Cartology helps FMCG marketers pick the right play to engage supermarket shoppers post-pandemic

16 November 2021

More than three quarters of Australians changed the way they shop during the pandemic, with an unprecedented surge in online shopping, balanced by a renewed appreciation for the in-store experience, according to a landmark research study from Cartology.

Cartology, the retail media business of Woolworths Group, has today launched the Cartology Customer Playbook, a first of its kind post-pandemic guide for Australian FMCG marketers.

Cartology has partnered with insights consultancy The Lab to combine qualitative and quantitative insights on Australian grocery shoppers with Woolworths Group’s own first party data to present a comprehensive picture of the customer attitudes and behaviours shaping the evolving retail landscape.

The pace of digital growth is rapid with Woolworths reporting online sales growth of 53 per cent in the September quarter. However, Cartology's research makes clear that shopping habits can no longer be viewed as binary, with 30 per cent of all customers shopping both online and in-store at least once a month.

Cartology works with brands to provide customers with inspiration and highly relevant offers to enhance their shopping experience, and its new playbook is designed to ensure their changing needs remain front and centre with marketers.

Cartology Head of Marketing and Insights Jodie Koning said: “At the same time that we’re seeing a long term shift in customer behaviour, Australia’s retail media industry is also evolving, with more ways than ever before to speak directly to customers.

“This makes it the perfect time to present an up-to-date view of the landscape to help brands embrace the potential that retail media offers to engage with different customers at different stages of their shopping journey.

“This research is grounded in the customer for good reason: customer centricity is key. It’s critical for marketers to go deep to really understand customers and their changed shopping habits. 

“The shopping journey is no longer linear, but circuitous, with multiple touchpoints - from apps to in-store demonstrations. Customers expect brands to be visible across the evolved omnichannel path to purchase in new and unexpected ways.”

Cartology’s research reveals 38 per cent of shoppers actively want to hear from and discover new brands.

The Lab Managing Director, Andrew Therkelsen said: “Many of our clients in the FMCG space are asking about the new and evolved omnichannel journey, including how and where brands can show up to maximise salience and conversion. 

“This playbook is designed to help  FMCG marketers better  understand this evolved customer journey and how their brands can win in this new landscape.”

Cartology’s multidisciplinary research engaged 1,000 main and joint grocery buyers in a deep dive into shopping behaviour. These insights were combined with Woolworths’ first party data to validate the findings and establish the correlation between what customers said, and what they did.

The Cartology Customer Playbook explores a range of themes, including:

  • Omni-everything: The new hybrid shopping model being embraced by a growing number of Australians as they build on pandemic-accelerated digital savvy to integrate both digital and in-store experiences into their shopping routines. 

  • Reframing in-store: While many things have changed about the way we shop, supermarkets continue to be the engine to drive deep customer experience.

  • Brand first decisions: Trust in the product is paramount and brand is the ultimate shortcut for customers to streamline decision making at the point of purchase as they shop more efficiently.  

  • A reimagined customer journey: The emerging world of omnichannel now demands an ongoing cycle of touchpoints that provide continuous inspiration and exposure. Successful eCommerce marketing needs to translate the best of instore to online.

The playbook is available to download from today. The Cartology Customer Playbook is the first of a series, as the media business of Australia's largest retailer continues to provide marketers with real customer insights to allow them to support customers with highly relevant inspiration and assistance at the right time.

Cartology is one of Australia’s leading retail media businesses, powered by the Woolworths Group. Cartology provides targeted omnichannel marketing solutions and comprehensive closed loop reporting to help FMCG brands grow.

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