Planning for ecommerce part 2: supporting a seamless experience through the digital shelf

If you read our last article on using personalisation to deliver a seamless omnichannel experience in grocery, you will have seen the scale and speed of growth in ecommerce.

Customers are increasingly looking for a seamless, personalised experience and with greater expectations, come greater demands on retailers. Getting it right is crucial – more than half (52%) of retailers believe customers are more willing than ever to switch brands if unsatisfied, according to FMI’s US Grocery Shoppers Trends.

We’re helping grocery retailers to meet those demands, adding value to their online experience to ensure they retain and recruit customers without relying on heavy discounts.

Our three-part video series introduces some of the dunnhumby propositions available through each phase of the online customer journey – plan, shop, buy – and in this article we’re focusing on the second of those phases.

Phase 2: Shop

Once the customer has planned their shop, the focus turns to the purchasing experience.

Remember the key here is to help time-poor customers do their grocery shopping with ease. Your customers want to easily find what they are looking for, be shown promotions on products that they are interested in, be provided alternatives if products are out of stock, and be given a helping hand to make sure they don’t forget anything. And that applies online just as it does in store. If the customer faces frustrations in completing their purchase, they are more likely to abandon that purchase and potentially not return.

This brings a number of specific challenges for retailers:

  1. How to make shopping easier, faster, and more convenient for the customer. Shoppers want a frictionless experience, which means supporting them to find what they are looking for on the digital shelf.
  2. How to create a compelling and convenient online shopping experience. This is crucial in ensuring customers buy more and shop more often.
  3. How to improve the effectiveness of their promotions. As customer price perception is challenged with rising inflation, it is important to showcase relevant promotions to customers to maximise promotional effectiveness.
  4. How to help customers discover new products and feel inspired. Another way to improve the customer experience and increase basket size, driving loyalty amongst online shoppers.

Our latest video in the series looks in more detail at some of our Recommenders propositions for the ‘shop’ stage, using customer data to deliver tailored recommendations of products throughout the shopping experience.

Using Recommenders to remove friction

Ease of checkout and a hassle-free shopping experience were ranked most important by omnichannel shoppers surveyed in dunnhumby’s recent Retailer Preference Index 2021 research.

Removing friction in the omnichannel shopping experience is one of the key drivers of long-term loyalty and retention, and increased basket sizes, as it immediately provides the customer with a faster, more convenient, and cost-effective shop.

Taking advantage of dunnhumby propositions

Our Recommender propositions include:

  • My Usuals, which provides a personalised shopping list based on the customer’s purchase history, helping customers to complete their shop more quickly and easily because they do not need to search online for their favourite products.
  • Relevant Promotions, works to improve the conversion rate of a retailer’s promotions and aids customer price perception by serving a list of curated promotions tailored to the customer’s usual behaviour in-store and online.
  • Complements, which suggests products that are most frequently bought with those which the customer has already added to their basket to help speed up the shop and encourage new product trial.
  • Inspirations, a personalised list of suggested products that a customer is likely to buy but hasn’t bought before, helping customers to discover new items and increase basket size online.

Others include Substitutes and Have You Forgotten, which are included in the third video and will be covered in our next article.

These propositions can work in isolation or as part of a package to help drive in store and/or online purchases. Purpose-built for grocery, they use both on- and offline (store) customer purchase history to deliver a richer, more personalised omnichannel experience – helping retailers to address the challenges identified above.

Monetising digital assets

And that’s not all. Leading retailers already attract several million visitors to their e-commerce sites each month, which means they have a vast captive audience to tap into. With the addition of data-led insights to drive highly targeted advertising opportunities, this becomes an incredibly valuable asset.

As online growth continues and retailers invest in online channels to maintain their omnichannel provision, dunnhumby Media propositions can be applied to retailers’ digital assets like onsite display banners and their search results pages, making them sophisticated vehicles for personalised retail media and enabling new revenue opportunities with suppliers. Learn more about dunnhumby retail media services.

In practice: dunnhumby’s My Usuals proposition helped one South American retailer to increase sales by 14% from exposed customers. Almost half (47%) of exposed customers bought the recommended products within a two-week period and 16% more units were purchased by exposed customers.


With dunnhumby’s support, retailers have access to a wealth of tools to deliver a frictionless ‘shop’ phase – making things easier and more convenient for customers, whilst helping to inspire them and save money too. This all helps to drive revenues and build customer loyalty without simply heavily discounting products across the store.

Find out more

Discover more about our Customer Engagement services, and if you missed it, make sure you read Part one of our series focusing on the ‘Plan’ phase. Stay tuned for the third and final article in this series, focusing on the ‘Buy’ phase, coming soon.

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