Postcards from IAB Brand Disruption Week

Insights shared at the week-long IAB Brand Disruption event closely match the conversations IAB Canada had during our eCommerce week, “The fastest-growing brands of 2021 will be storeless, data-rich, live, participatory, entertaining, localized, and streaming.”

As presented at IAB Canada’s eCommerce week last month, it is becoming increasingly clear that brands must become data companies first, in order to secure success and longevity in years to come. First party data will be the new currency of digital media and all minds are focused on developing interoperable future supply chain frameworks.

Five headliner take-aways from IAB’s Brand Disruption report (accessible by IAB members) sponsored by eBay Ads, Facebook, Google and TikTok this week included:

  1. Eight months in quarantine have accelerated the United States’ transition to a “storeless” Direct Brand Economy five times faster than pre-pandemic rates.
  2. Target’s same-day delivery grew 350% during COVID, while Target’s BOPIS (“buy online, pickup in store”) grew 700%. 43% of the top 500 U.S. retailers now offer BOPIS, up from 7% last December.
  3. Walmart and Amazon are competing to make two-hour delivery the norm in major markets. Delivery partnerships for rapid fulfillment are now essential for all brands.
  4. Most categories of consumer goods and services are now “majority digital,” with more consumers shopping by eCommerce than shopping solely at brick-and-mortar stores. Research by McKinsey projects that virtually every consumer category will experience 15-45% growth in permanent online shopping.
  5. Brick-and-mortar store closures in the U.S. are likely to top 25,000 this year, nearly 3x last year’s record number of closings. Notable bankruptcies: Brooks Brothers, J. Crew, J.C. Penney, Lord & Taylor, Nieman Marcus, Pier 1, Sur La Table.

The Rise of Shoppable Media

According to the study, directly “shoppable media” including livestreams, social commerce, virtual consultations, and shoppable ad formats will be the fastest-growing advertising categories for the foreseeable future. Companies including L’Oréal and General Mills are already making the shift.

There were notable presentations from major global brands this week underlining this shift as a major trend. Brands with historical ties to consultancy-heavy services (i.e. cosmetics, fashion and apparel) will have gained a head start in this new dynamic media frontier. Meanwhile, with Free, Ad-supported Streaming TV (FAST) rapidly growing in the US, the introduction of shoppable formats will make it a quite formidable channel.

As we know, the US market is often a predictor for what is to come in Canada. We will continue to provide additional insights from the important research conducted South of the border.  Members can access IAB Canada’s presentations on eCommerce in the IAB Canada Knowledge Centre.