Analyze online consumer behavior with accurate omnishopper data: Answering your billion-dollar questions


Analyze online consumer behavior with accurate omnishopper data: Answering your billion-dollar questions

Shifts in shopper behavior, changing market conditions, inaccurate measurements—these are some of the challenges retailers and consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers face every day. Some measure of uncertainty is unavoidable. Customer behaviors are unpredictable, but that doesn’t make unanswered questions any less frustrating. 

For decades, analyzing offline and online consumer behavior data has helped explain trends. But recent changes in consumer behavior have left new knowledge gaps. As behaviors shift even more due to e-commerce and the economic impact from COVID-19, the gaps have grown even wider. These “data blind spots” eat away at your confidence in making the right decisions—and into your profits. Uncertainty about specific consumer behaviors keeps tilting your decisions more toward “guess” than “educated guess.” And that’s likely become more frustrating and challenging to manage, not less.  

With shoppers seamlessly switching between online and offline retail channels, it’s clear why eliminating blind spots is so valuable. Online CPG sales in the U.S. exceeded $160 billion last year, driven by an influx of 22 million new online CPG shoppers in 2020. Today, 40% of CPG shoppers are omnishoppers according to NielsenIQ’s Omnishopping Fundamentals Survey. 

So who are these omnishoppers? Knowing them requires superior omnichannel market intelligence with consumer and brand insights to understand cross-channel shopping behaviors and what they mean to your business. Success for CPG manufacturers and retailers will be driven by that knowledge.

The billion-dollar questions

The effects of inaccurate or partial omnishopper data can ripple across your organization. With some categories shifting 20–40% of total sales online, having a 360-degree view of offline and online shopper behavior can break down measurement silos that hinder growth. KPIs on penetration growth or increased purchase frequency that don’t account for omnishopper behavior provide only a partial measure of performance—and are therefore of limited value. Decisions about trade promotion allocation and marketing budgets without a complete picture of your omnishopper can result in missed opportunities. 

This leads to three critical questions that omnishopper data can answer for retailers and CPG brands.

1. Who is my omnichannel shopper?

For retailers, a shopper who makes purchases at your brick-and-mortar location and through your online storefront is your omnishopper. For CPG manufacturers, your omnishopper is the consumer who buys items under your brand both online and in-store. Do you know who they are? Are you over- or undercounting them through transaction tracking? What do they look like, and are you marketing to them effectively?

2. Where and how do they make their purchases?

Understanding when a consumer chooses to make a purchase through one channel versus another reveals patterns and trends that can signal growth opportunities. Some categories perform better online than in-store, which can impact how omnishoppers interact with your product portfolio or sales channels.

3. How does their behavior affect my sales?

Omnishoppers may leak out to competing off- or online retailers or shift their purchasing patterns within the category to competing brands. The ability to understand changes in behavior before they become trends is a significant benefit of having accurate omnishopper measurement.

The right data leads to the right answers and outcomes

In today’s CPG landscape, some retailers and manufacturers have already shifted a significant portion of sales online, while others are catching up. As for shoppers, they are embracing the multitude of buying options that satisfy their varying needs at different points in time. There’s not a single category, brand, or merchant unaffected by this change in shopping dynamics. That’s why savvy organizations recognize the growing need for omnishopper insights to monitor purchases, drive business decisions, and confidently address their billion-dollar questions. 

Accurately and holistically understanding your share of the omnishopper wallet, identifying sales leakage early, and pinpointing the shopper behaviors driving shifts in sales volume are just the beginning. Modifying assortment, pricing, and promotion to address shopper behaviors in-store and online help ensure shoppers’ expectations are met. Knowing the right levers to pull, and when, go a long way toward helping you meet your omni objectives as well.  

The next time you’re investigating fluctuations in your brand’s performance, ask yourself, “Do I have a brand problem, or do I have an incomplete view of the picture?” Either way, NielsenIQ can help.

Get the whole picture with our omni resources