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The Next Phase

As a consumer psychology aficionado, Editorial Director Jessie Dowd finds shopper behavior insights and research fascinating, which makes the November/December issue of P2PI Magazine extra special.

The past year has brought with it a plethora of changes to the commerce marketing industry — many of which we could not have anticipated this time last year. For example, how many of us, last November, would have said that artificial intelligence (AI) was going to be the most talked about topic in 2023? 

But it’s not just AI that’s forcing our industry to evolve — there are shifts in omnichannel strategies; organizational mapping realignment and revising of job functions and roles; new business tactics and priorities that incorporate pillars of sustainability; transforming viewpoints on in-store engagement and measurement; and the continuing explosion of retail media spreading across the globe. And that’s just the beginning.

Our industry is also being propelled to change by a very important central tenet that sits at the core of what we do — the consumer. As a consumer psychology aficionado, I find shopper behavior insights and research fascinating, which makes this issue of P2PI Magazine extra special. 

We dive into our latest proprietary research (in collaboration with Chicory) on how shoppers are engaging with contextual commerce, while highlighting the opportunities in the grocery category for brands to influence in-the-moment buying decisions via online recipes. 

Additionally, we share a teaser of our study of U.K. shoppers (conducted in partnership with SMG and unveiled at Retail Media Summit UK in October) and the influence retail media has beyond short-term sales and ROI. (Quick reminder: P2PI members get access to the full research decks from both of these reports at, allowing you to drill down into deeper insights and more granular data.)

As we reflect on 2023 and prepare for the next phase of commerce marketing in 2024, it’s essential to expand our view from what shoppers are doing right now and explore how greater societal shifts and macro trends are shaping (or will soon shape) consumer trends across industries.

In a world increasingly dominated by algorithms, where we’ve become accustomed to making decisions (both professional and personal) backed by data, and where we mostly communicate through screens and keyboards and emails, I wholeheartedly believe it’s the human element that will become more vital than ever before. It’s those characteristics that make us distinctly human — often those intangibles that exist in the ether, like emotions or unbounded creativity — that will play an ever-more important role moving forward. 

Perhaps we will see this play out via the human touch needed to intersect with AI and maximize this tech revolution. Or maybe it’s how our digitized world will create a greater need for new forms of meaningful connection, even extending to the relationships consumers have with brands and retailers. No matter the manifestation though, that human element will no doubt be a powerful force in this next phase of commerce marketing.

So, as we move into 2024, let’s bring all the tools we’ve learned along the way — all the data and insights and knowledge — but let’s not forget to follow our gut, too. Cheers to that which makes us human — see you in 2024!

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