Think the moment that you are in a supermarket. You get cross to the shelves and look through 25 different brands products. Decision process has started.. Wait.. Advantage evaluation of loyalty cards, what about promotions? Your brain tries to save your auto-thinking system and decide in order not to spend millions of seconds in front of a shelf.
As understood, when consumers go to shop, they don't usually have a plan. But brands should. We are in the era of catching the ‘unplanned buyer’. The right marketing strategy can take advantage of shopper behavior both inside and out of the retail environment.
So here comes shopper marketing on stage. Shopper marketing is brand marketing in retail environment. Since it includes category management, displays, sales, packaging, promotion, research and marketing "Shopper marketing is the elephant in the room that nobody sees the same way”.*
In the past five years, shopper mar¬keting has become a real focus for brand owners. The future is about understanding shopper segment profiles deeply. Besides focusing in store marketing tricks, brands need to find new channels that will lead consumers to the stores.
P&G has already set a rule for its agencies named as "Store Back". That means if one P&G’s agency can not find a working solution to a product in store, than there will be no allocated budget for ATL communication. P&G is totally focused on “moment of truth” and allocate more than half of its budget to channel solutions rather than ATL communication.
Because most brands are aware of the ratio 76% which decisions are being made in store. So who are these people in the store? Why do they (76%) decide in store? How they are affected by in-store materials? Regarding to Point of Purchase Advertising International Research, shopper segments profiles can be classified into 4 main categories.
1. “Timed Stressed” - Shopper who feels pressured from not having enough TIME and seems to be always in a hurry. Adding to the time pressures are perceived budgetary constraints although this group is not low income. Some characteristics of time stressed:
Skews younger (18-44) and full time employed
Doesn’t use circulars or coupons
Describes self as easily tempted
Likely to be shopping with children
Least consistent use of written list
Second highest percent basket purchased on impulse (70%)
Highest total basket average ($67)
2. “Explorer”- A shopper who enjoys seeing what new products are available, browsing the store in general and getting inspiration for meals while shopping. Some characteristics of explorers:
Heavy use of circulars to drive retailer choice
High receptivity to stores with quality private label products as well as perceived variety of product types and package sizes
The most satisfied shopper on for overall satisfaction
Describes self as impulsive and easily tempted
Skews older (55+) and lower income (<45K)
Highest percent impulse basket (72%)
Most weekly trips
Longest time in store
3. “Trip Planner”- A shopper whose goal is to get the shopping trip over with and executed according to plan. Some characteristics of trip planners:
Fewest number of trips per week
Most retailer loyal
Most consistent use of written list
Low circular use
Not interested in bargain hunting
Describes self as controlled and retrained
Skews male and older (55+)
Lowest percent impulse basket (67%)
Shortest time in store
Most accurate in predicting total spend
4. “Bargain Hunter”– A shopper defined by the willingness to shop around for the lowest price. Some characteristics of bargain hunters:
Least retailer loyal
Most likely to use pre store media to plan trip
Highest circular use
Highest coupon use
The least satisfied shopper on overall satisfaction
Skews “taking care of the household”
Most likely to NOT purchase an item she planned to buy pre store
Lowest total basket average ($54)
SECRET WEAPONS IN SHOPPER MARKETING
If Shopper Marketing really is a key strategy for driving sales and a different approach to the past, what principles can we draw upon to deliver greater returns? Here are seven ways that Shopper Marketing can help to improve sales.
1. Sell To The Shopper, Not The Consumer
“Consumers” as the individuals who use a brand, product, or service. Whether it’s the kids who eat the breakfast cereal, the teenagers who drive the family car, the wife who opens a special gift, or the parents who talk and text on their mobile phones during Junior’s basketball game courtesy of their wireless service provider, they’re a category’s “consumers.”
“Shoppers” can be defined as individuals who go to the store/online to make a purchase in the category. Consumers use, shoppers buy.
Shopper marketing complements the ‘passive’ awareness and preference building role of consumer marketing by focusing on the ‘active’ purchase decision making process of the shopper.
2. Know Your Brand
Price is undoubtedly a major driver of choice but it is not the only one. How important are trust, quality and familiarity? What opportunities are created by changes in usage or consumption occasion? How can you re-frame value? Consider how you can ‘Up’ the benefit and ‘Down’ the price to remove or minimize the inevitable trade-offs shoppers will have to make.
3. Offer Solutions
What is the purpose of that particular trip and how is it impacted by financial considerations?
Think about themes, co-locations and adjacencies that address shoppers’ needs for value – healthy meal options for the whole family, fun nights in that won’t break the bank, pamper yourself and be kind to your purse, save money and save the planet.
If shopper insight is a central pillar of Shopper Marketing, so is retailer collaboration.
Kraft and Wal-Mart provided convenient, affordable and delicious meal solutions for their price conscious shoppers under the ‘Simple Mealtime Ideas’. The program was communicated in-store with POP materials, on in-store screens, sampling and out of store on walmart.com, with email blasts and print ads.
5. Think About The Path To Purchase
Whilst the ‘first moment of truth’ is undoubtedly when a shopper selects one brand over another, the decision making process does not take place entirely at the shelf.
If shoppers are planning or combining their trips more or looking for deals, what role do coupons (and coupon websites) play, is on-line a channel for raising awareness, do retailers loyalty programs influence planning decisions, can radio talk to your shoppers while they drive to the store?
6. Keep It Simple
Clarity is key. Value messages, especially in-store should be simple and to the point. If things get too complex, shoppers will resort to the cheapest price.
Shoppers will also look for familiar cues of trust and re-assurance. Combine relevant value messages with these valuable equities. Be proud and confident and not apologetic. Shoppers are looking for re-assurance that they are making the right choices. Be transparent and don’t sell people what they don’t need – you will lose their trust and loyalty.
7. Innovate Wisely
New segments will emerge from changes in consumption and shopping behaviors while digital technologies in and out of store present new engagement opportunities. Whilst all expenditure should be carefully considered, an insight led and integrated planning approach can reveal opportunities for competitive advantage that can last well beyond the current recession.
McDonald’s for example, targeted Starbucks dominance with a value and convenience message that, if successful, may fundamentally change the behavior of certain coffee drinkers. P&G’s cold wash detergents appeal to both a value and environmental mindset