New Survey Finds Number of Marketers Planning to Use Sales Data Will Triple in the Next Year

Broader Availability of Shopper Data will See 76 Percent of Marketers Close the Loop Between Campaign and Consumer Action

Ventura, California – November 10, 2021 – New consumer shopping habits have marketers turning to sales data to better connect consumer behavior to sales, according to a new study by The Trade Desk (NASDAQ: TTD). The research shows the number of marketers who intend to use sales data very frequently, versus those who currently use it, is expected to nearly triple in the next 12 months. The research also shows that 76 percent of marketers plan to use point-of-sale data frequently in the next 12 months as they look to connect advertising activity to consumer purchases, whether it happens online or in the store.

This research comes as more retailers look to leverage their in-store shopper data, so that advertisers can measure more clearly the impact of their campaign activities on actual consumer actions.

As consumers’ cross-channel shopping habits continue to evolve, the role of shopper data is becoming critical to media plans. Marketers recognize that sales data is a rich source of information that can be used for both driving purchases and building brands: 44 percent of those surveyed said they used retail data to track sales growth, while 39 percent said they use it to drive brand equity scores.

“Marketers have long sought to connect their marketing investments to consumers’ online and offline behaviors, and retail data is bringing us a step closer to achieving this holy grail of the industry,” said Brenda Tuohig, SVP, Global Data Partnerships, The Trade Desk. “Retail data can allow brands to be much more efficient and precise. They can understand how a campaign drove results in a specific region, in a particular store, at a certain time of day, using different advertising channels and creative approaches. For advertisers, it’s a game-changer.”

A separate survey of more than 5,000 consumers, indicated that today’s shoppers appreciate the convenience of online shopping, but many still value the in-store experience. Fifty-three percent of respondents said they mostly shop in physical store locations, while 23 percent prefer to shop mostly online.

The percentage of consumers who do most or all of their shopping in-store over online shopping across categories:

  • Apparel & Clothing – 34 percent
  • Home Improvement – 51 percent
  • Beauty / Personal Care – 51 percent
  • Pharmaceuticals – 59 percent
  • Groceries – 71 percent

According to the survey, nearly a third (33 percent) of millennials indicated they shop mostly online, but different motivations drive consumer shopping preferences. In fact, 25 percent of consumers reported they shop in-store because of the retailer’s physical convenience, and 20 percent ranked ‘the ability to buy online, pick up in store’ as a top reason to shop more online or on a retailer’s app.

As a result of the shift in and fragmentation of shopping habits, more marketers are turning to retail media networks to help them reach consumers with relevant advertising along the purchase journey, as well as measure the effectiveness of that advertising. Indeed, 55 percent of marketers said they employ three or more retail media networks in their marketing mix. And while 89 percent of marketers report they are very or extremely satisfied with the retail media network they use, 34 percent see the “availability and fragmentation of retail sales data” as a marketing challenge.

Nevertheless, marketers realize retail media gives them the ability to use data to deliver relevant ads to consumers at the right time and in the right format as they aim to drive sales and grow market share. In fact, 74 percent of brands said they have dedicated budgets for retail media networks, and these networks now rank fifth in budget allocation, behind digital video, paid social, digital display and paid search.

"As consumers’ shopping habits evolve, marketers need to be more agile and data-driven than ever before. With 71 percent of shoppers saying they prefer limited, tailored ad experiences instead of paying to avoid ads, brands have the opportunity to leverage the capabilities of retail media networks and their rich data sets. With that, marketers can better understand consumers to build smarter digital marketing campaigns, as well as have the ability to measure the direct link between relevant advertising to sales,” added Jed Dederick, SVP, Global Client Development, The Trade Desk.

Methodology for Material+ survey

The Trade Desk conducted an advertiser study with Material+, surveying more than 150 brand marketers in the United States. Brand marketers are defined as those who work in the marketing area of a consumer goods manufacturing company that sells its products through wholesale retailers. Respondent’s teams are responsible for brand (e.g. digital marketing, CRM marketing) and/or shopper marketing. All respondents held a position of a director or above and have a role in deciding where advertising dollars are spent. Field work was conducted September 1-13, 2021.

Methodology for YouGov survey

YouGov conducted an online survey of more than 5,006 U.S. adults (18+), further qualified into subgroups of “Shoppers” defined as consumers who purchased an item within the past three months in either the home improvement, apparel and clothing, pharmaceuticals, beauty and personal care or grocery categories. Field work was conducted September 17-23, 2021. The figures have been weighted and are representative of U.S. adults (18+).

About The Trade Desk

The Trade Desk™ is a technology company that empowers buyers of advertising. Through its self-service, cloud-based platform, ad buyers can create, manage, and optimize digital advertising campaigns across ad formats and devices. Integrations with major data, inventory, and publisher partners ensure maximum reach and decisioning capabilities, and enterprise APIs enable custom development on top of the platform. Headquartered in Ventura, CA, The Trade Desk has offices across North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. To learn more, visit or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.