Native Ads Deliver Sales Uplift for FMCG Brands
05/20/2016

Digital shopper marketing study shows impact of native advertising on shopper’s path to purchase

IRI Worldwide reports Schwartz in-store sales uplift.

Online PR News – 20-May-2016 – Birmingham, UK – Birmingham, UK -- 20 May 2016 -- Food, glorious food. More than 105 billion ‘Food & Drink’ pages on are viewed monthly on Google, a large proportion of which are viewed from mobile devices. This massive appetite for food and recipe content has driven UK FMCG brands to spend more than £640m a year (IAB) on digital advertising to reach grocery shoppers and influence the decisions they make on which products to buy.

However, trends continue to show that consumers are turning away from traditional display advertising and mobile users are becoming less receptive to ads. But brands aren’t worried -- native advertising is proving to be successful where traditional ads fail. Native ads are driving better brand perceptions and are opening new avenues for advertisers to effectively engage with shoppers.

According to a new study by IRI, a global leader in delivering market and shopper information and predictive analysis for FMCG brands, native ads integrated on online recipe content prove successful in increasing in-store sales.

The econometrics study tracked bricks-and-mortar store purchases from UK shoppers who had viewed Whisk-served, online native ads for Schwartz spices. Ads were served directly into recipe content (not into standard ad slots) using Whisk integrations across leading recipes sites including AllRecipes.co.uk, FoodNetwork.co.uk, About.com, GoodtoKnow and Woman & Home.

Ads were targeted to purchase intent on recipe content. In other words, the spice ads were only shown on recipes that called for that specific spice -- e.g. paprika ads displayed on chilli recipes. The in-content ad location and targeting allowed the advert to appear as a useful tip for users (image below). Additionally, when users created a shopping list from a recipe, the spice ad also appeared on their shopping list. Whisk demonstrates a unique ability to follow users along the path to purchase, whether they decide to purchase online or in store/offline.

The three-month study examined the Schwartz’s presence across more than 300,000 recipes in Whisk.com’s publisher network. The findings of the econometrics study, whose primary objective was to understand the effectiveness of online native advertising activity to drive in-store (offline) sales, showed that total sales revenue:
- Whisk drove a 4.6% increase in Schwartz products sold using WhiskAds
- Impact of Schwartz adverts on shoppers delivered a 4% sales uplift and ad spend ROI of £2.50
- The activity had a positive sales impact on total Schwarz sales (not just on advertised products), driving an uplift of 2% in value during the activity period, sustained at +1.4% during the longer term.
- Sales were driven by consumers switching from competitor brands to buy Schwartz branded products.

View the full IRI econometrics study here: https://about.whisk.com/study

How are native ads shaping shoppers’ in-store behaviour?
According to GI Insight’s December 2015 report, 71% of UK Internet users said they began their shopping journey online. Google and TNS data from April 2015 paint a similar picture, with 70% of Internet users in the UK stating they became aware of products digitally (via website or app) during the research process, well ahead of in-store, at just 25%.

In an increasingly fragmented and crowded media landscape, understanding which ad formats resonate most with food shoppers can mean the difference between elevating FMCG’s brand lift and wasting crucial ad budgets.

Native advertisements, like those presented through Whisk’s advertising platform, give FMCG advertisers a significant opportunity to make meaningful connections and drive consumer choice both online and in-store.

For additional findings on Schwartz’s and other leading FMCG advertisers’ use of native advertising, visit https://about.whisk.com/business/success-stories/delivering-brand-lift-store-sales-for-schwartz

Methodology:
IRI’s study was conducted from August to October 2015 using their Digital Active test and control methodology. Using individual retail store data, test and control zones are created. In each zone stores are matched one-to-one to create a pair of stores, one exposed and one non-exposed. They are significance tested using a range of key metrics to ensure that the two stores behave similarly and to also ensure that other variables are equal in the analysis. The sales are compared and weighted against the stores previous performance to provide a sales uplift and incremental value.

About Whisk
WhiskAds is a native advertising platform that allows advertisers to seamlessly place products directly into more than 300,000 global recipes which currently receive 40+ million monthly impressions from hungry grocery shoppers. WhiskAds target purchase intent with native ads that are placed intelligently into content where products performs best.

Using WhiskAds, FMCG advertisers can target relevant recipes -- based on ingredient, recipe type, geo-location, and more -- and the ads follow shoppers along the path to purchase both for online or in-store grocery shopping.
WhiskAds have proven to influence purchase behaviour in-store, as well as make it easy for online shoppers to make brand purchases via their preferred retailer’s shopping basket at Tesco, Ocado, Asda or Waitrose.

Whisk accolades include ranking in UK’s Top 100 Startups 2015 and a Talent Unleashed award, a Cisco British Innovation Gateway award, The Grocer’s “Top New Talent” and winner of PPA Digital’s “Newcomer of the Year.”

Whisk was launched in January 2013 and was founded by Nick Holzherr, who raised funding for the venture after pitching the business to Lord Sugar as a finalist on the 2012 BBC TV series The Apprentice. Whisk is headquartered in Birmingham, United Kingdom. For more information, please visit https://whisk.com.

About IRI
IRI is a leading provider of big data, predictive analytics and forward-looking insights that help FMCG, OTC healthcare, retailers and media companies to grow. With the largest repository of purchase, media, social, causal and loyalty data, all integrated on an on-demand cloud-based technology platform, IRI guides over 5,000 clients globally in their quests to remain relentlessly relevant, capture market share, connect with consumers and deliver growth. www.IRIworldwide.com / Follow IRI on Twitter: @IRI_INTL