To stay competitive in the new year, brands must target the always-on consumer by influencing micro-shopping moments."

The rise of the “always-on” consumer has been one of 2020’s most significant pandemic-accelerated shifts in consumer behavior. These consumers “shop whenever and wherever the mood strikes them, in so-called ‘micro-moments,’ often while doing other tasks,” according to the IBM Institute for Business Value.

To stay competitive in the new year, brands must target the always-on consumer by influencing micro-shopping moments.

Three key trends for 2021 — media integration, the increased importance of product detail pages and the continued rise of online grocery and last-mile delivery — reveal how forward-thinking brands and retailers are seizing these micro-shopping moments.

Media Integration

This year demonstrated that brands’ siloed media strategies — separate plans and tactics for in-store, digital retail, social media and other media — are not enough to compete in the future. Going forward, brands’ media plans must be cohesive and include social commerce; over-the-top media (OTT), such as ads found on Amazon, Netflix or Hulu; and digital out-of-home (DOOH) activations, such as digital transit or billboard ads.

It’s important to consider how consumers are spending their time during the pandemic. Case in point: Streaming consumption across all video options is up more than 74% from last year, according to Nielsen. Currently, Amazon OTT reaches more than 40 million monthly active viewers through video ads that help engage audiences across Amazon subsidiaries. This allows brands to meet consumers in those micro-shopping moments.

Increased Importance of Product Detail Pages

As more consumers take to the digital shelf, product detail pages (PDPs) are more important than ever in driving conversion. Always-on consumers “come highly informed with specific demands,” according to the IBM Institute for Business Value. As such, PDPs should be information-forward, engaging and optimized for mobile search.

According to Catalyst and Kantar’s “The State of eCommerce 2021” report, among all online consumers, 45% visited a PDP at time of purchase and “41% of those that ranked any touchpoint as [most influential] said PDPs had the biggest influence on their purchase.” Videos, lifestyle imagery, infographics and search-engine-optimized copy above and below the fold are all part of creating best-in-class PDPs.

Brands should also explore means of engaging with both voice search and visual search. We can expect to see an increase in “how to” videos. CartCast, offered by Brand Connections, an Advantage Marketing Partner’s agency, replicates the experience of in-store sampling events through mobile or desktop by creating videos that feature shoppable links. These links direct viewers to PDPs for instant purchase.

The Continued Rise of Online Grocery and Last-Mile Delivery

Quick fulfillment is no longer a novelty, it’s an expectation of the always-on consumer. To meet this expectation, businesses are turning their attention to last-mile delivery — the final step of the delivery process where the product moves from the distribution hub to the consumer’s doorstep.

The 2020 data of last-mile delivery partners like Instacart and Shipt are reasons enough for brands to make optimizing their presence on delivery sites a top priority. Instacart saw a 500% increase in order volume for the first half of 2020. It’s now partnered with more than 500 retailers, making it accessible to over 85% of U.S. households, according to a report in Progressive Grocer. Looking to 2021, both Instacart and Shipt plan to expand their capabilities, including product discovery and controls for self-service marketing tactics, such as coupons and banners.

Brands that prioritize their presence on last-mile delivery sites, or the “third shelf” as they’re often called, will realize the advantages of increased product visibility and opportunities to establish strong customer relationships.

It’s been a difficult year and, while we’ve all grown, e-commerce has outdone us all. To capitalize on its astonishing growth and the always-on consumers who fuel it, brands can make it their new year’s resolution to develop collaborative strategies across platforms, leverage emerging media channels, create best-in-class product pages and embrace online grocery and last-mile delivery.

Advantage Solutions

Lexi Isernio
Account Executive, Strategy & Consulting
Sage Tree LLC

Lexi Isernio joined Sage Tree, an Advantage Digital Commerce agency, with five years of experience working closely with consumer packaged goods brands on marketing and merchandising strategy.

Visit Sage Tree.