Recently, Skai held ShopAble, a pop-up shop-inspired in-person conference focusing on retail media advertising. It was a fantastic turnout in New York, with clients and industry experts fired up to talk about the ins and outs of this incredibly fascinating channel.
In the third session of the day, Omnichannel Unwrapped, Skai’s VP for Client Success Jim Wasenius began by explaining that to successfully reach today’s omnichannel consumer requires a mind shift. Brands and retailers have to be everywhere at once and engage in a shopper-centric approach.
“Once upon a time, ads could be bucketed to a particular response type,” explains Wasenius. “But the consumer journey isn’t linear anymore. In a shopper-centric world, the goal is to make it easy for the customer to go through all [customer journey] stages with a consistent and relevant experience.”
Watch the entire session on YouTube now or from the video at the top of the post.
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Excerpt from “ShopAble 2022: Data is Power—Omnichannel Unwrapped
The following is a portion of this conversation.
Wasenius: What things have you found as you look at your data in different ways—like about the shopper journey. Are there any interesting insights that you found? Like little nuggets of gold in the data?
Rory Foster (Director of DTC Innovation, P&G): Social commerce. I wouldn’t necessarily say it is surprising, but the speed of adoption I think has been a little unexpected. Brands are entirely being built by social commerce.
One of my favorite examples I recently saw was from Queer Eye. A haircare line came out from the hairstylist of that show and the brand is exploding largely through social commerce. So I would say that that kind of speed of adoption of using that social commerce model. Brands like it because of its connectivity and proximity to the end consumer.
Katia Colston (Senior Director of eCommerce Sales, Central Garden & Pet):
Convenience is not going away. Price and convenience are pillars that we see over and over again as the ways shoppers pick and choose to go with certain brands or retailers. During COVID, a lot of us and a lot of older generations tried Instacart or Shipt for the first time to get their groceries delivered. Post-COVID, we see people ordering outside of just groceries. We see them ordering categories we did not think would be ordered.
We see this as an opportunity, but also it shows us how flexible people are to try and get things to them quicker. They are also willing to try different channels that weren’t even up for discussion before in some cases.
Wasenius: That’s really interesting. I think even from a personal perspective my grandmother who didn’t know how to use her iPhone all of a sudden is like “I got that on Instacart.” I never thought I’d ever live in a world where my 92-year-old grandma was actually efficiently using her iPad.
Foster: Well, I think that speaks to the beauty of omnichannel. There is a place for all of the technology and while COVID did accelerate it even for the 92-year-old grandma—I have one too who has done the same. For her, it’s about convenience. She can go and have her purchases placed in her car which makes it easier on her.
It was a little bit of a habit change and a little bit of coaching on learning how to do it. But now that’s part of her habit. I don’t think we’re going to see a complete shift back to pre-COVID behaviors. From a retail strategy, that’s a really interesting challenge. How do you get the people that have gotten used to the new habits back into the store? I think that that comes with experiential and selection. I am an ecommerce professional, but I still like to see a shelf of options if I’m undecided and evaluate them. I like the retail experience.
Colston: It’s a great point because we’ve done studies and we now know that people miss being in the store. People love that experience. They want their stores to be there; a place to come and touch their produce, smell their flowers and get things. It’s a social experience too.
But the shelf is shrinking. The competition is rising. There are more and more brands. Everyone is online. Everyone has a QR code. People research before they buy up to 90%. Everything that is bought in a store begins with a search of that product online with a person—Googling or looking at Amazon.