Digital Shopper Commerce Forum 'Digital Briefcase'

Here’s a primer for the June 15-16 virtual event by the Path to Purchase Institute


The Path to Purchase Institute’s two-day Digital Shopper Commerce Forum kicks off on Tuesday, June 15.

Recent dramatic shifts in shopper behavior have turned the marketing industry’s focus (not to mention its budgets) fully toward the digital realm. While emerging retail media networks have garnered much of the recent attention, there are a wide variety of platforms and tools that can help marketers effectively engage with shoppers. The increasingly popular concept of “shoppable media” is transforming nearly all digital advertising vehicles into sales-driving conversion opportunities.

This new virtual event – which brings together retailers, brands, solution providers and agencies – will examine:

  • Key engagement strategies and tactical innovations that are driving success with today's omnichannel shoppers.
  • Leading commerce platforms and tools that can help marketers effectively engage with shoppers.
  • How consumers engage shoppable media.
  • Case studies demonstrating real-world challenges and successes.

This Digital Briefcase provides attendees with a primer for the event, which will open with a welcome from the Institute at noon Eastern time on both June 15 and 16. Complete agenda and registration information is available on the event’s website: DigitalShopperCommerceForum.com.


Day 1 Agenda (June 15)

Noon Eastern Time


12:10 p.m. Eastern Time
The Evolution of Omnichannel Customer Obsession
Speaker: Scott Compton, Senior Analyst, Forrester
While change may be the only constant, evolution could be defined as directed change for survival. Is evolution something that just happens, or is it tried and tested? Did that first fish in the primordial soup decide to try to take a gulp of air on shore? If evolution occurs in fits and starts based on environmental factors, 2020 would likely be regarded as a stutter-step and 2021 will be the year of incredible adaptation. Join Compton as he explores the ongoing evolution of omnichannel customer obsession across the past, present, and future; from the building blocks of e-commerce to the futuristic visions of tomorrow with AI empowerment and beyond.


12:55 p.m. Eastern Time
Winning with Shoppers in the Rapidly Evolving World of Quick Commerce
Speakers: Kat Ussery, Director of Emerging Channels, The Mars Agency; and Mike Harp, Head of Brand Partnerships, Gopuff
E-commerce adoption exploded during the COVID-19 pandemic, changing critical consumer shopping behaviors and expectations. In this new “Quick Commerce” world, people are increasingly turning to last-mile delivery platforms like Gopuff to meet their everyday wants and needs in minutes. In this session, Ussery will talk with Harp about ways CPGs can own the digital shelf to win with shoppers at that critical moment when they’re ready to buy. Learn how to connect your brand experiences all the way through to product delivery to capture new incremental buying occasions and drive repeat purchase.

More from our sponsor:


1:25 p.m. Eastern Time
The Importance of Contextual Targeting Along the Shopper's Path to Purchase
Speakers: Rachel Bennington, VP of CPG, and Mark Fleisch, SVP, Head of Partnerships, GroundTruth
Shopper behaviors and patterns have changed dramatically over the past year. This includes a growing expectation for a seamless consumer experience across various browsing, shopping, and checkout methods. With so many shopping options, how can brands reach the right audiences with impactful and engaging ads? Understanding shopper trends and visitation patterns can help brands surface unknown audiences while better understanding and connecting with their current customers. In this session, Fleisch and Bennington will lead a discussion about top digital strategies that marketers can use to drive customers to checkout with your products in their digital and physical baskets. Learn how location-based real-time and historical insights can help optimize your tactics to better reach your core shoppers with the right message.

More from our sponsor:


1:40 p.m. Eastern Time
The Future of Shopping Has Come Early
Speaker: Dave Sommer, Head of CPG, Retail and Shopper Marketing, Facebook
Whether it's experiential technology revamping e-commerce, new friction impacting both in-store and online buyers, or emerging digital platforms disrupting conventional loyalty, the shopping experience of the future has arrived much earlier than expected. In order for businesses to succeed in retail's new normal, they must understand how to engage shoppers where they are across different channels and mindsets. In this half hour session, Sommer will showcase what will help marketers achieve success by unlocking the future of shopping tomorrow – today.


2:10 p.m. Eastern Time
Refresh Break

2:25 p.m. Eastern Time
Retail Media, the Identity Crisis, and How to Drive Sales in 2021
Speaker: Thomas Benedict, VP of Data & Media, Ibotta
What does the deprecation of cookies, phasing out of MAIDs, and rise of retail media mean for marketers? Can walled gardens improve return on ad spend? How does retail media stack up against other tactics and how are its results measured? Benedict will answer these questions and more in a discussion of the state of consumer tracking technology and how retail media can help shopper marketers.

More from our sponsor:

  • To learn more about how Ibotta can help you, or to request a demo, go to partners.ibotta.com.


2:55 p.m. Eastern Time
Winning E-Commerce with Retailer-Specific Content
Speaker: Amanda Wolff, CMO and E-Commerce Thought Leader, OneSpace
A fundamental pillar of e-commerce success for today’s CPG brands is the ability to publish accurate, complete and compelling product content that is optimized for search and conversion across the major online retailers. The challenge is that all platforms aren’t created equal. Each retailer has its own best practices you should follow to maximize the performance of your product content. In this session, Wolff will share tips for optimizing your product content on Amazon, Walmart, Target, Instacart and other major online retail platforms. You’ll learn how product content requirements and consumer search behavior differ between retailers, and you’ll walk away with actionable steps your brand can start using right now to improve search rankings, clicks and conversions.


3:45 p.m. Eastern Time
Industry Innovator Awards Presentation
Join us as we celebrate Industry Innovators in Shopper Marketing, Merchandising, E-Commerce and Insights, as well as the Retail Innovator of the Year.


Day 2 Agenda (June 16)

Noon Eastern Time


12:10 p.m. Eastern Time
Insights in Context: A Q&A with Instacart
Speaker: Ryan Mayward, VP of Ad Sales, Instacart
Consumer behavior has forever changed over the course of the last year, and today more people are shopping for their groceries online than ever before. Instacart’s same-day delivery and pickup services bring fresh groceries and everyday essentials to consumers across North America, and the company has become a critical partner for both retailers and brands. Instacart today partners with nearly 600 national, regional and local retailers, and offers self-service and managed ad services for more than 1,000 CPG companies. In a candid conversation with Institute editor-in-chief Peter Breen, Mayward will provide a deeper understanding of shopper behavior in the digital aisles and discuss how brands can rethink their strategies to win in this dynamic new arena. In addition to his work at Instacart, Mayward's insights are informed from nearly a decade spent at Amazon on the core team responsible for building and leading the retail giant's advertising business.


12:40 p.m. Eastern Time
How to Bring Category Thinking to Life on the Digital Shelf
Speaker: John Maltman, CEO, e.fundamentals
FMCG brands are working hard to build winning positions on retailer’s digital shelves. Many are failing to leverage one of their biggest assets, their category expertise, to collaborate with retailers to build and execute category growth strategies through their online stores. Much of the early focus on the digital shelf has been around content and search and this work needs to continue but it is no longer sufficient. During this session, Maltman will set out the case for taking a category perspective and demonstrate how this can be done practically and deliver great returns to both the brands and their retail partners.

More from our sponsor:


1:10 p.m. Eastern Time
The Future of Direct-to-Consumer Engagement
Moderator: Chris Perry, Digital Commerce Consultant
Panelists: Erika Lepczyk, Head of E-Commerce & DTC, Miele Inc.; Andrew Feldman, Director of E-Commerce, Hello Products; and Ann Boyles, E-Commerce Team Lead, Galderma
Have you shopped on Snacks.com yet? The massive swing toward e-commerce experienced in 2020 has CPG manufacturers reconsidering direct-to-consumer sales. Whether used to foster direct engagement with loyal brand buyers while collecting behavioral insights, to efficiently test new product ideas without the cost of in-market testing, to maintain the "long tail" portfolio in response to SKU rationalization — or as a legitimate sales channel, DTC is becoming part of the strategic equation for more CPGs. But how does a brand determine which strategy to take and how far to take it? Perry will lead a panel of DTC experts through a candid discussion about the pros and cons of DTC engagement and the key issues brands should consider, including how DTC now fits into the evolving shopper engagement ecosystem; the benefits (as well as challenges) it can bring to the manufacturer-retailer relationship; and the role DTC can play in effective shopper engagement.


2:10 p.m. Eastern Time
Refresh Break


2:25 p.m. Eastern Time
Power of Connection: Navigating the Touchpoint Revolution
Speaker: Lei Duran, SVP, Retail Insights, Kantar
2020 was the tipping point. Over half of all media shifted to online. And by 2025, one-third of all retail sales will be online. A touchpoint revolution is in progress that brands and retailers will need to adjust to in-order to break through the clutter and avoid causing shopper fatigue. Rapid proliferation of new tools, platforms and ad unit innovation requires marketers to be savvy and make smart, deliberate choices about which touchpoints to activate at specific times to stimulate desired behavior change. Duran will look at the role of social platforms in shopping to understand where shoppers are looking for inspiration, engagement, rewards and entertainment. Then she will dive into the world of influencers within these platforms and the power they have in this new ecosystem. She will wrap up the discussion on touchpoint revolution with best-practices and a roadmap to consider to deliver brand results across retailers.


3 p.m. Eastern Time
Best Practices in Digital Shopper Commerce Engagement
Moderator: April Carlisle, CMO, ACX Consulting
Panelists: John Ostman, Senior Director, E-Commerce & Digital Strategy, Jack Link's; Bob Waibel, Senior Director, Commerce Marketing, Conagra Brands; and Yolanda Angulo, Director, Customer Marketing, Mondelez International
With focus and budgets directed towards digital more than ever before, brands are evaluating and investing in a wide array of digital engagement strategies that are driving success with today's omnichannel shoppers. In this lively panel discussion, Carlisle will lead a trio of industry practitioners in discussing the ways in which leading brand marketing organizations are evaluating and leveraging digital shopper commerce tools such as third-party shoppable media, retail media, social media, digital sampling and more as both advertising vehicles and sales drivers. The panel will discuss capitalizing on core KPIs that are driving e-commerce; best-practice strategies for integrating and aligning teams, budgets, agency partners and retailer management around digital strategy; and tips for understanding and optimizing performance and ROAS.

The Path to Purchase Institute, the event sponsors and the speakers look forward to your attendance. To view full event details and to register, visit DigitalShopperCommerceForum.com.