The collapse of the Consumer Purchase Funnel



Tangible Media

In Association With Cartology

Armed with more information than ever before, and purchasing opportunities at the touch of a button, customers are changing the way they shop. Jack Myers, Media Ecologist and Founder at Mediavillage explores how this will impact the industry and how retail media businesses like CARTOLOGY are positioning themselves to meet customers wherever they are. As technology transforms and enables the customers’ purchase journey, the concept of ‘top of funnel’ awareness building and ‘ bottom of funnel’ transactions is becoming blurred, causing somewhat of a collapse. Customers have information when and as they need it and, thanks to search, social and digital media in its entirety, they’re moving through the funnel faster than ever before. With the rapid growth of online options accelerated over the past few years, traditional promotion and advertising approaches have been disrupted, requiring rapid response and innovation from marketers. Words like these may seem like Henny Penny, who cried “The Sky is Falling,” to those who have been warned before of imminent change in an industry that has traditionally responded to new technologies only after they have been adopted and embraced by consumers. The key difference today is that marketers have been more proactive in adapting their advertising and promotional strategies in sync with changing consumer needs and behaviours. RISE OF RETAIL, GLOBAL AND LOCAL RETAIL MEDIA: AT THE EPICENTER OF MARKETING 3.0 At the intersection of this shake up is retail media. As quoted by e-marketer’s Andrew Lipsman, retail media is digital advertising’s third big wave. For the foreseeable future, retail media will grow at a faster rate than all other media, including search and social media. Dozens of retail media networks have launched over the past few years and according to Forrester’s Predictions 2022 report, retail media spend will grow to $50 billion globally in 2022. E-marketer predicts US retail media spend alone will surpass $50 billion in 2023, representing 20 percent of total US digital ad spend, with 2021 retail media surging 53.4 percent to $31.49 billion, following a nearly identical growth rate in 2020. They expect growth to begin tapering this year, rising 31.4 percent to $41.37 billion. Global growth rates are comparable. In Australia, for example, the retail media market is expected to reach $ 1 billion by 2025. While Amazon has dominated retail media globally since the launch of its ad marketplace in 2012, brand advertising and promotion budgets are now flowing into the growing market of leading retail media partners. “As a closed loop omnichannel media business of America’s largest retailer, we are working hard to innovate and move faster than ever before to deliver distinct omni solutions and accelerate growth for advertisers of all sizes,” says Rich Lehrfield, SVP and General Manager for Walmart Connect. One of New Zealand’s leading players in the space, Cartology, is advancing local growth as part of the nation’s third largest and ‘most trusted’ company – The Woolworths Group. At Woolworths, says Brad Banducci, Woolworths Group CEO, “we’ve been watching closely how other large-scale retail businesses internationally are better engaging customers along the path to purchase.” Brad points out that “our suppliers are looking for simplified ways to engage with customers and the Woolworths Group is well placed to provide a platform for them to engage potential customers”. As customers shift their shopping behaviour to an omnichannel journey, retail media is positioned to reach customers both on and offline at crucial moments pre, during and post their shop. THE MARKET RESPONSE IS THE COLLAPSE OF THE FUNNEL Luke Kigel, head of Walgreen’s Media and Advertising Group, told Mark Stewart of the Association of National Advertisers (US) that “most funding for retail media networks still comes from Shopper Marketing budgets, with many retail media networks saying they aspire to access [brand awareness] budgets. These are industry constructs that limit the value potential of a brand-retailer relationship and reinforce a more traditional and outdated purchase funnel. It doesn’t reflect how consumers actually discover, engage and shop brands and products. “Consumers don’t see a difference between ‘ brand’ and ‘shopper’ – they are fluidly moving through their journey, in their own individualised way. There’s an opportunity for brands to disrupt