What drives consumers to the stores? Why do they make a purchase? How can I understand these shoppers? What are their needs? What marketing activities influence them?
These are just a few of the questions marketers ask themselves when trying to understand how their target consumers are behaving as shoppers.
Yet, these questions today are different than they were even just a year ago. People can shop anywhere and at anytime they choose with the integration of digital and physical world. Understanding what the new shopper trends are is key to understanding how you can deliver experiences that will encourage your consumers to spend more, engage more and become more loyal.
With the 2012 Shopper Insights Show taking place this week in Chicago, we thought it would be a good time to share some of the most important shopper marketing trends out there. Keep these in your back pocket if you want to stay ahead of the curve.
1. Technology is a major influencer
According to Nielsen, e-commerce will rise from around 6% of total packaged-goods sales in 2009 to 10% by 2015 in the U.S., surpassing club stores and matching drugstores’ share.
Today someone can be in your store, locate the same product online, purchase it, and never physically give you a dime. This should encourage businesses to find their own ways of connecting to customers both online and at their brick-and-mortar stores. Accept that the real world includes the digital world and adapt.
Some of the most popular web-to-life connectors are mobile apps and QR codes. But, make these functional, like price scanners, inventory checkers and/or offer additional product information or options. You can use these things to incentivize consumers to come into your store or simply to increase sales.
2. Convenience is a key-driving factor to online purchasing
48% of health and beauty shoppers would purchase more online if they were able to return products to brick-and-mortar locations. Source: Compete’s Shopper Intelligence Survey
It’s not only about being available by mobile and online, it’s about convenience. If they are going to shop online, give them a reason to choose your company over someone else’s. Making sure consumers find it easy to purchase from your company is key. Allow them to return items to your store, offer them free shipping labels or give away free shipping at certain times.
3) Preplanned shopping behavior remains pervasive
Conventional wisdom says that 70% of purchase decisions are made in the store aisle, but Campbell’s Soup reports that food shoppers make 80% of their decisions prior to entering the supermarket. Source: Campbell’s Soup via RetailWire
Consumers will continue to use store circulars to plan their shopping trips and to make brand decisions. Moreover, impacting the shopper before he/she enters the store and then carrying that message over into the retail environment, such as taste tests or in-store merchandising, is even more powerful.
4) Social media meets e-commerce
Social tools that encourage and simplify self-expression will dominate the landscape in 2012. Pinterest is a great example of the power of simple self-expression tools.
Retailers need to use these social tools not just for brand awareness, but also for product development, research and customer service. It’s a great opportunity for brands and retailers to better understand what’s engaging as their consumers “raise their hands” to share what they love.
5) Threading gamification into marketing practices
Gamification is essentially taking the spirit of a game, something that’s fun and interesting, and applying it to a variety of different areas of business. This could include how you design a website or conduct a market research study. And, it’s taking the world by storm.
Games can be helpful in creating some sort of action, whether that action be people clicking on your website or buying more soda or getting people to participate in recycling program. So have fun, create games and apply them to anything and everything you can!
Want to talk more about shopper marketing and the insights that drive it? If you’re headed to the Shopper Insights Show, stop by booth 110 – we’d love to chat. If you want to go, but don’t have a pass it’s not too late. Give us a call and we’ll get you 25% off.