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How to get ahead of the curve on e-commerce campaigns

Updated: Jun 22, 2023

While we’re now firmly settled into a post-Covid way of living, the impact of the pandemic on our shopping habits has left a lasting impact – not least on online grocery shopping.

Between January and May 2020, grocery e-commerce racked up over a decade’s worth of growth. By June 2021, 30% of UK households had purchased groceries online. Today, UK online grocery sales have settled at 11% – down versus the 15% recorded at the start of 2021 – but that’s still nearly double the pre-pandemic proportion. So, although we’re now back in the supermarkets, e-commerce has firmly cemented its place and should therefore remain a key part of a brand’s marketing strategy.

Whilst grocery e-commerce is not without its challenges – the ‘unlimited online shelf’ means there are more listings and fewer opportunities for brands to stand out against competitors – the channel also brings several opportunities versus in-store. Most notably, if offers the ability to target shoppers in real time. Here are our top recommendations to consider when building your e-commerce campaigns.

Retailer data

We are all set to be impacted by the looming deprecation of third-party cookies. However, brands that get ahead of this change and seek new ways to target their campaigns will be impacted least.

Contextual and proximity targeting will become ever more important, and partnering with retailers to access their first-party data will prove invaluable – however, even this comes with its watchouts. Data will most certainly be king, but only if it balances scale with accuracy. Go too granular and you risk not reaching enough people to have any impact. Go too widespread and you risk wasting budget on customers who are not relevant for your product.

Only by talking with your retailer or their retail media agency will you ensure the use of their first-party data delivers meaningful results for your campaign.


Whilst e-commerce is important, we mustn’t plan in isolation of offline channels. Taking an omnichannel approach when planning your media will leverage the growing opportunities available ahead of the virtual shelf to create a fully connected campaign.

At Capture, we are no longer focused on ATL and BTL. Instead, we are focused on getting customers over the line with advancements in martech and adtech, allowing us to create a more seamless, synchronised and customer-centric experience for audiences regardless of channel or touchpoint.

‘Who’, ‘what’ and ‘how’

Finally, even with the heightened focus on e-commerce across the grocery industry, it’s important to remember the core principles of media planning remain unchanged. All too often it’s easy to get wrapped up in the technical mechanics of e-commerce, when we need to remember that the ‘who’, ‘what’ and ‘how’ strategy of media planning remains unchanged.

We still need to reach the right shoppers, with the right message, using the right media channels – it’s just the execution of this strategy that is changing. And in our opinion, for the better.

So regardless of where you currently are on your e-commerce journey, it’s not too late to consider how these points will impact your brand as the evolution of retail media – both on and offline – continues to gather pace.

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