can be the following:

-In the context of a request for information (name, first name, email, telephone, company name).

-As part of a recruitment process: (surname, first name, email, telephone, company name), information on the curriculum vitae (marital status, surname, first name, date and place of birth, nationality, professional background, academic background, hobbies)

-If necessary, connection data including your IP address may be collected for purely statistical purposes.

Origin of the data:

The personal data collected by DataImpact are those directly given by the person concerned when using the contact form or surfing on the site www.dataimpact.io.

Intended transfers of personal data to a non-EU Member State:

To date, DataImpact does not transfer, nor envisage any transfer of your personal data to a non-European Union member state.

Retention period of the categories of data processed:

Connection data are kept at the latest within one year after connection to the www.dataimpact.io website.
Data relating to applicants for a post are kept at the latest five years after the last contact, with a view to possible recruitment.

Data of prospects are kept no later than three years after the last contact.

Customer data are kept for the duration of the service contract.

Protection of your data:

DataImpact ensures that its employees and service providers, subcontractors or hosts, also respect the absolute confidentiality of the information provided to them.

We maintain in-house electronic and organizational security measures in relation to the collection, storage, and communication of data.

Your rights under the Data Protection Act:

DataImpact takes all appropriate measures in order to facilitate the exercise of the rights of its clients regarding their personal data (right of access, rectification, deletion, limitation of processing, portability, to define the fate of its data after death).

The information provided in connection with the exercise of these rights is provided in writing or electronically. On request, the information may be provided orally. All requests should be sent by post to 739 Rue Lucien Sampaix, 75010 Paris or to [email protected].

In accordance with the regulations in force, your request must be signed and accompanied by a photocopy of an identity document bearing your signature and specify the address to which the reply should be sent. A reply will then be sent to you as soon as possible and in any event within one month of receipt of the request.

Flows out of your data after your death:

The new article 40-1 of the French Data Protection Act allows individuals to give instructions regarding the storage, deletion and communication of their data after their death.

You can read the procedure relating to these directives by following the following link: “https://www.cnil.fr/fr/ce-que-change-la-loi-pour-une-republique-numerique-pour-la-protection-des-donneespersonnelles#mortnumerique”.


You are informed that, during your visits to the www.dataimpact.io website, a cookie may, if necessary, be automatically installed on your browser software. A cookie is a small file stored on your computer. As such, it is a block of data that does not allow users to be identified but is used to record information relating to their browsing on the site. Cookies are used, on the one hand, to facilitate your navigation on the site and, on the other hand, for statistical purposes. In order to better know the frequentation of the site, we (mainly) measure the number of pages viewed, visitors, visits, as well as the activity of visitors on our site and their frequency of return.

The parameters of the browser software make it possible to inform about the presence of cookies and possibly to refuse them in the manner described at the following address “http://www.cnil.fr/vos-libertes/vos-traces/les-cookies/”.

You have the right to access, withdraw and modify personal data communicated through cookies under the conditions indicated above.

Terms of Service

Article 6 III of the Law of 22 June 2004

Société par action simplifiée DataImpact
39 Rue Lucien Sampaix, 75010 Paris
T: +33 (0)1 42 51 87 08
M: [email protected]
RCS PARIS 799 367 222

Director of publication: Yacine TERKI

Hosting : O2 SWITCH 222 Boulevard Gustave Flaubert 63000 Clermont-Ferrand

Terms and conditions of use:

The information contained and consultable on this site is provided for information purposes by DataImpact. They can be modified at any time without notice. Under no circumstances does it constitute advice or a service of any kind whatsoever. You assume full responsibility for the use of this site or the information it contains.

DataImpact cannot be held responsible for damages related to the consultation or use of the website by the user. Hypertext links may refer to third party sites over which DataImpact has no control.

DataImpact declines all responsibility for the content of these sites. The use of this service is reserved for strictly personal use. Any reproduction or representation, of all or part of the information, brochures or logos contained on the site, on any medium whatsoever, is prohibited. Failure to comply with this prohibition constitutes an infringement that may result in civil and criminal liability of the counterfeiter.