2016 trends: Retailers and consumer brands will collaborate to create more seamless customer journeys

Published on May 6, 2016

We have collated 10 trends that we think are reshaping digital in 2016. This is the tenth and final installment of our series which looks at things that are happening now in Q1, whilst identifying trends to look out for in the rest of the year.

You may already be familiar with many of the trends we highlight in this series, but the cycle of innovation and iteration that our industry is known for means existing concepts can suddenly find radically new trajectories. In this series, we highlight ten ideas that are gaining rapid traction today, and which will reshape how we digitally interact with the world around us.

To help you organize your priorities for the trends in this series, we have sorted them as “trends to prepare for now” and “trends to start thinking about”.

Our final installment is a trend to prepare for now:

Retailers and consumer brands will collaborate to create more seamless customer journeys


Brands and retailers will 
pool their data to achieve 
a deeper understanding of 
their consumer’s broader online behavior.

For brands that don’t sell directly to the consumer (such as drinks and snack manufacturers), e-commerce remains tricky territory. These brands invest large sums to create branded online experiences, content and campaigns. But by not controlling the final part of the journey – purchase – they are in effect stuck with a broken customer journey.

Retailers can significantly enhance the value they deliver by providing more flexible solutions for brands to connect their marketing efforts to the point of online sale. Key to this is the utilization and sharing of data. It enables promotion types that are difficult to get right offline, such as personalized offers based on purchasing behaviors. It can also enable brands to reach the right customers with rich content at the point where they are trying to make a decision.

E-tailers like Amazon are innovating in this space, but many traditional retailers are also pioneering new solutions that consumer product manufacturers are getting excited about.

Perhaps the biggest opportunity is that of sharing data. By pooling retailer data with brand data, both can start to learn more about the entire consumer journey – from awareness through to purchase. This can enable better targeting and personalization – which doesn’t necessarily mean more ads and retargeting. In fact, most large brands worry about excessive targeting and want to use data to minimize the showing of ads to someone who has already seen it, or has just bought the product. As brands strive to be more relevant to consumers’ needs when they are looking to get something done, data is key to understanding user intent.

You can find the whole series here:

10 trends reshaping digital – updated Q1 2016 from Beyond