GroupM: Brands Must Embrace Cross-Platform Shopping

Cross-platform shopping is now the hallmark of today’s consumer, according to new research from GroupM.

Although most online purchasers are, not surprisingly, influenced primarily by online touchpoints, nearly one-third say that offline touchpoints helped them make their purchase decision, further highlighting the importance of omnichannel approaches.

Online shoppers who ultimately purchased were also more likely to visit retailer websites/apps (37%) than any other touchpoint while shopping. Internet search ranked second, with 28% of online purchasers using it during the shopping process. Half (49%) of online purchasers scroll past page one to look for what they want.

Convenience is a critical driver of online shopping and purchase decisions, per the research. Two-thirds of online purchasers (66%) choose a retailer based on convenience, while only 47% choose a retailer based on price/value. In fact, ahead of price, consumers value assortment (52%) and shoppability (57%) as important considerations.



This year is projected to be the strongest year for ecommerce, with 22% growth driven by the massive shift from offline to online driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. Plus, this virus has accelerated the growth of online grocery and last-mile delivery. Two in three (63%) of Instacart users plan to use the service in the future. This presents a vital new opportunity for all brands and products that will likely only get better in the near term, suggest GroupM.

“Don’t assume that online grocery is irrelevant for your brand or product,” states the report. Online grocery shoppers are just beginning to fill their baskets with more than just traditional grocery items, as more products become available. Smart manufacturers are investing heavily now and unlocking ecommerce opportunities across a wide range of product categories, from hair color and household products to frozen food and dairy.

As shoppers learn to buy these new categories, brands that invest now will gain long-term strategic advantage.
GroupM’s report suggests there is value in advertising. A majority of shoppers (54%) exposed to advertising say it helps remind them of something they need, or it prompts an idea for something they want.

Overall, more companies are focused on developing dedicated online strategies, rather than simply applying offline strategies to online, as they had in the past. Nearly half of industry professionals (45%) say they now have a clear and differentiated product portfolio strategy for ecommerce than they did two years ago.

Two areas where brands are expanding their test-and-learns for insights are with third-party (3P) selling on Amazon and direct-to-consumer (DTC).

Despite the so-called Facebook boycott, 72% of ecommerce professionals rank Facebook as their preferred digital marketing opportunity, followed by Google (67%), Instagram (61%), Twitter (50%) and Amazon (49%).

Ultimately, GroupM tells brands they need to “just act.” The report ends by suggesting: “Small wins will add up to big ones over time. Though it’s tempting to wait until a campaign, asset, product, or strategy is perfect before launching, don’t let perfection delay progress. In the quickly changing world of ecommerce, it’s more important to test new opportunities immediately and regularly.”

The research, cowritten by Kantar and titled “The State of Ecommerce 2021: Navigating the New World of Omnichannel Commerce & Retail Media,”  is based on nearly 24 qualitative interviews from leading brands, retailers and technology partners in addition to quantitative surveys of 500 online purchasers and 200 industry professionals across brand, shopper marketing and ecommerce specialties.

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