The evolving digital landscape: ‘An increasingly complex ecosystem of purchase delivery and promotion’

By Katy Askew

- Last updated on GMT

Food manufacturers and retailers are operating in an “increasingly complex” environment as technological advances contribute to the merging of channels and development of new approaches to the traditional shopper mission. FoodNavigator speaks to Nick Gray, MD of shopper marketing specialist Live & Breathe, about this evolving landscape.

Integrated retail and shopper agency Live & Breathe works with companies including Morrisons, Heinz, Nestlé, General Mills and Fever-Tree to develop “creative, technology-based solutions”​ for the “common challenges”​ faced by food brands and retailers.

These challenges stem primarily from fast-paced changes in consumer purchasing behaviour, Gray suggested. “Food brands and retailers are part of an ever growing, increasingly complex eco-system of purchase, delivery and promotion, with multiple channels and new niches to see, buy and discover products on,”​ he explained.

Live & Breathe aims to help its customers “overcome barriers”​ and “find new approaches to the traditional grocery shopper missions".​ It utilises a proprietary model called ‘Closing the Conversion Gap’, employing bespoke tools to discern who, what, when, how and why people shop and how to influence them.
“What is of vital importance in all of this is that people get to see the right product, at the right time and that we help our brands and retailer partners maintain and grow close and personal relationships through the work we do,”​ Gray suggested.

New approaches to the shopper mission

Digital developments are changing how people shop and what they expect from food brands.

As a consequence, food makers need to identify new strategies to deliver an integrated shopper strategy, Live & Breathe suggests.

“Examples of new approaches to consider include any current and future channels to market and technological and experiential ways of engaging with the brands,”​ Gray told this publication.

Death of the ‘sales funnel’

Technological advances are leading to an increase in new ways of buying. At the same time, Gray said there has been a revival in ‘old’ channels.

“There are now multiple paths and ways to purchase, some new – such as voice ordering and autonomous delivery – and some decades old that have a current resurgence – such as subscription services.”

These changes mean that the traditional ‘sales funnel’ concept, from awareness to action, is no longer an accurate representation of the shopper journey.

“It’s important, as a technology focused shopper agency, that we are fully across all channels and all parts of the customer journey which is no longer a funnel but a multi-touch, multi-platform process."

Future-proof branding

By developing these multi-touch, multi-platform approaches food makers and retailers are able to build stronger and more long-lasting relationships with their consumer base, Live & Breathe believes. 

“Our job is to help evaluate these processes, channels and technology and develop ideas to capture and maintain relationships of trust and loyalty across any channel, physical or digital. That’s future-proofing retail."

“We have in house team of retail tech and marketing innovation specialists that ensure we can evaluate and apply any relevant future-tech to solve problems and achieve brand goals.”

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