Webinar Q&A: Retail Consumer Behaviour Evolution Post COVID-19

The Lifesight team are still buzzing with excitement after a successful first webinar ‘Retail Consumer Behaviour Evolution Post-COVID19’ on the 18th of June with over 200 registrations and 100+ attendees from across the industry. The webinar hosted a lively discussion among our panellists to whom we are very grateful for being a part of this event. We also thank all of our attendees on the day for making it what it was. 

The webinar focused on retail consumer behaviour, the changes it has undergone due to the coronavirus and the panelists own experiences during this time.

With safety a top priority our definitions of convenience have changed, consumer confidence is at an all time low resulting in brand loyalty being compromised. Furthermore, globally the retail industry is facing a 2.1 trillion dollars revenue loss due to the pandemic. As the industry experiences unprecedented upheavals, brands have stopped to evaluate their marketing, advertising and go-to-market approach. This slowdown has provided an opportunity to approach data in more innovative ways.

Our panellists discussed how brands are looking to make data and technology work harder to deliver smarter and better outcomes in the current climate and beyond. With shifts in brand loyalty and consumer needs evolving, understanding changes in behaviour is critical to ensure that brands are getting the right message to the right audience, in the right channel at the right time to retain existing customers and acquire new ones.  Data is key to understanding consumers in the ‘new normal’ world we all inhabit. The full webinar recording can be found below.  We hope you enjoy it! 

Due to time constraints, our panelists couldn’t answer all of the questions posted during the webinar. Our panelists were kind enough to answer some of remaining questions compiled for you below. 

Q: You have all touched on measurement earlier, what are your thoughts on measurement and attribution as 3rd party cookies are retired?  

Nick O’Grady: Firstly, I think measurement is the right place to start when talking on this topic, as opposed to “how will we target in a post 3rd-party cookie world”. While measurement and attribution online was never fully solved by 3rd-party cookies in the first place, they were very useful in tracking most web-browsing traffic.

This use case for 3rd-party cookies for the measurement of web-browsing traffic has been diminishing over some time with updated browser controls such as ITP/ETP have suppressed their viability. While we are talking about it more now because of the chrome announcements, it has been a technological challenge to solve for quite some time. If a marketer was looking for a testbed of life after the 3rd-party cookie they only need to review their Safari activity right now.

It’s an important challenge to solve as the 3rd-party cookie helped the industry measure an ad impression beyond impression and clicks. Without attaching value to that end user, the impression becomes a commodity and simply becomes a race to the bottom of price. This helps nobody.

My personal thoughts are that we will see a closer relationship between marketer, publisher and importantly the end user, facilitated by fewer but deeper technology partnerships. There will be a rise in a logged-in state signal for the open web (email address for example) which will need to be privacy compliant and understood and consented to by the user. We will also have to get comfortable with robust probalistic modelling to value, measure and attribute audiences on the web. 

It’s a brave new world, and from a Quantcast perspective, one we have been considering and working on for a long time, investing in our publisher relationships through analytics tools such as Q for Publishers and our consent management platform, Quantcast Choice as well as building our marketer tools to bring these worlds closer together.

Karlye Chan: The economics of the internet rely on relevant advertising. We get to experience premium content for free, in return for consuming advertising. The more relevant the advertising, the more valuable it is to the publisher. That essential value exchange is not going to change. While relevant advertising isn’t going anywhere, cookies are an archaic technology. The majority of ad impressions that The Trade Desk processes today do not rely on cookies. That’s because the fastest growing segments of the industry, such as the booming Connected TV market, rely on newer identity solutions.

In terms of measurement, making the connection between digital metrics and real-world outcomes isn’t always easy. Our platform gives full visibility and reporting at every stage of the digital journey, so clients can measure success where customers are in the funnel – and while giving the choice and flexibility to use preferred third-party measurement partners. We also make it easier to track the customer journey across multiple touchpoints and devices, tying individual elements of campaigns to actual conversions or sales.

Q: Do you think CV19 will increase ecommerce penetration across verticals like grocery which in Australia is quite a way behind the UK and US? What data and measurement opportunities would this present?

Matthew De Palo: One of the well documented impacts on CV19 has been the significant spike in online shopping across not only the verticals which are more commonly associated with it like gaming and fashion, but also verticals such as groceries which to date had been much more resistant to the growth of ecommerce. Although the majority of this uptake has come from necessity rather than consumer choice, it does not mean that once social distancing restrictions are lifted all of these consumers behaviours will return to their previous state, as for many of these people they have discovered a grocery experience they prefer to the traditional in store experience. This will present both challenges and opportunities for Australian grocers, as although their in store sales streams aren’t about to disappear if CV19 does end up being the catalyst for the growth in ecommerce in the grocery category, it is essential that they are on the front foot from now to ensure they aren’t loosing market share to their more digitally savvy competitors.

One of the most significant opportunities this presents to grocers is the opportunity to set up much more sophisticated and consent orientated measurement frameworks than their current loyalty card based system offers. By brining the grocery shopping experience onto their own website which requires a user to be logged in, the most significant and obvious benefit to the grocer is that they will know who each of their shopper is, what products they buy, how regularly they buy them and be able to measure this behaviour for a long period of time. Just this information alone is so powerful to grocers as it offers them a much more detailed view of their customer, but also if paired with a an intelligent and pre-prepared data gathering strategy around their media investment, will enable to them to much more accurately understand what aspects of their media are most effective in driving sales and supporting their stores.

This data can also be used to enhance a shoppers interactions with a grocer, this can include on site optimisation and product recommendations, but also personalised online catalogues and other marketing communications. As part of gathering and using this data it is essential that grocers place consent at the heart of everything they do and ensure they are clearly communicating with their customers what data they are gathering, how that data is being used and give them the opportunity to opt in and out of sharing that data with them. Although this may today seem like an unnecessary task which will only detract from a shoppers interaction with the brand and potentially impact short term sales, these grocers much understand that user consent is an issue that will only become more important in the future, and whatever revenue is costs them in the short term will be paid back many times over in the future in the form of consumer trust.

Q:  The physical retail consumer is becoming more conscious regarding stepping out, does it make sense to shift advertising completely online?

Karlye Chan: While advertising is about $725 billion today, we expect it to pass $1 trillion in about seven years. We continue to assert what we have from the very beginning: data-driven decisioning is the future, and the objective and more transparent companies who manage to gain scale will be the dominant force of the new advertising market that exists on the other side of digital transformation. 

Thanks again to all of our guests. It was a pleasure hosting this webinar and we hope you’ll be a part of future Lifesight webinars. If you have any further questions or would like to discuss Lifesight data for insights, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.