A look back and a look forwards


December 21, 2021| by AmyDunning

COVID-19 continued to make a major impression on the retail and commerce space, propelling into lightning speed trends that may have otherwise taken years to gain ground.  

In fact, research from IBM’s U.S. Retail Index states that the pandemic accelerated the shift to online shopping by as much as 5 years. 

As shoppers become more and more accustomed to making online purchases, 54% of global shoppers now prefer online window shopping to browsing in stores, according to a study conducted by Bazaarvoice on more than 9,000 shoppers worldwide.

Although shoppers were quick to adapt to the changes brought on by COVID and discovered the joys of online shopping, many brands and retailers were caught flat-footed. 

It’s never been more important for retailers and brands to deliver seamless, engaging, personalised shopper experiences across all channels – in-store, online and mobile.

As we wrap up this year, we’re looking into 2022 with expectation for positive growth and new technologies.

A look back at 2021

In response to the phenomenal transformation in shopper behaviour due to the global pandemic, the UK FMCG market has seen an extraordinary 65% sales growth online. The need for brands and retailers to adapt and adopt digital solutions to win on the digital shelf is now essential for survival. 

This past year, NielsenIQ Brandbank unveiled many new capabilities as part of our new Shopper Experience Platform. 

NielsenIQ Brandbank launched Content Health which enables brands to understand the strengths and weaknesses of their product content and then quickly take action to optimise data and improve product discovery. The solution provides brands and retailers with a tool to go beyond the pack and personalise product data to improve product discovery and differentiate their products online.

Purpose-driven brands are taking center stage right now especially as more shoppers look for brands to be socially responsible, environmentally friendly, and give back to their communities. 

With one-third of all shoppers today acknowledging that they will stop buying their preferred products if they lose trust in the brand, today’s conscious shopper selects brands based on how well they align with their personal values. 

Further, when it comes to sustainability shoppers are willing to change their behaviour or even pay more for brands that get it right. NielsenIQ Brandbank’s new solution enables brands and retailers to top-up product content to easily share their sustainability initiatives, stories, and differentiators online.  

NielsenIQ Brandbank also unveiled a solution to prepare brands for compliance with HFSS regulations with retailer partners. This solution enables brands to understand their HFSS score, easily capture and share if the product is HFSS compliant.

In 2021, we also partnered with retailers to enable them to deliver rich media to today’s shoppers who prefer to have enhanced product content available when purchasing online. 

With the impact of the global pandemic and the rise in digital shopping, both brands and retailers need to execute a world class shopping experience across all retail channels enhanced product content is the answer.

Retailers including Asda, Frisco, Sainsbury’s and Rossmann, are all part of those who have successfully adopted enhanced product pages, which are designed to help brands tell their unique story and provide shoppers with all the information required to make an informed purchase decision.

The road ahead

As the world navigates its way out of the pandemic, the way we all act as shoppers has been changed fundamentally by COVID-19. As shoppers continue to integrate ecommerce into their lives, brands and retailers must continue to develop new strategies in order to thrive. 

In 2022, we commit to continue to partner with retailers and brands on their path to digitalisation and work with them to create more digital content to help them differentiate themselves from competitors. 

We will continue to strive to reduce the time to market to get new digital content online as well as continue to invest in content creation services like Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) that reduce the turnaround time to create new digital product content.

Further, we will continue to invest in solutions that enable brands and retailers to go-beyond the pack. Bottom line, back-of-pack product data is no longer enough. 

With the shift from brand to needs-based shopper purchasing behaviours, there is a big opportunity for brands to optimise their products for search and utilise metadata to differentiate their products to stand out from the competition and add value to the shopping journey by removing any friction.

We will continue to invest in our Shopper Experience Platform to enable brands to master the shopper journey with content health and advanced product data to strengthen the acceleration of accurate and quality product data to the digital shelf. 

To learn more about how you can accelerate your product discovery and differentiation and request a consultation please click here.

We look forward to partnering with you on your path to digitisation in 2022! Happy New Year!

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