News; Apr 15, 2002 CET

Web pages increase consumer contacts

From about 20 consumer contacts a month to nearly 1,000! This dramatic increase is the result of two new snus brand websites for General (www.generalsnus.com) and Ettan (www.ettansnus.com).

The websites were opened in August of this year and have quickly become a huge success.


The »new« contacts consist mainly of e-mails; in the past, consumers generally established contact through telephone calls. The nature of consumer contacts has also changed. »Before the websites were established, most contacts with customers - but not all - were complaints, while consumer contacts today are dominated by questions and comments concerning our products.«


»WE HAVE A CREATED a principle whereby we try to ensure that all consumers who send e-mails receive a reply within three days. In a best-case scenario, we are able to answer their questions immediately, while in other cases the answer may need to be discussed internally before it is sent to the consumer. In the latter case, we notify the consumers and tell them when they can expect to receive a reply,« says Anna Nei䱮


Swedish Match’s decision to open brand-name websites, instead of a general snus site, was based on the fact that consumers tend to be more interested in »their« brands than snus products in general. The websites also include information about the brand’s history and the products it includes. The only general snus website operated by Swedish Match is www.gothiatek.com, which, among other information, describes our quality standard for Swedish moist snuff (»snus«) and presents summaries of scientific findings concerning the Swedish product.


»Although the number of contacts has increased by a factor of 30, we have remained receptive to the opinions of our customers,« says Anna Nei䱮 »And the fact that we do not have websites for all our brands does not mean we do not maintain contacts with consumers of these other products. We conduct regular surveys, for example, to monitor consumer opinions and preferences, and we are constantly in contact with our retailers, since they are the ones who receive the most feedback and comments about our products.«


THE COMMENTS AND OPINIONS received by the marketing department have resulted in a number of new product launches. These include the launch of CatchDry, for example, a less moist portion-packaged snuff available in different flavors, and the introduction this summer of Probe loose-weight snus, a moist snus with a whisky flavor. The establishment of www.generalsnus.com and www.ettansnus.com was also a result of wishes expressed by consumers.


Although most of the questions and comments sent to the websites are focused on General and Ettan, they also indirectly affect other brands, particularly in terms of packaging and product availability.


»The new input from consumers is quickly becoming possibly our most important source of information for product development. Finding out the views of consumers from day to day is incredibly valuable.«