Do you have questions about eCommerce retail? How your business can adapt and excel in today’s COVID-influenced, fast-paced marketplace? What can be done to optimize your eCommerce shopper journey to increase sales and capture more happy customers?
We have answers in this webinar, held on March 12, 2021, and hosted by the Category Management Association. Listen in to hear from Tom Lee, Wiser’s Product Lead, Online Products, and Mert Damlapinar, Sabra Dipping’s Director of eCommerce and Natural Channels, as they cover how Mert creates an effective online shopper journey for Sabra customers.
We have a recording of the webinar below. Or, keep reading for a written transcript of the entire conversation between Tom and Mert. As always, contact us if you have any questions related to the topics covered in this webinar.
Wiser Solutions and Mert Damlapinar Webinar
Jackie Lewis: Good morning and happy Friday everyone. My name is Jackie Lewis, I’m the content director here at the CMA and I’m going to be your host for today’s webinar. I am thrilled to be introducing Wiser and Sabra Dipping who are going to be walking us through how they’ve improved brand performance with eCommerce business intelligence. So Wiser provides businesses the tools necessary to act both online and offline. Working with Wiser, customers gain access to millions of websites globally, hundreds of thousands of in-store shoppers, and Wiser is near real-time intelligence for multi-channel visibility.
Wiser customers can expand visibility, increase revenues and drive growth with their entire suite of in-store and online tools. And so from Wiser we have Tom Lee, Director of Product, who comes to us with 14 plus years of experience at companies including Apple and Walmart, leveraging creativity, cross-functional business experience, a technical background, and leadership skills. So welcome Tom, you want to give a quick wave?
Tom Lee: Hi guys.
Jackie: So Sabra Dipping Company is a leader in the refrigerated dips and spreads category and producer of America’s top-selling hummus. Sabra’s award-winning products offer consumers fresh new ways of eating and connecting and include a variety of flavors of both hummus and guacamole. So from Sabra, we have Mert Damlapinar, director of eCommerce. And Mert is also an expert in digital marketing and analytics. And we’ll be drawing on his decades of experience in the space to speak on the customer journey today. So if you have any questions for Tom or Mert throughout the webinar, feel free to enter those in the chat box in the upper right-hand corner of your screen and we’re going to ask those at the end as time allows.
We’ll also be recording the presentation today, so don’t worry if you miss something we’ll be sending both the recording out to all those that registered and then we’re also going to post in the CMA SIMA resource library early next week. So with all that out of the way, welcome again to Tom and Mert and I will let you take the floor.
Tom: Sounds good. Thank you Jackie and thank you CMA for having us here today. As Jackie mentioned, my name is Tom Lee and I am the head of our online products here at Wiser. One thing I do want to clear out right away, in case you’re wondering whether I’m the same person as the person in the picture, I assure you that I am. I just have pandemic hair going on and I haven’t cut my hair for a year and a half. So at some point, I’ll go back to that look again.
Super excited to be here and very excited to have Mert here with us. I’m going to present a couple slides today on the market, Mert is going to talk a lot more about his experience helping eCommerce businesses grow and optimize. So with that, let me kick right into a couple marketing slides.
Tom: If we were together in person, I think I would probably take a poll and ask you guys have any of you shopped for groceries online in the past year?
And I would also wonder how many of you would be surprised if I say that right now in 2021, over 50 percent of Americans have shopped for groceries online at least one time. That is a tremendous amount of growth in just the past few years. eCommerce as you guys know has been growing substantially for over a decade now. For online groceries, I would say it really started sometime around 2015/2016 when it really started to take hold and grow tremendously.
I think when the pandemic hit last year, what happened was it really helped to accelerate this transition in the adoption of shopping for groceries online. It’s just super convenient and much safer to be able to buy your favorite produce, deli meats, obviously hummus right in the comfort of your own home. But I would also point out that this uptick I think is here to stay, I don’t think it’s a temporary thing.
Because once consumers and customers get used to the convenience and start relying on online shopping just like for other things in eCommerce, it’ll be part of their experience. And I really think this is a start in the trend towards omnichannel as we talked about before. So the major platforms that we’ve seen obviously is growing a lot Amazon Fresh, you’re probably very familiar with.
Walmart Groceries, InstaCart which delivers for multiple retailers and others also coming online. Now, online groceries is not just limited to delivering, a lot of supermarkets and grocery stores are now offering order online and pick up in-store. Another thing that I do want to note is, even though I’m talking about online grocery right now, I think a lot of the trends that I’m talking about right now and that I will be talking about applies more broadly across eCommerce.
The next topic I want to quickly touch on is the customer segmentation. About half of online grocery shoppers are millennials. I think that’s probably not too surprising to most people. Millennials are very tech-savvy, they are definitely early adopters and they highly value convenience. At the same time, when you look at the Gen X adoption rate, is also pretty drastic. They’re really making a big transition from solely brick and mortar shopping for groceries to a combined omnichannel experience.
And something else to add here is that when you compare Gen X to even millennials, their average spending power is still higher.
So this is a segment that is very important to a lot of brands, to a lot of retailers and it’s important to target them specifically. What you don’t see in this pie chart on the left-hand side are the Gen Z’s. But I would not ignore them because as they come of age, and as their spending power increases, they’re going to be a very big part of the online grocery shopping segmentation. And Gen Z’ers are very much like millennials, but they grew up around eCommerce and the way they shop is even more geared towards online.
Mert is going to talk a little bit more about this, but I think it’s very important for brands to build awareness for their company, for their business with the right touchpoints. And Mert’s going to talk about what that actually means. The way you reach millennials or the way you reach Gen Z’ers is in many ways different than how you would reach baby boomers and Gen X. So I spend a lot of time talking to brands, talking to manufacturers, talking to retailers, working with my customers, working with prospects.
I’m also very passionate about this space, so I do a lot of research as well. And what I often hear as being the most important aspects for consumers, for shoppers boils down to competitive pricing, having the ability to choose from a broad selection of products. Very good product content on websites to help them make the right decision and convenience of shopping.
Obviously, this has implications and considerations for brands and retailers alike. Brands and retailers need to have a very strong sense as to what their pricing strategies are, how do they want to position themselves, and to do so obviously, you need to have the pricing intelligence to make the right decision.
In today’s environment, it is super easy for a consumer to just through a couple of clicks find many different offerings, different listings, and compare prices throughout the internet. So having the insights is super important. For product selection, it is easier than ever for a consumer to compare multiple products to choose the best one for them, that is right for them.
Product placement is super important and this means both in brick and mortar stores and also in your digital shop. What are your products being positioned next to is another consideration?
In the product content, what you show on your website, how you describe your product is very important as well. So I think what this all comes down to is I think there are a lot of opportunities for brands and retailers right now in 2021. As more and more consumers shop online and you combine that with just a lot more channels for consumers to shop, these two things together really create a lot more data for brands and retailers.
And I think companies who really adapt this and really have a good strategy to utilize this data, and to take decisive action on it could really build a competitive advantage today. So right now, what I’m going to do is I’m going to pass it over to Mert and Mert is going to give some more of his opinions and takes on how to optimize for eCommerce business. Mert?
Optimizing the eCommerce Shopper Journey
Mert Damlapinar: Sure. Thank you, Jackie and the CMA for having us here today. And thank you Tom and the Wiser team. So let’s go over in a more integrated sales and marketing environment with a digital approach. Let’s go over how we look at our objectives. Let’s go over how we implement and execute on them and how we build the reporting and measurement capabilities. So I’m going to go over some slides real quick with the support of Tom. And we’ll talk about them in the Q& A session at the end hopefully. Next slide, please.
Customer Journey Map and Performance Measurement – 2021
Yes. So during a typical marketing planning up until this point, we usually consider some frameworks like the four Ps and the STP is where we can segment and target different audiences and different customer profiles. And today, I want to talk about two other analytical tools that play a crucial role for the execution and the measurement. The customer funnel on the left side and the customer journey on the right side. So we’re going to talk about how these tools enable you to gain a deep understanding of your customers and develop strategies that fit their needs and advance your business as well.
So I’m going to share some insights about how I apply them to my own daily work for managing eCommerce channels in a CPG vertical, specifically in food and beverage. Next slide, please.
Mert: Okay, so let’s talk about the customer funnel. And so this is a very useful tool in understanding where the customers are and who our customer is and what stages in the purchase decision may they be. And at any given state, and any given time period. So this is also called the purchase funnel or sales funnel, you might hear some different names depending on the time and terminology.
But the basic idea is to really allow you think about getting in the mind of the consumer to see at what points in time they may be in. And we have a very simple four-stage funnel here on this slide. These are the most common stages for the products and that are out there. The important thing to keep in mind is that the reason why the customer funnel is important is because it allows you to map something called the customer journey. Later on, we’re going to talk about in a second. And also it allows you to help identify what your company is currently good at doing, at which stage that a customer may be in and help you understand what are some things that your company could perhaps improve upon as the customers are moving through different stages of the funnel.
And the four stages of the customer funnel we have here help you evaluate where your current marketing efforts are succeeding or failing, so you can plot appropriate marketing activities accordingly. And let’s also think about how technology has changed this concept of a traditional funnel, what you’ll also encounter and face. What’s more, current view of the funnel nowadays is this idea of loyalty loop or retargeting pool. So instead of a top-down whittling down smaller, smaller group of people in this purchase funnel we’re talking about, there could be this idea of people going through a loop.
And if we can target on this pool and loop, it could benefit us and it can enhance our performance. And the concept of a loyal to loop that you will see out there is that there’s simply the idea of a funnel, they’re all interconnected very, very heavily. And but once people have purchased your product, they can also come back and think about considering your product again and purchase again. And then perhaps navigating for you to other customers and to really loop in that word of mouth phenomena and therefore you’re going to have your advertising capabilities multiply.
And so there are variations to the basic same concept. And the key point to take away here is not whether how many stages of the funnel there are or the labels that are on the funnel, whether it’s a loop or it’s a tunnel. But the important thing is, I think is a traceable way if we think about the different mindset that your customers may be going through. And then once you have what the mindsets would be that gives you a more concrete way to deploy your marketing strategies as well as later to optimize them upon. And so this is the most important thing to take away from the customer funnel in my opinion.
Capability to identify creating those loops and cycles and then capitalize on them for further enhancement and performance.
Tom: Right. Hey Mert, as you mention, the technology is changing very fast. And the industry is also changing very fast right now, from your perspective, right? What are some of these big trends that you’ve seen and how has that changed the way you manage your eCommerce channel, for example how has the pandemic changed the way you do things or the shift from brick and mortar to online?
Mert: Great. The short answer to that in general, most if not all CPG brands like us, we started tracking digital shelf metrics and the shopper behavior through their online journey more closely. Because of these technological advancements, and funnel visibility and the granularity of the reporting we have improved significantly in the last three, four years. And it’s also benefiting the shopper to have a seamless shopping experience in this omnichannel environment brands and retailers are creating for them on a shorter path to purchase.
So it’s easier to find products and convenience, more assortment options, and easy to complete the purchase. So similar to how companies like Uber Eats and Postmates change the delivery landscape, so towards eCommerce reshaping grocery platforms. And a recent study of Mercados showed that 90 percent of e-grocery customers are expected to continue shopping online, post COVID even. So, this kind of capability of reporting will be crucial for brands like us to map out the customer journey, identify the digital touchpoints, lay out the customer behavior and develop our marketing strategies according to that.
And the more tools and tactics are available on these platforms, we’re going to shift our ad dollars to those activities that bring success to us.
Tom: Got you. Thank you.
Mert: Thank you. Okay, next slide, please.
Mert: So this is the customer journey, the customer journey gives us a snapshot of a typical sequence of specific activities that customers take as they move through the broad stages of their journey or this customer funnel, as we talk about in the previous slide. Now to understand the customer journey, it’s important to highlight the difference between the funnel and the journey. The difference between them is that the journey really takes the analogy of understanding, getting into the minds of the customers to a whole new level.
And the whole idea of the customer journey is really, you want to take it from customers perspective and see just from the very first moment of awareness, the first time to see one of your ads and what are the different touchpoints that they will use and perhaps interact with your brand all the way through the point of purchase and even perhaps repeat purchase in the retention stage. And that’s the primary difference between the funnel and the journey. The perspective and then the digital touchpoints we can map and track. The customer funnel also allows us to map out these different stages.
And if you don’t map it out, you don’t even know which part of the funnel those people are leaking out and where you’re losing them. Then the customer journey itself is the whole picture of this holistic view of this idea, it really helps us to understand what is the experience that the customer is going through as they become acquainted in purchasing our product. And the key thing here to point out is that the customer journey is not necessarily sequential, they may actually jump through different parts of the funnel and maybe repeat certain parts of the funnel.
And that’s another useful distinction between the funnel and journey. And the technology changes later on, this will be more and more important and hopefully, we’ll be able to talk about in the coming slides. So let’s talk about how the technology may change all that. Since a customer may potentially jump back and forth between these different touchpoints. It’s possible that in any one of those points, researching about other products as well, so there might be always looking at competition or even different categories. And technology just really changes and facilitates that interaction and a more two-way process, right?
Another thing that has changed with the technology is this idea of paid, owned, and earned media. Different placements across multiple platforms, retargeting pixels, engagement instances. And with a myriad of reporting and optimization platforms available today, we can monitor and report number of KPIs to measure the performance of our marketing investment behind all of these programs and activations. You can see some of the key KPIs on the slide at the bottom part. And depending on your organization, depending on your vertical, depending on your product KPIs might differ slightly.
But the idea is to be able to map out stages, get as many digital touchpoints under our reporting capabilities and start measuring them and shift our ad dollars to the ones that are performing better. And what this allows us to do is that it allows us to allocate budget and attention to certain channels, different types of activations, and different placements, and it also gives us a very tractable way of how to think about testing and reiterating our digital marketing strategy across all these different touchpoints. And that’s the most important thing about the mapping out the customer journey.
Tom: Got you. Hey Mert, if you talk about the customer journey, it really makes me think about the customer experience altogether. Obviously, Sabra is a very successful brand with a great reputation. Your products are sold at many retailer locations, both in brick and mortar and also online. How does Sabra maintain a consistent customer experience across all the different websites and all the different retail locations?
Mert: I would say, not only my opinion in general agreement in the marketing ecosystem that we’re playing in. Product content drive sales, both in-store and online. And when we take the product content seriously, we sell dramatically more in both brick and click and all the other omnichannel platforms. Having an active product content strategy across all retailers as well as our own website, if you have any DTC capability is essential to winning today’s consumer-first marketplace.
But it’s not enough to take the basic PIM DAM, or product information management digital asset management data, that fuels in-store planograms and merchandising programs. We’re working really hard to make sure our content works in the way shoppers do, integrate it interactively across mobile, desktop, TV, tablet, whatever media they consume or whatever platform they choose to consume their media or content, and also into the physical store where available. And we’re using a PXM platform, product experience management platform, where we can optimize our content and syndicate to multiple retailers, monitor our content health score, and store all our content copy and creative assets in one location for a centralized PIM DAM execution.
So that helps us to enhance our content across multiple channels and create an omnichannel easy-to-shop experience for the consumer.
Tom: Got it. That makes a lot of sense.
Mert: Landscape changing fast, we’re just trying to adapt honestly.
Customer Journey Blueprint
Mert: So on this slide, we talk about a blueprint. And again, this is just a template, you can find many similar templates out there, you can even come up with your own. But once you’ve mapped out the actions your customers take and a typical journey from awareness all the way to the retention, then you can reflect on difficult spots and the places where customers may lose interest. You can identify customer activity and goals, narrow down your business goals, select certain KPIs to track and you list the technology platforms you need to utilize on different stages of the journey.
And another reason why you want to map out the customer journey and come up with a blueprint is for you to identify the miss opportunities in the journey, right? Because you have leakage, you losing customers at different digital touchpoints, different transition moments in each funnel. So where are those holes in the journey? And where are most of the people dropping off at what percentages? What are the organizational weaknesses we have to track our funnel performance? And what are the roles and responsibilities between different teams in the organization? Because this more and more cohesive sales, marketing, supply chain at some point, what products and platforms do we need to track for execution and reporting.
So for instance, if you were to map out the customer journey and without doing any change to your digital marketing or marketing campaign, you’re going to realize that you’re doing a great job at getting people at the awareness stage but your real problem might be actually closing the sale. So that will change on how you do digital marketing if your problem is actually at the awareness level or at the closure or conversion level. So supposedly, you’re a CPG company and you have a great awareness amongst an older segment of the population to Tom’s earlier point in the opening of the webinar.
And you want to target a younger segment of the population, so you want to shift your focus and you want to target a new segment in your audience, you’ll find a new opportunity in the market. So what are the platforms that they’re spending their time on, where is their attention? If they’re spending most of their time on social media or on their apps and mobile phones, then perhaps if you identify that this is the weakness in your customer journey, you will want to spend a ton of resources on those associated apps and custom channels to be able to speak and reach out to those new segments you’re targeting more authentically and more effectively, honestly.
And so that’s one of the main reasons why you want to map out the customer’s journey so you can understand where can you improve your customer performance experience and also your digital marketing strategy. All these blueprints, customer journey maps will help you to get there.
Tom: Great. A question that I have is in the consideration space. As I mentioned in my previous slides, these days it is super easy for consumers to compare different product offerings. For me, this makes product placement on the digital shelf, product content, availability, rating, feedback and even pricing super, super important, right?
Tom: What lever does Sabra use to increase engagement and also to increase the add-to-cart during this consideration space?
Mert: Yes, that’s really essential and that’s a hot topic we’ve been talking about in the recent months. And the answer to that is we use a PXM platform where we have also digital shelf metrics reporting capabilities managing our product and shopping experience. And then where we have visibility into what products have the largest share of the results for given search terms or shelf pages and identify if the products are organic or sponsored. We can also track online and stock availability, get a snapshot of pricing trends, pricing changes or promotions, activity for a specific product assortment across key retailers to show volatility or irregularity, or even competitive pricing situations over different periods of time.
And this helps us a lot. This gives us a lot of information and this gives us a lot of opportunity to take action for some of the campaigns even in flight. And in addition to that, our shopper marketing and media teams have been deploying an omnichannel approach where we can create more digital touchpoints to make it easier for shoppers to add their favorite product into their cart or completed a purchase immediately compared to the less traditional sites you would expect. So we’re looking for different mediums and different opportunities where we can lay out those digital touchpoints to make the path shorter for the consumer as well as retailer site of course, all the big box retailer websites.
So influencers, referrals, ratings and reviews on product detail pages, shoppable media and consumer social media feeds or any kind of website, kind of other different mediums they spend their time on, blog pages to help us to increase engagement and also increase the add to cart rate. That’s one of the two metrics we’re tracking, engagement level of content, the right content to reach the right segment, and what kind of actions this content helps them to take.
Tom: What I hear a lot of times is that this is as much about art as it is about science. There isn’t a one-equation-that-fits-all here.
Mert: That’s right, it’s a nice blend and we don’t have the rights proportion metrics yet. We don’t know what the percentage is, it’s shifting constantly.
Tom: That’s right.
Digital Touchpoints to Attribution
Mert: And let’s look at some attributions on display. Yes. So on this slide, we’re going to be talking about what’s the full attribution picture looks like and how we can build it, how we can track it, then before we develop a detailed digital marketing plan, we usually begin considering how we’re going to determine if our marketing campaign is a success. So since any marketing campaign and other digital activations nowadays involves technology, there is no shortage of data for us to analyze when evaluating the performance of a digital marketing campaign we launch.
But how do we decide where to focus our attention? And one of the great promises of all those digital marketing platforms out there is the ability to track metrics and have very fine grain data on our customers. So well, not so fast honestly, on our team, at least. It’s common to hear people saying that we will be able to have all this big data on our customers so this will lead to new magical insights. What people usually don’t talk about enough is that while metrics are very important, yes and to Tom’s point, data is very important. It’s very easy to fall into a trap where you can have a bunch of data and it can be very overwhelming and misleading.
So we might be overwhelmed with all kinds of different metrics that we may have. And we’re able to track about our customers without really getting any new insights actually. So we can track number of impressions of digital banner ad, the number of page views, the number of tweets, the number of likes, click-through rates, active users per day, so on and so forth. But it can be very overwhelming with a ton of metrics. And a trap here is that we have the long list of metrics we can track with a list of data but in reality, we might not really know that much about our customers and their shopping behavior.
So that’s why it’s important to understand where we have full attribution, where we have incomplete attribution, what factors play into that, and how we can identify and resolve these issues down the road within our funnel. And in the next slide, we’re going to be looking at what an incomplete attribution looks like.
Mert: So the problem with tracking that data though, is that if that’s all we track, if we’re only tracking data, anybody will be able to tell you that the problem with this metric is that it doesn’t tell you the number of customers who ends up ordering and buying our products.
So if our main goal for my campaign, I usually break it down in very, very simply in two major buckets, awareness and reach and most sales conversion, considerations happen somewhere in between, but it’s playing into both buckets. In very simplistic terms, I look at awareness, reach, and sales conversion. So if our goal, if our ROI at the end of the day really depends on what customer order behavior looks like and we only optimize on the number of impressions per day, then we could be fooling ourselves into thinking that as long as we increase the number of impressions per day, we’re going to increase the number of purchases because it should follow the logic, it should follow the sequence, right?
Now that may be true, there may be a positive correlation between the number of people that see our digital banner ads and the number of purchases that we have, but that doesn’t tell the full story in reality. It’s important to know exactly what the relationship between the number of people that see our digital banner ad and also the number of people that order, is it out of every 100 people that see it? Is it 20 people that purchase it? Is it 10? So in any time span, daily or over a week, what’s the attribution window?
What’s the average order? So it’s important to ask these questions to map out that relationship, it’s important to understand what the leakages are and where we lose the attribution between the first time consumers see our ad until the end of the purchase. So that’s full or incomplete attribution map, alongside the customer journey helps us to close those gaps and identify the opportunity where we can have better conversion success and better measurement success.
Tom: How has the completeness of attributions improved the customer funnel for you? What can you do now that you previously could not do?
Mert: It’s a work in progress but in general, unlike the lower funnel attribution where we can track only conversions, units, or sales. Full-funnel attribution incorporates impressions and assisted clicks in a conversion. So we can go all the way back when the journey starts for a consumer just like, excuse me. Just like on the slide here, it looks at the full path to conversion and does not just focus on the last touchpoint, click for example in this case.
With the full-funnel attribution, we’re able to identify immediate tactic that may not have delivered a high volume of direct click conversions, but delivered a measurable impact on our branding message, engagement with the consumer, and also sales during the purchase consideration stage, whether they’re just adding it to their cart, leaving in their basket or completing the purchase. So for example, we use paid search and display for our campaign. And then looking at the full path to conversion, the last the consumer interacted with before completing the purchase could be a paid search.
However, that consumer has also seen a display banner prior to the search query. So therefore, while our paid search effort and product placements get the majority of the credit for their conversion, let’s say 60 percent, 70 percent, display banner ad will also get partial credit for asserting the conversion and assisting it. And we’ll make sure to deploy the two-prong approach between display banner ad and the paid search to increase the mid-funnel activation and also the conversion while we generate more attributed sales.
So more than one tactic, two or more prongs running together will always enhance the performance as long as it’s connected correctly according to the shopper journey and behavior patterns we detect on the shopper journey.
Tom: That’s great.
All Metrics in One Place
Mert: Right. On this slide, we’re looking at the metric. So yeah, we’re putting all these digital touchpoints on the journey. We’re increasing engagement, we’re improving our content and we’re reporting them. So okay, what are the metrics? What are the metrics that we can use? And I share the most common Amazon advertising platform metrics we use on a slide. And the answer to that question really depends on the type of business and vertical you’re operating in. But the end of the day, what you really care about as a marketer or eCommerce specialist is how much can you spend on advertising to acquire each one of those customers.
And that leads to the first metric I want to tell you about which is cost per acquisition, CPA, right? Sometimes referred as the cost of acquiring customer, or CAC. But it’s a very simple metric, it’s a very simple ratio, is the amount of money that you’re spending on advertising over the number of customers that you’ve acquired. And this gives a sense of how much money you’re spending to acquire each customer. And related to that metric is this idea of the customer lifetime value, of course, which stands for the amount of money that we’re bringing in per customer over the course of their lifetime as long as you shop our products and what is my CPA or CAC, and what is my customer lifetime value or CLV?
And usually, in general, as a rule of thumb, you want to keep the customer lifetime value to CAC ratio three to one or higher. So you don’t have this metric on this slide, but all the other related metrics you can use, there is a ton of other metrics that you can use on a daily basis, day to day, help you guide on your understanding. That’s what I put on the slide here and your marketing campaigns, what channels should you use and which channels are more effective, because those metrics will be dependent on the platforms and reporting capabilities of those platforms you will receive.
CAC and CLV usually have to calculate yourself manually. So as to other examples, such as conversion rates, click-through rates, cost per click, you see on this slide, these are all different variations to give us a sense of how effective each one of these advertising channels are for us. And depending on the type of advertising we run, whether it’s through display, banner ads search or through video, there are variations of these metrics as well. And the percentages will vary. So such for instance, cost per impression, cost per click or cost per view if our ad is a video, and terminology might slightly change.
But the concept is the same. You got to identify certain KPI, certain metrics for each digital touchpoint at the different stages of your funnel. And we’re trying to find those platforms and products where we have more granular data, more visibility to those metrics, where we can track and report on them accurately.
Tom: Are there any other metrics that have emerged with other marketplaces like Walmart or a through grocery delivery services? How do you collect data on buy online and pick up in store?
Mert: Yeah, this isn’t one of the areas that we’re challenged honestly, because now we see, there are two major data providers out there, Nielsen and IRI, but eCommerce data is still in its infancy. And even the market leaders data providers don’t provide granular data similar to what they offer for brick and mortar retailers, which has been matured over the time, maybe in less than six, seven decades, maybe even longer. But as of today, we’re able to monitor and measure all those metrics I shared on the slide.
But it’s not an easy task, because we’re using very fragmented data from multiple sources and it’s a lot of data wrangling. It’s not easy. It’s not fun. But we’ve been using very fragmented data for the eCommerce performance from six different forces, sources, sorry, and some related to sales and shared data to measure our category performance. Some related to activation and campaign performance. And another one is for the digital shelf metrics obviously. We have a limited number of retailers that provide us a breakdown between delivery and in-store pickup.
And I’ve been exploring some robust platforms where we can monitor and organize. Also optimize multiple campaigns on different retailer platforms at the same time and also store our data in one place in a health database environment. But the metrics we use are coming from different sources in different formats and it’s a challenge, but I would say that the data for eCommerce is still in its infancy and I am expecting at least two to three more years to get it into an effective stage.
Tom: That makes sense.
Activation Plan and Performance
Mert: So now we laid out the funnel, talked about the journey, we’ll look at the blueprint and we looked at how we can measure the metrics, what data attribution we can gain? And so how it’s going to be reflected, how it’s going to be displayed on a typical activation plan or integrated marketing plan. So this activation plan example I share here today provides the structure for really comprehensive digital marketing plan, encompassing different stages of the funnel we’ve talked about, including paid and owned media, sponsored products elements like search, paid search activations, and different sponsored product placements.
And you can see on the top of the slide we have four stages of the funnel, different tactics and activations, we have four various objectives. So awareness, consideration, purchase and retention. And the KPIs we track for those activations usually we line them up on the left side of the slide. And again, depending on your platform, depending on reporting capabilities, depending on your marketing objectives, you can choose from a large pool of KPIs. I had shared some of those in the second slide, I believe in the journey slide. So you may address more than one segment of the funnel and create retargeting opportunities that help you build more granular audiences and continues to grow your remarketing and targeting pool of customers.
Because not each activation will only focus on one objective or the one stage of the funnel, you can have some overlaps as you can see here. One activation might cover even three different stages of the journey. And for a holistic campaign structure, we usually prefer two or three-pronged approaches where we deploy more than one tactic for a targeted campaign. One of the good examples will be running your good display and search campaigns together on the same platform for better results because they enhance each other, so they continuously grow your retargeting pool.
This type of monitoring and performance measurement allows us to evaluate the relative value of paid media channels and all media channels we have different tactics for different objectives and different stages of the funnel and establish our priorities based on our marketing objectives as a part of a broader plan, integrated marketing plan. This funnel and journey together help us to identify our objectives and the channels we intend to use to reach those objectives along with an outline of a specific marketing campaign.
And finally, how we will measure the results of those marketing campaigns. This basically tries to encompass all in one, but it’s not one document, it’s a living document requires ongoing iteration. And hopefully, platforms and products out there will help us to get there, to have more effective measurement capabilities.
Tom: All right. As you mentioned in your slide and previously as well, reviews and feedbacks are very important from the consideration phase through purchase and all the way through to retention. Consumers obviously care a lot about this. They compare different options and they make purchasing decisions based off of product ratings and reviews. Amazon also consider seller ratings when determining who wins the buy box. How does Sabra maintain visibility of ratings and reviews across multiple websites and marketplaces? How do you act on the feedback such as how do you provide a feedback loop back to the product itself?
Mert: So we’re lucky in that regard, because being a brand in the vast PepsiCo portfolio, we use a robust platform where we can monitor the reviews and rating scores we receive on all major retailer sites, so we’re able to identify opportunities to engage with our customers through their feedback and drill into the struggling products with negative reviews or bad performance. So our customer support team engages with our shoppers to make sure it’s a pleasant shopping experience for them. And the continuous omnichannel execution we deliver for them is a good one or a nice one, so they will come back for more.
So this is also an essential tactic for customer retention and turning our customers to loyal customers and brand advocates to push them through the funnel, where we can increase their contribution to the brand position. And as you pointed out also Tom, ratings and reviews are one of the six determining factors of product detail page algorithm that feeds Amazon flywheel alongside with other technical details. So we’re paying utmost attention to ratings and review. We’re constantly using some sampling opportunities in different retailers using some digital platforms to get better rating scores and increase the number of reviews we have.
Tom: Got it.
Mert: So on the next slide, there is a very familiar example of an activation calendar or you can call it a marketing plan. And I close the loop on the integrated marketing plan we’re talking about, even though we didn’t cover the whole integrated marketing plan, I think we’ve covered a pretty good decent size of it. This is a very typical calendar view of the marketing plan or activation calendar, the way I like to call it. So far, we’ve evaluated the relative value of the different media channels and establish priorities based on our marketing objectives.
And then we’ve determined the appropriate resourcing and the budget allocations across selected channels and identified metrics we will use to measure the performance of our marketing campaigns. And we’ve used customer funnel and customer journey to develop and prepare for implementation of a comprehensive digital marketing plan. So this type of calendar on this slide would be the commonly used marketing plan between the sales and marketing teams to execute that overall integrated marketing plan. I’m sure, it might change from brand to brand, product to product.
But this is the way I frequently use nowadays and share with our marketing teams and we’re working on tying this to our performance measurement tools as a part of our reporting capability. And with that, I think that’s the end of my slides. If you have any questions Tom.
Tom: I do have one question here.
Tom: How does Sabra plan for their merchandising calendar and how has that changed over the past few years? Are there things that you can share with the audience here, best practices?
Mert: Right. Yeah, we have more tools and tactics in our arsenal compared to three and four years ago. So that’s meaning we have more lines on this calendar, we have more rows where we can deploy more ad dollars and target different segments of the journey. And we also have more buckets again, to allocate our marketing dollars because of these new tools we have in the arsenal. Those relatively new tools and tactics provide more advanced segmenting and targeting capabilities with much more granular reporting and effective measurement too.
We didn’t have visibility to some of the metrics we have today, let’s say in 2016. We’ve built a holistic shopper journey and performance measurement report ourselves. And we can report on the performance of different activations at different stages of the funnel we’ve discussed on the previous slides. Therefore, we can optimize our campaigns more efficiently and shift the dollars from one activation to the other, from one channel to the other where we see the better ROI. And this helps us again, not only for planning the next year’s budget allocations, this helps us also optimize the ongoing campaigns in flight from quarter to quarter or the back half of the year.
But definitely, with the development of news and platform products, we have more tools and tactics, we have more reporting capabilities, we’re spending our marketing dollars much more effectively.
Tom: Got you. Thank you Mert. And also, thank you so much for sharing your expertise with us and your experience, super helpful. I’ve learned a ton during this webinar. At this point, what I want to do is we have about 10 minutes left and I do want to take the opportunity to answer any questions that folks might have in the audience. I think you can you can type in your questions and that would be relayed to Mert and myself. So at this point, I’m going to open it up to the Q&A.
Jackie: Awesome. Yeah, great job. This was really helpful. And your shopper journey stages actually line up perfectly with the CMA released a new omnichannel shopper framework in January and we had the same four stages in there.
Jackie: So we didn’t even plan that. But yeah, I’m glad there was some similarity there.
Mert: If you can send me a copy, so I would learn a little more.
Jackie: Yeah, 100 percent.
Mert: Thank you.
Jackie: All right. So yeah, as Tom said, anyone in the audience, if you have any questions that came up throughout the presentation, go ahead and enter those now in the chatbox. And I will relay those to Tom and Mert. So let’s go ahead and get started. So the first one, ” You talked about segmenting shoppers into each journey stage determine where there’s maybe holes or leakage. So what data sources do you use to do that work? And how do you account for any brick and mortar behavior?”
Tom: For me or for Mert?
Mert: For me, Jackie?
Jackie: Yeah, well, either one. But yeah, I’m assuming Mart since you were talking about sometimes you can find leakage opportunity and stuff like that.
Mert: I’ll take a quick shot and I’ll leave it to Tom if he wants to add any feedback. We use, as I mention, we use multiple data reporting from our existing platforms. And it’s a challenging task because it’s not as easy to get your Google Analytics report on the website traffic and where you see those leakages. So it’s a manual data wrangling work, at least on my team. But I know there are robust platforms out there, which gives you more holistic reporting capability as long as there are some API connections available between the company ERPM and CRM systems with the platforms they deploy those campaigns.
But for my position right now, we’re using a couple of platforms where we run those campaigns, whether it’s product placement, sponsored search, or DSP. And one big example would be we relying on Amazon DSP and advertising platform reporting capabilities to get those reports and that we tied into our manually built performance measurement report I mentioned at the last slide, I believe. Because building a journey reporting is not an easy task and there is no product out there doing it from start to end as far as I know.
If there is, I’d like to get a demo call on that product. So this is how we’re doing it. We’re combining multiple reports from different platforms, whether or not our campaigns and we’re tying it to our objectives and the KPIs we’re tracking at this point.
Jackie: Makes sense. I feel like the reporting, at least in things like awareness stage and some of the earlier ones is actually doable and the eComm online environment versus probably brick-and-mortar outside of it. I don’t see how you’d be measuring that at all. So unless you had a customer panel, right? Maybe and then you extrapolate it from there so.
Mert: Exactly. We use some agents report to your point for brick and mortar sales lift or benny brand lift studies. And we’re trying to combine them to accurate granular data reports for the eCommerce platforms we run. And it’s an art mixed with data to Tom’s earlier point.
Jackie: Sure, totally. Yep, totally. All right. Next one is for Tom. “So what data and tools do Wiser exactly offer? Do you offer metrics to assess omnichannel success or just eCommerce specifically?”
Tom: That’s a good question. So at Wiser, our solution really spans across online and in store. And we have different product offerings for different needs. I mentioned pricing as being a very key part of what we do here. Brand compliance is another part. We also focus a lot on actionability, helping brands and retailers make the right decision based off of the data that we collect. So definitely brick and mortar and online.
Jackie: That’s great. Awesome. Okay, next one is for Mert. “How is your brick and mortar marketing strategy changed as eCommerce has grown? Are you doing the same level of things like uncap, sampling in-store merchandising, for example?”
Mert: No, we shift our shopper marketing and in-store marketing activities significantly to digital domain. And the share of the coupons in-store, signages or sampling demos, is not as the same level like two years ago, because we want traceability, granular reporting and also customer prefers that to it, the customer wants to be able to find those little digital touchpoints where they can complete the purchase in different environments and omnichannel experiences growing and growing for shoppers as well as brands and retailers.
So the answer is, we’re not doing it at the same level of activities in-store like we did it two years ago.
Jackie: Makes sense. Makes sense. Correlates with the sales penetration probably, right?
Jackie: Yeah. Great. How about maybe speak to if you can, what the impact of private label has been as more sales have moved online or in the online environment, maybe in your categories compared to just brick and mortar.
Mert: Yeah, private label is always a good challenge to have, and the more retailers are investing in their private labels, it will be always a new up and coming category or competitive we’re going to keep an eye on. But as long as we have reporting capabilities and we’ll see what the private label pricing is, what the changes are implementing, what new assortment or skews they’re been launching. And we can gauge the impact on the category as well as our own sales performance, we’re prepared proactively. So the retailer are also capitalizing on this with the eCommerce growth.
Obviously, online grocery penetration is growing much faster than anticipated four years ago. So they will be investing in their private label. This is my fourth, it’s not a big call-out moment. But I expect retailers invest in more in their private labels. So it will be a question of again, quality of product as usual and as always and also the access to the product, convenience of shopping the product with a nice shopping experience. So brands have a little bit of advantage on that, because they have a better communication with the shopper.
Retailers, I believe, have still some way to go to build this omnichannel loyalty and experience with their consumers. But it will be a nice challenge going forward, we’re looking forward to that.
Jackie: Once they up their game, right?
Jackie: That’s great. That’s great. All right, I think this one can actually be maybe to both of you if Wiser has a solution for it or maybe just how Mert’s thinking about it. But have you found an effective way to measure incrementality of sales growth versus just changes in shopper behavior, right? So just consumers switching from brick and mortar to online or what level of incrementality have you been able to measure?
Tom: Mert, do you want to go first and then I’ll follow?
Mert: Sure. Sure. Yes, this is another topic very, very hot topic, actually, between our delivery partners and us incrementality of the sales happening in the delivery platforms like ISCAR and Shipped for example. Are we moving shoppers from one brick and mortar to a delivery platform, are really generating incremental sales? And the answer to the question, we can track incrementality up to a certain degree, not 100 percent.
And all the indicators we have so far shows that there is incremental growth in eCommerce shopping behavior, as well as shift movement. So as I mentioned, data is fragmented. And not even the market leader data providers are at their best yet for providing eCommerce retail data, their panels are still in developing and they don’t have enough POS data. But the short answer, yes. Decent portion of this sales growth is incremental. But we don’t know the exact breakdown yet with granularity.
Tom: Right. And I will also add to that, that when I speak with industry experts, when I talk to my customers, I think what we’re seeing right now is a growing of their overall pie. I don’t think it’s a zero-sum game. I don’t think the growth in eCommerce and online necessarily mean that brick and mortar businesses are going down. I think shopping online has made things easier and it has been growing. But at the same time when we look at the market, I think both brick and mortar retailing and also eCommerce, they both have been growing over the past couple years, it’s just online has been growing even faster than brick and mortar.
So with the overall pie is just expanding.
Jackie: Sure. Particularly over the past year, I know obviously in food, as people shifted to at-home consumption, I’m sure that both brick and mortar and ecom grew. Yeah, at least in that scenario. So great. Well, that is all the questions that came in. And we’re just about right on time actually. So we plan that one Well. Any final comments from the two of you before we sign off and send everyone off on their weekend?
Tom: For me, I just want to say thank you so much again Jackie, thank you so much again CMA for having us. This is super fun for me, I learned a lot from Mert and Wiser we really value our partnership. Really appreciate it.
Mert: Same here, I appreciate you for having us here CMA, Jackie, and our Wiser team too. And again, it’s always a great experience to learn from one of the technology leaders of real leading products in the industry. So Wiser, I know very, very good people there and great capabilities of the platform. And also I’m looking forward to that omnichannel reporting just released to see what I can learn from those experts’ opinions.
Jackie: For sure. Awesome. All right. Well, for everyone still on. We will send the recording out from today’s webinar early next week and post in our resource library. If you have any other questions for the CMA, feel free to reply directly to that email and we’ll get them over to Tom and Mert. And with that, I’m going to sign off and close the webinar. Have a great weekend everybody.
Mert: Have a good weekend everyone.