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Interview

Webinar: How To Drive Omnichannel Growth by Understanding Each Commerce Touch Point, with Jennifer Angelus, Danone North America, Matt Fantazier, Johnson & Johnson, and Dean McElwee, Strategy at Stanley Black & Decker

To drive maximum growth, both in-store and online teams need to bridge the gap between the digital shelf and the physical shelf. That starts with a shared vocabulary on the tactics for success in each channel and across the channels. There is more in common than we think. This is podcast rebroadcast of a recent DSI webinar featuring 4 commerce experts who worked with Lauren Livak, Director of the Digital Shelf Institute on a report entitled Digital Decoded: How To Drive Omnichannel Growth by Understanding Each Commerce Touch Point. Listen as Lauren unpacks the key takeaways with Jennifer Angelus, Director, Digital Shelf and Capabilities, Danone North America, Matt Fantazier, Director, Digital Experience, Johnson & Johnson, and Dean McElwee, Director of International Ecommerce Strategy at Stanley Black & Decker.

Show Notes:

Digital Shelf Decoded: How To Drive Omnichannel Growth by Understanding Each Commerce Touch Point

https://www.digitalshelfinstitute.org/digital-decoded-how-to-drive-omnichannel-growth 

 

Transcript:

Peter Crosby:

Welcome to Unpacking the Digital Shelf, where we explore brand manufacturing in the digital age.

 

Peter Crosby:

Hey everyone. Peter Crosby here from the Digital Shelf Institute. To drive maximum growth, both in store and online teams need to bridge the gap between the digital shelf and the physical shelf. That starts with a shared vocabulary on the tactics for success in each channel and across the channels. There's more in common than we think.

 

Peter Crosby:

This is a podcast rebroadcast of a recent DSI webinar featuring three commerce experts who worked with Lauren Livak, Director of the Digital Shelf Institute on a report entitled Digital Decoded: How to Drive Omnichannel Growth by Understanding Each Commerce Touch Point. Listen as Lauren unpacks the key takeaways with Jennifer Angelus, Director of Digital Shelf and Capabilities Danone, North America, Matt Fantazier, Director of Digital Experience, Johnson & Johnson, and Dean McElwee, Director of International eCommerce Strategy at Stanley Black & Decker.

 

Lauren Livak:

Thank you everyone so much for joining, and welcome to the Digital Shelf Institute webinar. Today we are going to be talking about the new research that we just came out with as a part of the Digital Shelf Institute, and it is called Digital Shelf Decoded. And what it really focuses on is how to drive omnichannel growth. So today we are going to go into a couple of things about the report, we are not going to go over everything. There's a lot of great content there, so we encourage you to download and read through all of it. Today are just going to be a couple of highlights as we go through.

 

Lauren Livak:

So for those of you who I do not know, my name is Lauren Livak. I am the Director of the Digital Shelf Institute. If you are a member of the DSI, welcome back. If you are not, I really encourage you to become a member so you can consume a lot of the great content like this webinar that we are working on today. Huge thank you to all of our authors who are on the webinar today, and I will let them give an intro. So I will pass it off to Jen to kick off.

 

Jennifer Angelus:

Awesome. Thank you Lauren. I'm super honored to be here today with this crew. I'm Jennifer Angelus. I'm the director of Digital Shelf and Capabilities at Danone North America, and I will pass it over to Matt.

 

Matt Fantazier:

Hi, I'm Matt Fantazier. I'm the head of Consumer Growth and Performance Marketing at Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health, and I'm responsible for our body and baby care brands. And I'll pass it to Dean.

 

Dean McElwee:

Hey all, I'm Dean McElwee. I'm the director for International eCommerce strategy at the Stanley Black & Decker Company. Really great to be here.

 

Lauren Livak:

Thanks everyone, and really exciting to have all of these brands represented and really work through this omnichannel report today. So we wanted to start off with a little bit of audience participation. So feel free to type in the chat or if you want, you can come off mute and see what you think. But what do all of these items have in common? We've got yogurt, baby lotion, and a power tool. Anybody have any idea what they all have in common? Any guesses? Oh, I think we have one guess. Chat is disabled. Sorry about that. Well, that is not helpful. Maybe you can add it in the Q&A if you have an answer there. Thanks Michael, appreciate that.

 

Lauren Livak:

Well, I'm going to jump in and... Oh, plastic, that's an interesting one. I guess that is actually true. Plastic container. They're all consumer products. Okay, all right, we're getting there. Multi distributed. All of those things definitely are true, but the theme we're trying to go with is that they all have similar commerce challenges. They're all trying to figure out how to be profitable on e-commerce, in brick and mortar stores. And that's what really brought all of us together to create this report. Everyone is trying to figure out how can you create a great experience for your consumer both in store and online, and how do you work together to be able to do that. So every person here represents a different one of these brands, but every person here is having similar challenges. And I think that's same across the board if you're selling other products that are not on this page as well.

 

Lauren Livak:

And thank you for all of the guesses. So this report, when we were thinking about it, we were trying to match up the categories that we dove into against the path to purchase. So on the left hand side, this is probably the funnel that everyone is the most familiar with, right? We talk about awareness, consideration, conversion, and it really looks at it as a very kind of linear process. We would like to kind of pivot to the right hand side of the slide, which is a different type of path to purchase that was actually created by the Google Analytics team. And what it focuses on is that a consumer doesn't go from A to B to C, they might go from A to F, to D, to E, to H in terms of touch points in how they purchase. They might be looking on an app, they might be in the aisle, searching Amazon, they might be scrolling at night on Instagram and see a product.

 

Lauren Livak:

So it isn't a linear path, and that connects directly to how we talk about omnichannel. Every single touchpoint that a consumer experiences helps them to get to the purchase. So that's why we're pivoting and we're thinking more about the right hand in terms of our path to purchase and how exploration and evaluation is not linear. And when we were thinking about this, we broke it down into four different categories around how we can think about brick and mortar connected to eCommerce. Those four categories are content, distribution, retail, media and experience. And in terms of content, it's what you would typically think of, right? Images, videos, bullets, descriptions, enhanced content. Distribution, pretty self explanatory there. Retail media as well. And when we say experience, what we mean is, how is the consumer experiencing the product? So it could be maybe a beauty consultant in the aisle in store, it could be more AR and VR and experiencing your product in your home, virtually.

 

Lauren Livak:

So those are the categories that we're focusing on to dive deep into some of the brick and mortar and e-commerce tactics and how they match up together. So why this report? It actually started with Matt and I having a conversation on a podcast and we were saying, "Huh, sometimes our teams aren't connecting because the brick and mortar team isn't talking to the e-commerce team and the eCommerce team might not understand what the brick and mortar team is saying." And so that's where this report really kind of came out of. And it's a very popular challenge for a lot of organizations because there are silos naturally within an organization where some people have been in the brick and mortar side of the business for 20 or so years, they might not be familiar with the e-commerce side of the business and vice versa. And we've found, and a lot of studies have clearly found that 73% of retailer consumers use multiple channels.

 

Lauren Livak:

And that means that your brick and mortar team and your e-commerce team need to talk to each other. They need to understand each side of the fence so that you can make the best choices and decisions about strategies that will be successful. So it's not brick and mortar or eCommerce, it's brick and mortar and eCommerce, and how can you use them together to be successful? And this report helps from a translation perspective to say, here's a tactic in brick and mortar, here's its equivalent in e-commerce and let's, as a organization, have a conversation about what is the right choice to make and where should we maybe double down or maybe pull back a bit because it doesn't make sense for our specific category or for our specific goals of our company, which is different for everyone.

 

Lauren Livak:

So who's this report for? Like I said before, it's for people who work in brick and mortar, it's for people who work in digital, it's for people who are trying to bridge the gap. It's really for anyone in an organization going through a digital transformation and trying to build an omnichannel strategy. So we encourage anyone from any function to really consume this information. I actually had a conversation with someone from R&D yesterday at a company who said that this report was super valuable for them to really understand both the brick and mortar and the eCommerce side of what was happening in their organization. So it really can apply to any function, anyone working in the digital space.

 

Lauren Livak:

So that's a little bit about the report. We each have a section we are going to be talking about today. I am going to kick it off with content and then I will be passing it off to Jen for retail media.

 

Lauren Livak:

So content. I gave a little bit of an intro about what content is, right? You see some images here, there's banners, there's videos. Content is king, queen when we think about how we look at our content on our product detail pages and how consumers are interacting with our products. So an example I chose from the report, and like I said before, it's one of many so make sure you check out all of the other examples, is product packaging and the product detail page. So when you're in the store, you're walking down the aisle, you pick up a product, all you have information about is on the packaging. You can see the imagery, you can see the ingredients, everything that they've listed on that product packaging is the information that I am consuming to make my decision. But on the flip side, on e-commerce, I can't touch and feel the product, but I can scroll and I can click and I can read and I can watch all of the different content that can be created to show me more about the product.

 

Lauren Livak:

So I might not be able to touch and feel it, but I have a lot more area to explain what is my brand, why is this product better than other competitors' products, what are some important features of this product and why should I consider it, what are some products that it pairs well with, what are people saying about it. So this example shows that when you're in store you have a certain kind of information. When you're online, you have another set of information. And together, when you pair those and you make sure that they're fully built out, you can make sure that the consumer is having a really robust experience and that they're understanding your brand. And when we think about the tactics we need to use in order to be successful here, the product detail page needs to be fully built out because a lot of people will go to a store, have the physical product in their hand and say, "Hmm, I need a little bit more information. Let me go to Amazon."

 

Lauren Livak:

So that product detail page informs someone in the store who has the physical product in their hand, and that's a perfect example of how it is brick and mortar and e-commerce, to build a holistic omnichannel strategy. And there's some things that you really need to remember about that when you're focusing on a tactic like this. If your information on your PDP is different than what they're holding in store, that can cause a little bit of confusion. If the ingredients don't match up or you don't have the right tags or information, that can also cause a lot of confusion. So it's really important to make sure that you have your content that matches physically in store to all of the information you have on your product detail page.

 

Lauren Livak:

So I'm going to highlight an example here similar to what I was talking about. We will all be talking about a real life example for each of our categories. So I'm going to talk about changing product packaging. So in a past life, when I was working with Digital Shelf, we had a specific brand and we had to change the product packaging. So we changed the product packaging in store, but online they still had some of our old packaging. And it was significantly different, very different colors, it was a very different look. And it caused a lot of confusion in store and it also caused a lot of confusion online because someone would go and buy the product in the store, but then they would go online and they would see a different packaging and then they might actually receive the newer packaging when they bought it from Amazon or from Target or from Walmart because when that product packaging switches over, you don't necessarily know.

 

Lauren Livak:

And so you need to have images like the one on this slide here to showcase that there's a new look because one, you could be fined because what the person sees online is not what they received in store. And some retailers do give a fine for that. And two, you want to make sure that you're creating a very clean and simple consumer experience. What they're seeing is what they're getting, and it's brand recognition as well. So even as you're thinking about the tactics that you're working on for content, and when you think about omnichannel, you need to make sure that all of those different pieces are connected because the consumer still needs to have the same experience no matter where they are shopping for that product if it's in store or if it's online. So that is our content section.

 

Lauren Livak:

I am just going to check if we have any questions. So there is one question about in store packaging the same as online. Does that exclude mobile optimized hero images? That is a fantastic question. So usually mobile optimized hero images, they don't remove the important information. They might remove the little QR code that might be there for shipping or supply chain, or they might remove some of the information that's not relevant for the consumer, but more from a supply chain standpoint. So from a mobile image perspective, as long as you don't remove the important information like the size or the quantity or the title or change colors, I would say that's not going to be a huge issue. It's just that you need to keep the critical information the same. And I don't know if Matt or Dean or Jen, you have any thoughts on that as well?

 

Dean McElwee:

Yeah, I think Lauren, you've hit the nail on the head there. So I think it's really important that mobile optimized hero images are really there to point out the key points or the key things that make that brand clearly articulated. So it's taking out the little pieces that people won't exactly recognize or see to give the overall impression of the brand. So make sure that the consumer's direction you going to be able to see both and be able to say, "Yeah, I've got a very good picture of this." It's when you get those real big changes that make it quite confusing for everybody.

 

Matt Fantazier:

I just wanted to say that Dean used a hardware reference. So that's very on brand for him with nail on the head. But I think you guys have described it well. I think what I would just say is I actually haven't heard of it being an issue for consumers, so I haven't seen that come up as a consumer pain point. So I suspect that's right. I think there's a trade off because it is different, but I think you're trading off legibility and ability to navigate a digital shelf on a mobile device versus that exact match. And I think that's a trade off we're going to be willing to make 99% of the time. Sorry.

 

Jennifer Angelus:

No, exactly. And just one other piece I would add there. So yes, it's super important to have all that key attribute communication really clear for the consumer. But if you also think about shopping in a digital environment, you need that price pack architecture clarity as well. So when you enlarge things like the size, it gives the consumer a better opportunity to see versus the other products on the digital shelf, what's going to give them the greatest value. So that becomes a little more challenging when you don't have the same opportunities versus in-store.

 

Lauren Livak:

Perfect. Well we are going to wrap up content and I'm going to pass it to Jen to focus on retail media.

 

Jennifer Angelus:

Awesome, thank you Lauren. So similar to content, we can really use retail media to propel both in store and online. These investments are going to allow us to drive the brand awareness. They're really going to help our consumers discover the products at the point of sale, and also just give us an opportunity to see what are their performance based analytics from these investments that we're making. So you'll see this come to life in many different ways. You could see this as a category page placement, a homepage banner or in different places along the page, and really utilizing that to drive engagement far beyond just being on the digital shelf alone.

 

Jennifer Angelus:

When we look at a comparison for brick and mortar versus eCommerce, so when we look on the brick and mortar side, you may see things like end caps and in store displays. And a super unique opportunity in store here is it gives you the opportunity to even cross merchandise, maybe within refrigerated and then separately within shelf stable with some cross category merchandising opportunities. For example, here you see that we have Silk plant based beverages along with the Silk plant based yogurt. And typically, in the very large dairy aisle, those are shelved separately. So it gives you that unique opportunity to cross merchandise or brand.

 

Jennifer Angelus:

Whereas when you look on eCommerce, you may see this come to life in terms of category page features or even ad placements. And what's super unique here is not only do you get that same cross category merchandising opportunity, but you can extend it beyond where you are in the store. So here you see an example where maybe we're suggesting a smoothie bundle. So you have your plant based milk, but then you also have your protein powder, which is typically shelved in a very different area of the store. So this really, on retail media, presents a super unique opportunity for us to give a full solution to the consumer versus having them have to go to different parts of the store for that same bundle.

 

Jennifer Angelus:

And when you look at this as an omnichannel tactic, so there are some similarities and there's some differences, like understanding the discovery of the products, like this is going to be the same in store and online. But who you're targeting is going to be a little bit different. We know that the digital shelf, there's this myth that the digital shelf is this endless aisle. But in reality it's not. To Lauren's point, you need that attention grabbing content to really stop them in their footsteps, figuratively and literally, because it's not an endless aisle. We know most of those sales are coming from the first page and most of the time actually from that first row. So retail media is really that vehicle to break through beyond search and drive that discovery for the consumer. When you're understanding your objectives, it gets a little bit different.

 

Jennifer Angelus:

When you're looking in store, you stop at an end cap, maybe that purchase decision is a little bit more impulsive. Maybe you are a plant-based milk consumer and you decide, "Hey, I'm going to try this plant-based yogurt." Or maybe you typically buy a smaller size and you see a larger size and you're like, okay. This is for us, it's an upsell opportunity to the consumer to drive awareness of those products. But when you're looking at retail media on eCommerce, it's really all about targeted conversion. And so what that means is giving the consumer the content in the context. If you're serving them something just at the point of purchase when they're about to make that decision, you know your audience and you're able to target them in a really strong way. Whereas, in store maybe that capturing that consumer is a little bit more impulsive because you truly don't know who is going to be walking by in that aisle.

 

Jennifer Angelus:

It's also really important to think about impacting brick and mortar from digital commerce. So we know from Forrester that 62% of offline sales are influenced by online. And so when we're doing these tactics, when we're building the content, like Lauren said, they are looking in store on their mobile devices to say, "Okay, is this the right purchase decision for me?" And so back to brick and mortar is something that's a really unique opportunity as well.

 

Jennifer Angelus:

And then lastly, I know I touched on this a little bit, but when you look at the adjacencies in a retail environment, you are more constrained by staying in refrigerated or staying in shelf stable or within that aisle, could be right? However, with retail media and online with digital commerce, you're able to expand your offerings to the consumer. When you look at things like recipe solutions, you can offer a full recipe bundle. You're not limited by that aisle and you can mix across the store. In the same vein, you can think about your categories differently. You could have an energy drink in the same digital shelf as a coffee beverage. So who your consumer is and who you're targeting on retail media is going to change. So it's a really exciting and unique opportunity.

 

Jennifer Angelus:

And when we look at a real life example, so this is a back to school example, and we look at omnichannel display execution, we're right on time for back to school, and it is really critical that we leverage our customer partnerships to create that stopping power in store. You see this Horizon shelf stable milk display in the same aisle as maybe some of those school supplies. So you're capturing where they are in their shopping journey.

 

Jennifer Angelus:

Then when you look at retail media, think of it with shopper marketing, you have your key visual at your point of sale. Think of retail media as like shopper marketing, key visual on steroids because you can beyond one POS material, expand this to be super engaging and really driving to those shoppers in a more meaningful way and highlighting conversion driving content. So we have real estate on the digital shelf that we don't have in store. So while we may have that display with shopping power, we can be really targeted in store and just increase the opportunities for our conversion driving content to capture those shoppers where they are on their journey. So with that I will hand it over.

 

Lauren Livak:

Thanks so much Jen. We have one question. So I just will pose the question to the group. Aaron shared, "Have not seen evidence that online category pages or similar have anything close to the well-documented life of an in-store display. These seem like mostly money makers for retailer sites are nice to have for big budget brands. Does anyone have any thoughts on that?"

 

Matt Fantazier:

I'll give a quick thought. What I would say is two, there are so many different types of placements, ad products, different things popping up seemingly every day, every week within all the different retail media networks that it's hard to paint a brush. I am highly confident some are total dogs and some of them are really, really good. And brings me to my second point, the importance of measurement. So I think with a lot of this, it's so new that we have to test, we have to learn and really make sure that we're figuring out what's working for us. And it may vary by category based upon shopper behavior. People who shop for food are certainly shopping differently than people who buy shampoo or power tools. So I bet we all have different answers to what works and what doesn't. But I think that's where the importance of measurement and holding yourself accountable to delivering real business results and not just doing things because you want to be there for hype, whatever, but really have that discipline of making sure you're driving a positive ROI.

 

Jennifer Angelus:

Yeah, I was going to say the same in terms of test and learn. So test and learn gives us those insights and then what is unique about digital commerce is we can react more quickly and change our strategy, whereas in a retail brick and mortar environment, we may already have plans set six months to a year. So it just gives us an agility that we don't always have.

 

Dean McElwee:

Yeah. Great points really. And Matt makes a good one, it's about measurement. And I think one of the things certainly that we've seen is you really have to be careful of expecting a lift directly of every single activity. In a category like power tools, it takes quite long to make a decision. You're not going in straight away and saying, "Hey, I need some yogurt for today and I'm making a decision, and I'm buying a power tool," especially if it's 3, 400, $500. So that purchase cycle is really long.

 

Dean McElwee:

So really one of the great things about e-com is that media capability. You really need to see this as a media channel in line with your business. It's about communicating to people. There's also various options. If you're on some of the more sophisticated measurement types, they'll do closed loop attributions. So they'll be able to show you what's happening online and then if they can tie that into some of the in-store activity, like somebody's got a loyalty card or something like that, I think Target probably can do this pretty well, Walmart's probably not far behind them, you can actually see that they've gone online. And then within a defined time period they'll attribute the sales of the offline sales back to that. So it's really important to look at that from a couple of different angles there.

 

Lauren Livak:

And we have one other question. Does anyone have any thoughts on this one? What hit rate do you see when a QR code is included on an in-store display? Does anyone have any data behind that?

 

Matt Fantazier:

We've run them. I would just say I don't have a hard and fast rule because the qualifier there is why you're asking someone to scan the QR code. If it's for something of high value, if it's interesting and if it's really relevant, you're going to see a better hit rate. If it's scan here to sign up for our email program, it's probably pretty low. So it depends. But what I would say is people do scan them. We've seen a lot of engagement across a couple of different activations I've been a part of and it was meaningful. So I'll just say it's something to absolutely consider. Just make sure what you're asking. It's not a huge lift, but you're still asking somebody to do something out of their routine. It has to be worth it.

 

Lauren Livak:

I'm curious, has anyone on the call used a QR code on their product packaging? No? Just curious. I've seen that as an example and that's another way of using online and in store together to create an omnichannel experience. All right, thank you so much Jen. So I'm going pass it to Dean.

 

Dean McElwee:

Okay. So distribution is really one of the key things and determines where and really how your product's available, which we tailor which consumer channel. One of the really important things for us is making sure that your product shows up on the shelf and that consumers or shoppers can find it, especially with new products. Often, as CPG companies, we're putting out tons of products and you're putting it out into a big store or into a bigger online space where shoppers are just absolutely bombarded with lots and lots of communication. So really, what we think about here is on distribution is making sure that you get to the right consumers in the right possible way. And making sure that you invest so that really that initial discovery of your product is possible is absolutely key.

 

Dean McElwee:

Can you just flip onto the next slide there, Lauren? So really, when distribution, we look at two different methods here and a great friend and commentator called me out for being rather cheeky here and calling it slotting fees equals paid search. And that was Mike Black from Profitero. And shout out to Mike if you go and follow his LinkedIn, he's always got amazing info and amazing content that he puts out.

 

Dean McElwee:

But really, when we look at slotting fees, this is the amount of money that we pay as a manufacturer to have our products on the retailer shelves. And really, we are looking for prime shelf placement. And you'll hear terms such as eye level, try and get it right in the eyes of people. And what you're trying to do is get your product noticed and try and get the run rate up as quickly as possible so that your product remains in that shelf and the retailer continues to stock you.

 

Dean McElwee:

And in some ways what you're doing with paid search is exactly the same thing. You're investing in paid search features or sponsored search results to take your product up the ranking. It might be a product that you're wanting to push for a certain time period or it may be a product that you just launched new and you want to get that up the ranking because it's not going to rise there organically. And I think there's some very key differences here.

 

Dean McElwee:

Slotting fees tend to be a lot longer than paid search. You tend to get a lot more time in the sun there than paid search. Paid search tends to be quite short periods as we all know. But one of the benefits here with paid search is that you get to do different products and you can have two or three different products, which in slotting fees is a bit harder to do. So that's why when we look at this report and what we try to focus on here, it's about saying this isn't or, this is about and. So you may want to do a slotting fee to do one thing physically install, and you may want to do paid search on another part of the product range or another part of the product extension for a certain time to do something else. And that's really important that we look at those both in context of trying to achieve the overall objective, which is get my product seen.

 

Dean McElwee:

Move onto the next slide there.

 

Dean McElwee:

So really, with the omnichannel tactic, you can invest in those retailers to get a top spot. And really when you look at this, what you've got to do is look where your product's natural organic search results are. So with existing products, they will have organic search results, there may be up at the top or there may not. And the way you are going to look at that is look at the volume of keyword searches, make sure that all your optimization is done in that particular category. And then look at those keyword searches and look how much you're going to pay to get up at the top there. One of the important things that you got to look at is this is an investment. The great thing about online is that we can absolutely measure how many people searched for the product, what it costs us to get to the top and work out an ROI.

 

Dean McElwee:

It's not as easy within store. This is one of the things, you have the ability to put it up at the top of the ranking. One of the other great differences is you have the ability to cap how much you spend normally. You can sort of say, "Well I'm in for X many searches and then once that's done, I'm done." So they're just two different approaches here. But the important thing is make sure that your paid search investments make sense. Often, in all these categories like paid search, you're bidding against everybody else. So there's this whole science of bit economics that I'm not going to bore you with, but it's really a good thing to go and understand.

 

Dean McElwee:

So the things to remember about paid search. It's an investment to highlight products. I've often used it to highlight new products to establish themselves before the algorithm reflects the current performance. Because often when you launch a new product, particularly with retailers, bricks and mortar, omnichannel retailers, their algorithms are often optimized for volume sales or turnover sales. So they're going to really focus on that. They're not normally as high on things like ratings and reviews, so you're going to need to push it up. You need to look at slotting fees. And then also the other great thing is you can defend your product when competitors do a new launch. Anybody who works in this space knows that you can go and buy your competitor's keywords, so their brand names and substitute your product, put it out there and put it up to the top when those results come. So sometimes when your competitor's doing a new launch, they'll go and buy your keywords. Often, you can preempt that and buy your own keywords to make sure that people don't substitute on your brand. And that's absolutely really key.

 

Dean McElwee:

So onto a real life example, and really, we do lots of toolboxes and they stand in store there and that's great. But really the purpose for us is about making sure we can get that toolbox in the hands of people. This is a relatively new product on Amazon. As you can see the reviews, 798 reviews. So still pretty new. We're still pushing it through. It's a two in one rolling toolbox. And really what we've done here is we've gone just on the search term, toolbox. So it's a very fairly generic term. And normally, what we term this is offensive search, go after the category name to gain market share within the category. The great thing about paid search as opposed to in-store, in paid search, you can do broad targeting. So you can target something like a toolbox or you could put a qualifier in front of it that's a category. So you might say electrical toolbox, which just narrows it down for a certain audience or certain group of shoppers that allows you to do that.

 

Dean McElwee:

So really what you see is you get two different approaches. You can go on this approach, which is be quite wide and quite broad, or you can go physical in-store, build a bunch of displays. But it really depends on the type of category. We may not do as many in-store displays and tool boxes. We'll really leave that for drills and things like that, some of the categories that we really want to push and get people into systems. So it's just about picking which one to use.

 

Dean McElwee:

Just a question from Michael and I'll answer it and then hand it over to Matt and Jen once I've finished there. So paid search is becoming a significant portion of search pages. Do we think that this is the best thing for shoppers? It's a good question. It's certainly the best thing for retailers. I think retailers, particularly our omnichannel friends, are looking at different ways to monetize the eyeballs. And that's with the cost of doing business, they're trying to do that. I think there's a balance that we've all got to strike between retailers and ourselves about getting that revenue in, but making sure that you balance it out with what is actually best for shoppers. Shoppers don't want scroll through tons and tons of pages of just sponsored. They want is get to their products pretty quickly. Over to you, Jen.

 

Lauren Livak:

Think it's to Matt, but thank you Dean.

 

Matt Fantazier:

Yeah, and agree wholeheartedly. It's definitely a balance on the search front, so couldn't agree more.

 

Matt Fantazier:

Next section we're going to talk about here is really experience. And I think what's so exciting about experience is this can be a real differentiator. In a world where there's so many substitutes in all of our categories, how consumers experience, how they learn, how they make choices has just gotten so much more important. And what technology is able to unlock for us online has really changed the game in terms of how consumers have been able to experience our brands and really navigate the different categories we're talking about here.

 

Matt Fantazier:

The first example I'm going to walk through here is really looking at the example of in-store consultants, or an expert, as compared to guided selling and some of the different product selectors and live chat. In-store, you see this come to life in a lot of different ways. You see a makeup example. So if someone's trying to find the right shade of makeup, something I have no experience with, but I've witnessed firsthand, that's a really high touch sort of experience somebody has in a store where they're able to get advice, learn about different brands, different shades, find what's right for them. It's a really personal one-on-one experience and really high value.

 

Matt Fantazier:

And I think when you bring it over to the right hand side here, guided selling product selector tools, live chat, there's a lot of different ways this can come to life and it depends upon the category you're talking about and how complex the age you're looking to provide is in a lot of ways. But this can be a scalable way for us to provide similar help to consumers in an always on, 24/7, when they're looking for, maybe they're at home, at work, whatever, looking for the best product for them. It can help narrow down the options. I think when you bring these together, this can really act as two sides of the same coin where the right hand side could help narrow down choices and really provide a shortcut to that in-store conversation.

 

Matt Fantazier:

I think that's what brands need to think about is what's the role to play for both and how can you provide that help, especially in higher consideration, more complex, confusing categories, this can be a really powerful differentiator knowing how, if you don't know what the right thing for you is, you're probably going to move on and pick something else.

 

Lauren Livak:

Dean, I nominate Jen and I to help you pick out the appropriate color of lip gloss. For those of you who didn't see the chat, Dean said, "I can't get the right shade of lip gloss." So Jen and I can help.

 

Matt Fantazier:

Another way this comes to life is you think about omnichannel tactics, is in-store demonstrators in livestream shopping. So sort of a cousin to what I was just talking about here. But in-store demonstrators again, for those higher consideration, more confusing categories maybe, or it's a new product, something that's brand new into the marketplace, you often see at any given retailer, someone demonstrating sampling, helping you understand what the product's all about. I've seen people cut boots in half with knives at Costco, all kinds of crazy stuff. Live stream shopping is really the online version of that. And what's so exciting about that is you can get a lot of the same benefit of that demonstration, that interaction, that really how-to that can be so important to a consumer as they're on their consumer journey. But what you get within the livestream environment that is unique is that ability to scale.

 

Matt Fantazier:

So the in-store demonstrator is limited to the foot traffic of that store in that one location. So inherently difficult to scale unless I guess you have a camera crew there, maybe. But typically it's the people who are walking by on a Saturday morning and learning about the product. Livestreaming, you're able to scale that across your channels, promote with paid media, really get a lot of reach with that.

 

Matt Fantazier:

Another thing to think about that I think is so important when you think about livestream, and it's been such a hot topic, especially within social selling and livestream shopping, is what do you do beyond that one moment? If people don't tune into that 30 minute or one hour livestream, what happens? Well, there's a lot you can actually do with that. Your ability to record, cut down, leave that on your website, especially if there's a really great demonstration how-to experience there, you can really repurpose that content in a lot of different ways and have it live well beyond the livestream. Something you just can't do with an in-store demonstrator. So that's something I would encourage everyone to think about is, yes, the livestream is a great tactic, but how else are you using it across your ecosystem, knowing if someone's busy for that half hour, they just may not tune in?

 

Matt Fantazier:

And then lastly here, the ability to capture first party data, which has been a hot topic for all of us, that's a huge benefit here. So you have a real understanding of who's engaging, who's buying directly if you have that capability and really understand what's working, what's not. There's a lot of analytics that can go along with this. What messages are driving behavior, which ones are causing people to drop off your stream. A lot going on there that you can get a lot of richness of data from.

 

Lauren Livak:

Matt, before I take you to your real life example, I think this is a great question maybe we can talk about now. So Katherine said, "Where are opportunities to optimize the client experience for products that may not be highly sophisticated or complex, as compared to a makeup example? Do you or Jen or Matt have any thoughts on that?"

 

Matt Fantazier:

I've been talking here, so I'll let these guys chime in. Break up my voice unless they don't want to.

 

Lauren Livak:

Dean, do you have any examples of power tools, in-store experiences?

 

Dean McElwee:

Not really. Not really that jumps straight to mind, no.

 

Lauren Livak:

Matt, you want to take it?

 

Matt Fantazier:

I would just say the experience has to be meaningful. Don't demonstrate to demonstrate. I don't think people really want to see... If they know it, I think these things work best with newer products, new categories, complex products. I think that's where you see more engagement because it has to be a two-way street. Somebody has to watch this, somebody has to want to engage. And for them to want to engage or watch or whatever, there has to be value in return for them.

 

Matt Fantazier:

So I think you have to ask yourself way, are you solving a problem by any of the things we're talking about today, frankly? But what consumer problem are we solving? Because without that we're just creating solutions, looking for problems. So that's really what I would say. If it's super straightforward on how to buy baby shampoo, I probably don't need a livestream. But if it's a new product line or a new form that we're going to launch or something like that, there's an educational aspect to it, there could be value to a new parent on how to give a child a first bath. That's the difference versus look at it, it's soapy. Who cares?

 

Dean McElwee:

Yeah. Matt, I've seen some interesting examples. I saw one the other day which was an iron for doing your ironing and it didn't have any particular features. And I sort of sat there and I was like, what are you actually trying to show me? But some of the food products you may actually do demonstrations. So think of, coming back to your thing, think of solving a problem, creating a solution for it. You may be taking an ingredient and cooking while you're doing and then offering a livestream. It works well, particularly high ticket items that have a huge complex decision making process. So we, for example, are using this in B2B very successfully in countries like India. We're using live streaming with our distributors to explain to them drills. It's quite a complex category. They need to understand the features and benefits and it's a category that evolves. So what is new from the previous model that we're bringing in. So there, it's really useful to do that livestream and then offer an incentive for people to buy at the same time.

 

Lauren Livak:

And I also think about what Jen was talking about in her section around recipes. It doesn't necessarily have to be about selling that specific product just to sell the product. It can be like, "Hey, you can include it in this traditional recipe. Maybe you didn't think about it." I have an example of a brand I was working with. They were a baking company and during COVID, everybody started baking. But on all their product detail pages, they didn't talk about how you could use the product in a specific bread or specific cake or specific cupcake. And so it's all about what is the consumer doing with that product that you can help them think about an experience. So to all of the points about problem solving, I think it's also about experience and what they can use it for and how they can use it

 

Matt Fantazier:

Go ahead.



Jennifer Angelus:

I think it doesn't have to just be livestream and demos. So we have the opportunity to use videos on the PDP as a form of content as well. So when you're building out content, think about how can you build product usage videos, to Lauren's point on baking and recipe solutions, to show them an application of how they can use the product. It doesn't have to be live with someone doing it, but it could still be a piece of content that you're utilizing to drive conversion.

 

Matt Fantazier:

The example I'll give that has nothing to do with any of our categories is this just happened this week and it's about product releases. So that could also be an effective way if you're in certain categories with high involvement. Nintendo just had their Nintendo Direct, they do this quarterly or so, there were a million people watching on YouTube live, all the announcements for the coming couple of months and all the games they're going to release. So they're using that way to communicate directly with their consumers and then they're going to house that and then they do this really well, they then cut it down and use the announcements across their different socials, the different paid media to reinforce and remind people about the different releases. So unrelated to demonstrations and all that, but I think it's another good example of how you can engage and create an experience, create an event for your consumers for the appropriate categories. I'm not sure you're going to have yogurt drops or shampoo drops, but Dean might have better luck with that with some of the more exciting tool releases maybe.

 

Matt Fantazier:

So I'll pivot into our real life example here, which brings together a couple of these different elements. And I'm going to talk about Neutrogena Skin360, something that we're really proud of and excited about. Really what this does is, in short, it's a has facial scanner technology where a consumer can scan their face and get a personalized recommendation of the products that are best for them based upon their skin type, what they're trying to solve for, their skin tone, all sorts of different factors. It's really, we say it's a dermatologist in a pocket essentially. And what this does is then create that personal one-to-one experience.

 

Matt Fantazier:

We get the first party data under to understand that Lauren scanned her face and we recommended a certain product to her. We can then follow up and remind her of that or offer her a deal or whatever the different promotions are at the time. But it's a really interesting way to bring some of this to life at kind of the next level. And I think when you get into more complex categories where maybe a guided selling tool isn't quite enough, that's where you're starting to see some of the use of AI and different technologies really come to life here and really create a super positive experience for consumers knowing that people have finite resources and they want to make the best choices for them. So our ability to help them make a really good purchase decision for themselves is super important.

 

Lauren Livak:

I was going to interrupt you and say, be careful what you recommend for my skin there, Matt, as me as an example. But you didn't, so all safe.

 

Matt Fantazier:

I would never.

 

Lauren Livak:

Perfect. Well thank you all so much. We are at time now. Thank you Dean, Jen, Matt, thank you for everyone who joined. There will be a follow up email to download the report and also watch the recording. Appreciate all of the questions and thank you for signing in today. Have a great day everyone.

 

Peter Crosby:

Thanks to a stellar team of experts for their contribution to new research and their insights today. We are grateful. The link for the full report is in the show notes, so you can reach out to Lauren Livak, L-I-V-A-K, on LinkedIn, or at lauren@digitalshelfinstitute.org for the link. Thanks for being part of our community.