IMG– Imagining the future of digital shelves
On 27th September 2018 we presented the results of the IMG– Imagining the future of digital shelves research.
NEWS - Oct 23, 2018
An audience of more than a hundred people, including industry managers and professionals, participated in the debate on the actions that brands and retailers must take to respond effectively to the increasingly important shift from offline to online grocery shopping.
“In the offline retail, the shelf and the packaging have always played a key role in defining the purchasing experience of its customers, especially in its initial phases: knowledge, research and selection of the product” explains Irene Serafica, Head of Strategy for CBA . “Today, however, with the emergence of digital platforms, the role of packaging is replaced by search engines, eCommerce platform labels and blogs (to name a few). Understanding the new dynamics of interaction in the digital context allows brands to imagine ways to build a relationship with the customer even when the packaging no longer exists; or, vice versa, to strengthen the rapport during the key moments of their relationship. In the same way, retailers have the opportunity to offer more engaging shopping experiences that are in line with the real needs of people”.
“Unlike what happens in offline shopping”, says Barbara Labate, CEO of ReStore, “on eCommerce platforms you can’t rely on the packaging to attract and inform the customer about your product. From the analysis carried out by CBA on the purchasing experiences of the individuals interviewed, strategies have emerged that the brands must implement to continue to be relevant in the awareness phase, even on the digital shelves: involving the customer through the use of visuals capable of attracting their attention; collaborating with digital platforms by promoting activities and partnerships to give greater visibility to individual products; working on the packaging by keeping in mind most importantly the transport and delivery, unboxing and use of the product. It is up to companies to take on this challenge, especially in online grocery, which is one of the sectors with the greatest potential for growth”.
“It's the era of the shopper”, says Sonia Anelli, P&G Senior Manager Shoppers based Design and Innovation Leader. “The shopper is ready to share their data, their preferences, their tastes and in return they want convenience, which also means simplification and personalised service. All the repetitive, non-rewarding activities will be automated; so why not shopping, if it were such? Only the pleasant, simple and experience-based shopping will continue to be considered by the shopper as a fair investment of time, without any distinction between online and offline”.
“Overcoming the constraints of physical packaging and taking full advantage of digital solutions will be key success factors for the coming years”, emphasises Hélène Barbotin, eCommerce Development Manager at Nestlé. “The growth of eCommerce certainly represents a challenge, but most importantly it is an opportunity to enhance the product and inspire the shopper, regardless of where the purchase is concluded. Thanks to the solid partnerships between industry and distribution, new purchasing experiences can be created with significant impacts on loyalty and value”.
This research has enabled us to identify 5 purchasing behaviours that characterise consumers, based on their attitude towards shopping and the item purchased: The Magnifier Attitude, The Serendipity Wandering, The Deal Hunting, The Make-it Fast e The Loyal Routinism. For each of these, CBA has identified opportunities for brands and retailers, designing possible digital solutions that offer a personalised purchasing process. Because this is where we need to start from: the user.