AOL unveiled the refresh of its shopper marketing solution - Shortcuts.com (which will be relaunching later this year) - at the Shopper Marketing Expo in Chicago last week.

The expo is dedicated to integrating the wide variety of solutions, tools and expertise needed to influence decision-making along the entire path to purchase. No other show brings together all the major industry players, including Kraft, P&G and Walmart, in one place and AOL was chosen to be placed front and center as a featured exhibitor.

This year's theme focused on grasping the path to purchase,and we saw great examples of what the biggest names in the market are doing with integrated marketing programs, cause marketing, new technology, ways to build shopper loyalty and, you guessed it, video.

Speakers in the seminar 'What is the Role of Video, Display and Rich-Media Advertising on the Path to Purchase?' described how consumers are watching video, display and rich-media advertising before they get to the shelf – and how these media are playing a key role in their purchase decisions. They sharedthe importance of video for the CPG category, highlighting that video was even used for low consideration purchases – 25% of advertisers used video for research on feminine care and hygiene products. They also provided examples of well-done campaigns including L'Oreal's "Destination Beauty"and Garnier Fructis' "Live Green".

The CPG and Shortcuts teams were on-site to walk marketers – who included Kraft, ConAgra, Coke, McNeil, Hanes Brands, Anheuser Busch, Kimberly-Clark, 3M, DraftFCB, Walgreen's, E and J Gallo Winery and Saatchi and Saatchi - through various interactive stations such as previewing the new Shortcuts.com, utilizing the AOL Premium Formats app to build Project Devil units and showcasing AOL's Innovid partnership via sample videos on an iPad wall.

In a prime location at the center of the show floor, AOL produced a modern and high-tech booth to promote the future of online shopping. A 10-ft tall column in the space with a glowing Shortcuts logo at the top was prominently seen from the entrance of the show. The multi-functional booth gave attendees the at-home experience with Shortcuts in a living room setting, while the other side featured a mock in-store experience with an abstract grocery store display and checkout counter.

(This post was originally posted on the AOL Advertising Blog)