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​​​​​​​Commerce Marketing Across the Globe

Marketers from around the world provide perspective on the path to purchase. Our report includes interviews with marketers from Brazil, Mexico, Panama, Spain, Switzerland and the U.K.

Location: Zurich, Switzerland

Anne Thorstvedt Sjoberg

Advisor, Independent Consultant, Athoria Consulting; Non-Executive Board Director, Clas Ohlson, Viva Wine Group. She works globally, with a focus on Europe and the Nordic region, Swedish/Norwegian National.

Shopper behavior: “Since the [Russia-Ukraine] war started, I’ve observed a number of changes in people’s behaviors and I would say these are typical across multiple markets. Shoppers have become more price-sensitive and less impulsive in purchases. The downtrading is clear, and there is a reluctance in spending. Shoppers think and behave differently depending on the category: small-ticket items are less impacted; larger ticket items are more impacted and purchases are put off. Consumers continue to need ways to balance their mental state and be happy. As an example, wine consumption is shifting to slightly less expensive wines or, in the Nordic region, bag in box, while volume is staying pretty much the same.”

The path to purchase: “The shape of the consumer journey has not changed, but the importance of a step might have. An example from consumer durables is that more research and investigation is done up front, and planned purchases are postponed, whereas distress purchases (when an appliance has broken) will still take place. It’s very important to adjust actions and, for instance, offer different payment terms (often happens via retailer) or offer guarantees. Consumers and shoppers want to a greater extent to be heard and understood, and there is less tolerance for friction in the consumer journey. We need to know their pain points and address them immediately, or we risk losing a shopper or consumer who has been loyal previously.”

Brick-and-mortar stores: “Campaign intensity is high in Sweden right now. Some stores are incredibly cluttered and difficult to maneuver for shoppers. The risk is that shoppers stop to engage with anything when campaign intensity is high. The store and many activities become wallpaper, and shoppers become task-oriented and de-select the many messages. The retailers who know their shopper base well — and can adjust and ensure they focus on what is most important to their most important and loyal shoppers as they enter the store — will win.”

Internal/external technologies: “Machine learning and AI are at the forefront of technological breakthroughs transforming the insight and analytics industry. When companies are analyzing huge amounts of data and consumer feedback, they can gain a lot of efficiencies from automation.”



Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Felipe Braga

Global Director, Category Commercial Strategy, The Coca-Cola Co.

Shopper behavior: “The primary variable in recent years was inflation. In many countries, it was the first time a generation faced rising prices. The differences between low-income and high-income consumers becomes more pronounced, and shoppers may switch to cheaper alternatives, delay purchases or focus on essential goods. The industry must think of solutions in product, service and communication for those distinct audiences, eventually bringing more complexity to their business.”

E-commerce: “Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, in particular, are increasingly pivotal in offering tailored experiences, product recommendations and customer service. The growth of mobile commerce is also critical. Businesses are optimizing their websites for mobile use and launching dedicated apps to enhance product discovery and ease of purchase. Instagram’s Shop Tab and Pinterest’s Shopping Feature have revolutionized how consumers discover and buy products, which has placed greater emphasis on the importance of engaging, authentic content that caters to a diverse and informed audience.”

Brick-and-mortar stores: “Retailers are embracing technology to enhance in-store experiences and facilitate seamless transactions, and use data analytics and inventory management systems to optimize store layouts and offerings. The integration of online and offline retail, or ‘omnichannel retail,’ has emerged as a vital strategy, enabling businesses to sync their online and in-store inventories and allow customers to buy online and pick up items at a nearby store, thus leveraging the advantages of both platforms. The future of brick-and-mortar retail lies in the successful adaptation to and integration of modern technologies, consumer preferences and sustainable practices.”

Retail media/retailer media networks: “Retail media networks have been experiencing global growth as they increasingly become essential players in the future of commerce and marketing. We should expect a greater prominence of formats such as video and native ad placements, better sales attribution models to measure return on investment and engagement, and integration of more advanced technology to optimize ad targeting and improve campaign performance.”



Location: London, England

Michele Dainty

Head of Shopper, pladis

Shopper behavior: “There are so many different ways in how we shop, buy and behave today because there’s so much more opportunity than ever before. Shoppers have become fickle, and while they may have been brand loyal before, they aren’t any longer. Since COVID-19, people are more demanding and choosy because of the opportunities available to engage with products. The cost of living crisis has definitely impacted shopper behavior as well, but demand would have happened regardless in the U.K., with shoppers now having more time to think about their purchase behaviors.”

The path to purchase: “It is so squiggly right now in the U.K. in terms of how customers interact with products and brands. There are so many different interactions before you physically pick up an item, or have it delivered to your door. It has morphed into a whole digital experience and is getting more sophisticated than a traditionally simple shopping experience.”

In-store shopping: “Customers want to have more of an experience that is convenient for their lifestyle. Because the world has shrunk in terms of what is available, variety is crucial in-store and customers want to see interaction. Experiences received online or digitally need to be replicated.”

E-commerce: “There will be a saturation point. During the pandemic, e-commerce saw a huge spike but has plateaued since. While quick commerce is a great idea, it’s consolidating and doesn’t drive much business. It’s shown that it’s not for everyone. There is a finite amount of people who are prepared to shop through e-commerce, and it may not grow any more than it is today as generations weave in and out of life stages.”

Retail media: “This is absolutely bonkers at the moment and we expect it to only get bigger as the cookie dies. We’re working more and more with agencies and retail media networks that have been collecting data for a long time. It helps retailers make money, and we know that it delivers. While it can be pricey, retail media networks have done a great job — so much so, that more people across the business are realizing how powerful it is. We’ve been doing some great things with partners so far, but there’s so many more opportunities for us to target shoppers, and it’s really exciting.”

Web3/the metaverse: “It’s in the early stages for us and we work closely with agencies and teams to be guided in how best to use it, demonstrating what it can return for us and why it’s the right thing to do. With so much happening across the industry, it feels big and scary, but we’re here to learn.”



Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Sayantan Sarkar

Head of Insights & Analytics, MENAP, Mondelez International

Shopper behavior: “Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan (MENAP) is a cluster of markets with diverse retail structures. We have Egypt and Pakistan with high traditional trade presence and then markets like KSA and UAE with sizable modern trade presence. The challenge across markets is quite diverse for us. However, one thing that binds across markets is the pressure of inflation on shoppers, and the choices they are making depends on the role of category/brands in their daily lives. Hence, when we think of in-store, interrupting shoppers and reminding them of the moment of consumption, bringing to life the occasion becomes critical, be it via POS material or via adjacent category placement. Shoppers are also increasingly prioritizing convenience in MENAP markets, leading to growth of online shopping platforms. With the context of high inflation, dialing up some of these aspects automatically helps in driving better value and brand choice.”

The path to purchase: “With shoppers actively looking for deals/value, pre-store touchpoints do influence shoppers, and being present on retailers’ online platforms and flyers is becoming as important as presence in the promotion area. Also, with the clutter increasing in the promotion area, it is more important than ever to stand out with the POS that brings to life the consumer occasion. Magic price points alone are not enough. Given that shoppers are spending a lot of time in the promotion area, they might also skip some of the aisles. Identifying cross-category placement based on high shopper basket incidence and synergy with our brands also plays a key role to drive multiple touchpoints for the shoppers in-store.”

E-commerce: “E-commerce is one of the fastest growing channels in MENAP, where we see new players coming up across markets and the established players (retailers) consolidating their position by investing more to give an omnichannel experience for shoppers. It’s important that we don’t try to make it one size fits all. For us, UAE is the biggest market in terms of e-commerce penetration, and we have built our strategy focused on individual channels: omnichannel, pureplay and last-milers. We have seen shoppers going for distinct needs in each of these channels, so it is important to replicate the same from an assortment/activation/pricing point of view.



Location: Santa Fe/Mexico City, Mexico

Jorge Grandini Jr.

Manager Shopper Insights, Mondelez Snacking Mexico

Shopper behavior: “Due to an inflation of approximately 5.5% and price increases of 12% within the market, shoppers are pushed to look for more options to distribute their spending. They are losing loyalty in modern trade formats and looking for more retail environment options, where discounters are the only format having a growth in number of stores. In that way shoppers make their shopping basket more efficient, looking at larger sizes or private-label options even in food products, which is a new behavior versus previous years.”

The path to purchase: “Shoppers are prioritizing categories to keep the basic supplies at home and are becoming more savvy about value per money, even adding more trips to find the best options for their baskets.”

In-store shopping: “Secondary displays are more relevant to select than main aisle by 20% more, where they know the best promotions/deals can be found there.”

E-commerce: “Grocery shopping is gaining relevance year by year, and where last-milers took the lead during the pandemic, in recent years brick-and-click, pure players are now more relevant due to safety in their shopping experience, better prices and promotions, and better navigation within their platforms.”

Brick-and-mortar stores: “Physical stores are still the most important channel to do shopping, but we are seeing a reduction in hypermarkets in store space with the leasing of extra spaces to other businesses like gyms, cafeterias, etc. Also, we are seeing a growth in discounters. These stores are evolving into brick-and-click to become more digital, adding spaces for pickup parking, and jumping into the trend to become more frictionless shopping.”

Successful activity: “With insights around the globe and taking a step forward in payment seamless trends, we track the best way to place our products in the self-checkout area, understanding the shopping trip in the hot zones, and thinking about ergonomics that all products should fit in our arms without bags.”

Web3/the metaverse: “Definitively we have to pay special attention to younger generations that can connect and socialize in different manners with our brands and people. Digital transformation is pointing to metaverse actions in the near future.”



Location: London, England

Jose Alves

Head of Haagen-Dazs, General Mills

Shopper behavior: “It has changed more in the past three years than in the last 10, driven by cost of living, the pandemic and changes of weather. It is much more volatile and dynamic because of our ability to learn and relearn, which can only make us succeed and not take anything for granted. Where consumers shop and how they make decisions is changing more often than before.”

The path to purchase: “We would previously run massive campaigns with a single media touchpoint doing the job to get customers to a supermarket, but that’s just not true anymore. How consumers interact with media changes over time, throughout the week, based on the weather, etc. It’s way more complex than before so we need to be working more cross-functionally with the consumer at the forefront of our minds.”

In-store shopping: “This is an interesting one with HFSS (regulations in the U.K. regarding foods high in fat, salt and sugar), the rise of discounters and the pandemic, which has encouraged us to invest more in in-store theater to create excitement for customers. We expect to see entertainment in-store coming back. The touchpoints today are more effective, impactful and digitized, and there’s been a greater investment from retailers, along with brands that want to inspire more at shelf. Haagen-Dazs used to invest in creating huge experiences but at a lower return. We’re now clear on what our bread and butter is to find the next key moment and then go above and beyond. This became even more important than before with HFSS, and it’s the same for every brand.”

E-commerce: “It will no doubt continue to be the future and there will still be growth, but there may not be the same level of over-investment that we saw previously. We have seen retailers get more agile and flexible in what they can do on e-commerce as a test-and-learn, inspiring grocers on their in-store approach via meal deal opportunities, for example. On-demand grocery channels are exciting, but they don’t have the scale yet, and the proposition needs more time.”

Retail media: “We’re talking about it more than we ever did before, and know that there are a lot of new opportunities available. While we think the U.K. is ahead of many other countries, there’s still a lot to learn from the U.S. We’ve partnered with retailers here, especially after COVID-19 to get closer to shopper behaviors, but we could still do more to continue to learn and test opportunities. Each retailer is at a different stage in their journey with retail media networks.”



Location: London, England

Sam Knights


Shopper behavior: “The big thing in the U.K. at the moment is the cost-of-living crisis, which is driving a massive awareness of value and price among shoppers. Retailers are responding by offering special discounts through member pricing and loyalty cards. ... Of course, in turn, retailers are using that data to drive their retail media networks and protect or grow their margin.”

The path to purchase: “We see the path to purchase as continual movement between different mindsets. As a result, we’re combining media to drive brand awareness, while also having embedded calls to action. The measurement of that provides the way forward. Customers are bouncing around what we call the ‘messy middle,’ becoming aware of new brands and purchasing them very quickly. The brands that do really well are the kings of that messy middle; they’re able to reach customers at those specific points and drive a purchase in a seamless way.”

E-commerce: “E-commerce growth has returned to the natural curve that we saw pre-COVID-19, but it differs by category. We expect its share of sales to grow to between 25% to 30% in the next five years as its capabilities grow. Those new capabilities will play a really important role in the future of retail and those companies that are investing heavily behind it are winning.”

Retail media/retailer media networks: “All the major players in the U.K. are now starting retail media networks. Retail media is now able to go further up the funnel and through that messy middle, so we’re starting to see more value in utilizing some of the traditional budget in retail media or retail media influence channels. Brands are starting to consider retail media as an integral part of their overall communication strategy, beyond just how they deal with the store. Those that provide a full omnichannel experience that’s driven through first-party data and ties the awareness channels in with the conversion channels in a seamless way will win.”

Keeps you up at night: “The lack of transparency in retail media in general, and the impact that could have on the future of the business. Unless we can create the right standardization of measurement, and the right transparency and truth in activation, we’re not going to see the full potential of the industry realized as quickly as we should, because brands will become despondent with the results they’re seeing and question the investments they’re making.”



Location: Sao Paulo, Brazil & New York

Renata Naddeo

Founder, Shopper Science

Shopper behavior: “In my journey within the FMCG and pharmaceutical sectors, I’ve maintained a laser focus on shopper behavior. This isn’t just about data collection; it’s about actively listening to the shoppers and putting ourselves in the shoppers’ shoes, grasping their motivations, aspirations and pain points. Only then can we design strategies that not only catch their attention, but also genuinely address their needs.”

The path to purchase: “It has evolved from a linear process to a multifaceted and complex journey. Consumers interact with diverse touchpoints across various channels before making their final decision. Mapping people’s journeys transcends the surface level. It involves pinpointing the critical ‘aha’ moments— those instances where consumers experience a significant shift in perspective or make pivotal decisions. These moments of insight often hold the key to crafting strategies that truly resonate.”

In-store shopping: “In-store shopping has demonstrated remarkable resilience. The essence of physical shopping experiences — the tactile engagement with products, the sensory exploration and the immediate gratification — remains irreplaceable. It’s not just about purchasing products, but about creating memorable interactions. It’s evolving, and companies are embracing technology to enhance the experience rather than being overshadowed by it.”

Brick-and-mortar stores: “They possess a distinct advantage in providing tangible interactions that digital platforms cannot replicate. The natural market sector places strong emphasis on merging physical presence with exceptional service, accentuating this advantage. By crafting immersive environments that stimulate the senses, these stores forge meaningful connections and enduring relationships between customers, products and brands.”

Keeps you up at night: “Navigating constant change. New technologies emerge, consumer preferences shift, and market dynamics transform. Staying ahead of these changes requires perpetual adaptation and innovation. The ever-changing landscape is both a challenge and an opportunity.”

Current AI work: “From analyzing vast amounts of shopper data to gaining insights into consumer behavior, AI has become an integral tool in my toolkit. By harnessing AI-driven analytics, we’re able to uncover valuable trends, patterns and predictive insights that shape effective strategies.”



Location: Panama City, Panama

Damien Rinjonneau

CMI (Consumer Marketing Insights) Manager, Nestle

Shopper behavior: “In Central America, price increase is the population’s No. 1 concern, and shopping decisions are more than ever driven by prices. When inflation started, shoppers began to organize themselves to control their spendings and purchase in a smarter way, but the second wave of price increases pushed them to shift toward value for money and promotions. They are visiting more channels and spending more time at the point of sale in order to analyze, compare and find the best deals. Households facing double-digit inflation in low-income countries made sustainability and health claims slightly less important. These shopping behaviors vary among income groups, with higher socioeconomic levels opting for bigger packs while lower levels shift even more toward lower out-of-pocket.”

E-commerce: “Even though e-commerce sales have exploded during the pandemic, they remain a marginal percentage of food and beverage sales. The main barriers are higher perceived prices, on top of the delivery fee, and overall experience with a lack of physical interaction with the products and problems with the delivery (errors, damaged products or about to expire, etc.). E-commerce remains an interesting touchpoint that some shoppers use to compare prices and find the best deals before shopping offline. Interestingly in this region, sales through WhatsApp and phones remain higher and are the preferred option for lower socio-economic levels.”



Location: Madrid, Spain

Laura de Lucas Solanas

E-Commerce Digital Content and PPA lead Europe,
Mondelez International

Shopper behavior: “Consumers have much more info online than in traditional channels.”

The path to purchase: “We are now able to measure and understand better what’s happening across the entire path.”

In-store shopping: “It is getting relevant again in Europe, and shoppers are requiring omnichannel experiences.”

Brick-and-mortar stores: “This is the biggest channel with a lower growth trend, but the most relevant in Europe in customer mix.”

Retail media: “It is getting more relevant for retailers as a new source of profit compensating extra delivery costs.”

Keeps you up at night: “A new end-to-end digital shelf project that I am leading globally.”

Successful activity: “We have seen great improvements in search due to titles improvement in relevant customers.”

Internal/external technologies: “Mainly AI, as well as content management tools such as DAM, PIM.”



Location: Mexico City, Mexico

Nadia Mendoza Solorio

Senior Director, Digital Commerce Mexico & Latin America Capabilities, Colgate-Palmolive

The path to purchase: “After the pandemic, Latin America increased not only the number of smartphones, but also the number of apps/social media used by consumers. Therefore, it is becoming more nonlinear, as the consumer journey starts and ends everywhere.”

In-store shopping: “It continues to be the strongest habit among Latin American shoppers. However, more and more they use digital tools while they are shopping. Some retailers are also leveraging technology in-store to strengthen their retail media capabilities and use them as important touchpoints for omnichannel experiences. Retailers are also looking at how they can creatively improve the shopper experience in stores. They are leveraging key categories to make them more impactful at stores, giving more space, improving merchandising, assortment, P-O-P, etc. ”

E-commerce: “It’s still one of the fastest growing channels in Latin America. Growth is coming not only from more mature digital commerce categories (e.g., electronics) but also from FMCG categories. Omnichannel experiences need to be a priority for both retailers and suppliers since, as mentioned before, the consumer journey starts and finishes everywhere.”

Retail media: “With the retail landscape in Latin America — pure players such as Amazon and Mercado Libre, omniretailers such as Walmart, Carrefour and Cassino, strong local ones, and last-milers such as Rappi, iFood and Uber that exploded during the pandemic — we see that almost all types of retailers are trying to do something on retail media. Currently, there are different stages of maturity in terms of retail media capabilities across the region.”

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