The three e-commerce drivers for 2022: platforms, data and creative

A look ahead to how change seems likely to continue apace, as the focus narrows to the endpoint sale.


It’s not just the goods that are moving fast in the world of FMCG, says David Fieldhouse, CRO at Adimo

If 2021 saw the accelerated and irreversible consumer uptake of e-commerce channels, then 2022 will be when FMCG brands shift from a focus on advertising reach and frequency online to a greater focus on endpoint sale. This emphasis change is driven by three key areas: platforms, data and creative. 

1) Platforms

Shoppable opportunities have diversified considerably. Alongside brands selling direct, there’s retailer sites, social media platforms such as TikTok, marketplaces and now food delivery services. We have already seen Co-Op partner with Deliveroo. FMCG brands are watching this space with interest to see how they can reach consumers via these apps and ensure their products are part of the shift to ‘on demand’ consumer behaviour.

The major platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Shopify and Pinterest are all rolling out e-commerce solutions at pace – social commerce growth was pegged at 37.9 percent in 2021 by Insider Intelligence, and this is set to grow further in 2022. Amazon will benefit most from these increased budgets and is launching a variety of tools next year centred around its own DSP. 

Retailers as advertising platforms is a major trend for next year. Following moves by Walmart and Target in the US, Tesco announced the launch of Tesco Media & Insight, to better address changing consumer needs. The marrying of audience scale, data and point-of-purchase is a tantalising proposition for many FMCG brands. It will be interesting to see how well these retailers engage with the buying community through 2022.

A similar approach to data and retail media was seen with the launch of Carrefour Links. With this platform powered by Criteo, Google and LiveRamp, supermarket chains may become new acquisitive players in the adtech ecosystem in 2022 and beyond.

2) Data

FMCG brands have troves of offline customer data, but as e-commerce grows, understanding online customers and their behaviour will be key going forward. 

Bernard Meunier, Head of Strategic Business Units at Nestlé, claimed data is no longer a plus but an absolute prerequisite, when the brand announced it intends to increase online sales from 13 percent in 2021 to 25 percent by 2025. Developments such as this address previous blindspots in measuring media effectiveness, as online and offline behaviours can be matched to deliver richer consumer experiences and gain valuable new shoppable insights.

3) Creative

While new distribution channels and data will be important in 2022, creative will continue to be just as critical for FMCG brands. It’s what links the consumer experience online to an impulse purchase. As brands gain more access to customer data, creative executions will become increasingly sophisticated, as they draw on direct-response modelling to test and learn. The FMCG industry may draw creative inspiration from sectors such as gaming when they think about creative performance online.

Creative shoppable media is moving from a local tactic to a global strategy. Where previously local language issues may have necessitated the local approach, technologies now have the reach and scale to enable decision-making and execution at a global level.

While e-commerce may have existed since 1994, its recent rapid evolution is seeing the dawn of E-commerce 2.0. It's clear that 2022 is going to be an exciting year for shoppable media and marketing. It will be fascinating to see what it brings.