shopper insight

Panel Discussion: Perspectives on the Rise of Retail Media

This panel discussion, moderated by Circana’s Michael Ellgass, discussed the current state and emerging opportunities in retail media, including measurement as well as organizational issues. The following are edited highlights from their conversation.

The Rise of Retail Media: Latest Trends, Opportunities and Challenges for Retailers and Brands

In providing an overview of retail media’s latest trends, opportunities and challenges for retailers and brands, Michael Ellgass (Circana) shared results from analyses of over 100 CPG studies that looked at channel performance in retail media networks and the halo impact outside those networks. Finding that the total incremental sales impact is often larger than what the retail media can see in their own outlets and that most shoppers are influenced by a variety of channels, Michael presented the nuanced data that supported a combined approach for maximum impact.

Live InContext Retail Media Testing

Jeff (Ephraim) Bander from Eye Square explained that measuring shopper behavior and decisions in context (in the online ecommerce environment in which the shopping actually takes place) is more meaningful than only surveying consumers about their online shopping behavior. Collecting in context data about the online actions of the shopper provides detailed path-to-purchase metrics, such as attention, interest and purchase behavior. Participants are not aware of what is being tested in the live environment. Additional explicit data is collected via survey.

The Rise of the Confident Shopper

Vita Molis and Cassie Taylor of TikTok offered insights from four different studies conducted in the past six months: #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt, an ecommerce study, their Entertaining Ads study and one called Creators Drive Commerce. #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt was conducted in the U.S. and Canada, where over 1,000 respondents in each market filled out a 20-minute online questionnaire. They also had qualitative triads covering six categories.

The Modern Grocery Run

Julianne Hudson of VMYL&R uncovered the results of two rounds of interviews examining the rocket ship of growth that took place in online grocery shopping beginning at the advent of COVID-19. The trend continues presently. The interviews took place eleven months apart, one in 2022 with around 2,000 respondents with a follow-up in January this year with approximately the same number, a sample totaling 4,200. Each respondent had shopped for groceries online in at least some capacity. The study helped show what online grocery shopping expectations are and what does and does not translate from the in-store to the online shopping experience.

Inflation & The Multicultural Shopper

Dana Sparber of NBCUniversal unveiled the results of an online survey investigating inflation and the multicultural shopper. It was conducted using a Numerator panel in Q4 of 2022. Among the 7,000 surveyed were a mix of Asian, black and Hispanic shoppers, all adults +18, half men and half women. These consumers had all bought items in the categories of grocery, health and wellness, beauty, household products, non-alcoholic beverages and electronics. The study not only looked at online shopping but in-store and bodega sales—an important aspect often missed. Multicultural consumers across the board and regardless of household income had a much sunnier view of the state of inflation and were far more likely to say they would continue their normal spending habits. All projected the common theme of resiliency.

Shifting Consumer Shopping Behaviors and Path to Purchase

Ian Essling and Jason Clough of Comscore uncovered trends in U.S. digital commerce, which  reached $1 trillion for the first time last year, a benchmark resulting from a buildup of year-round spending rather than mostly focused on the holiday season. Their data was comprised of two types, mobile (mobile or tablet) and digital (mobile or desktop) commerce. Each was defined as dollars spent online in non-travel, retail categories. Mobile now accounts for 40% of all digital retail dollars spent. Groceries, which includes pet supplies, health and beauty and baby supplies, saw record mobile and digital growth last year, overtaking apparel for the first time. In addition, while in the past, U.S. consumers were resistant to buying big ticket items, such as rugs, TVs, consumer electronics, a car or furniture, online, today such actions have become commonplace.

Consumer Ambassadors Promote Prosocial Behavior for Themselves & Others

Using consumers as “ambassadors” has many benefits, research has shown. They can help organizations promote their prosocial messages about the environment and other issues and might even become the impetus behind positive behaviors across social networks. However, the greatest impact and the most persistent one, may be on the ambassador themselves, especially those who were less than environmentally conscious at the outset.

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