Wesley Boas is the Head of Consumer Products at WW (formerly Weight Watchers). She’s responsible for elevating the brand and its products and helping members throughout their health journey. 

With a lengthy career in consumer packaged goods (CPG) started at Unilever, Wesley’s Shiny New Object is the shift to online shopping, especially the significant uptake seen in recent months during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Online shopping has been around for a very long time, but only recently has it been adopted to the level that it is almost normalised for all demographics. 

Wes remembers when, in 1999, she was using Amazon as the book retailer it was at the time, and she was sharing with her mum how she was purchasing books online. 

The main concern of the time was the security of credit card transactions over the Internet, while today we are faced with giving up significantly more data and using online purchases for almost anything.

Whether it was driven by health concerns for shoppers who didn’t want to face crowds at the start of the pandemic, by the enforced closures of shops, or by the lack of in-store stock, online shopping has opened the door to so many consumers in recent months. 

It’s allowed people to appreciate the enhanced convenience of ordering online and having nearly everything delivered to their doorstep. It’s also created a true “treasure trove” of data for marketers. We now have access to information about consumers’ preferences at the top of the marketing funnel all the way through to the post-purchase experience.

However, Wesley agrees that data isn’t perfect and that marketers still have a lot of work to do to leverage the little information they can access from online shoppers’ preferences. She does, though, believe that e-commerce is opening the door for a lot more personalisation and customisation than ever before.

Is this the end of the high street? In Wesley’s opinion, high street shops will become an experiential component of the shopping journey. 

For example, “browsing the aisle” changes significantly online, but it doesn’t allow for the real feel of clothing or home goods. For these, consumers can be expected to experience them in store, but then go home and place an online order so they’re never faced with the hassle of carrying their shopping to their destination.

How can we prioritise and leverage all the data from online shopping, making sure that we tap into the most lucrative marketing initiatives? 

Wes believes that any initiative will yield some results to a brand, but that we have to adhere to one of her favourite quotes: “Is the juice worth the squeeze?” In other words, always find the one action for which the output will outweigh the input to maximise the result of marketing initiatives. 

To find out more about Wes’s favourite marketing advice, her career progression and her views on coaching and developing new talent, listen to the podcast here.

Tom Ollerton is the Founder of Automated Creative. Subscribe to the ‘Shiny New Object’ Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube and Soundcloud.

WW CMO Tony Miller will be speaking alongside leaders from Eve Sleep, Ben & Jerry's and Dishoom at MAD//Anywhere on 10-11 March. Secure your ticket here.