The digital revolution, ecommerce boom, and the pandemic has impacted not only what we shop for, but how we shop. Now, brands must meet consumers where they are to win at every touchpoint.
Thinking back to 20 years ago, the shopper's journey was sequential. First, you see an advertisement for cereal on television, then you go to the store to purchase, and finally you enjoy the cereal at the breakfast table.
We experience individually targeted promotions every day — upwards of 10,000 ads each day! That exposure has changed the way we make purchasing decisions. Research by Joan Meyers-Levy suggests that the way people judge products (or make purchase decisions) may be influenced by the ground beneath them.
Now, the modern shopper journey could look something like:
• Your friend tells you about a new flavour of cereal during your weekly check-in call
• While scrolling on Instagram, you spot the cereal box in an influencer’s kitchen during a livestream
• You see your favourite celebrity on a TV commercial endorsing a trendy breakfast beverage to have alongside your morning meal
• You start reading reviews and recipes for different homemade breakfast ideas
• You find a blog that outlines how to have the perfect morning routine (leading you to even more product exploration!)
• Finally, while at the grocery store, you purchase the cereal because you received a coupon due to your online research
Research says that over 70% of decisions happen at the point of purchase. In another survey, it states that 81% of consumers buy products or services from brands that provide information, which makes them feel empowered about their purchase decisions.
In a sea of sameness, it is increasingly difficult to break through. On a crowded shelf, it is crucial to engage the shopper such that it leads them to pick your product and place it in the cart in the offline world — or click “add to cart” in the online world.
The TAO (thoughts, actions, and outer influences) of a consumer is important to uncover when developing a successful shopper marketing strategy:
Thoughts — The shopper mindset is an understanding of how they think and feel. Things like seasonality, life-stage, and how current brand perceptions can alter how they view the world.
Actions — Dissect the critical variables of purchase to determine if it is easy or difficult to decide. What is happening within the four walls of the store? How does messaging, communication and the shopper’s surroundings alter the environment? What types of trends are influencing their world? How are all of these variables intersecting to become the shopper’s retail reality?
Outer influences — In exchange for the attention consumers give, they expect something of value to be provided. Consider how rewards, educational programs, and entertainment can be included in the shopping experience.
Below, we discuss how shopper marketing, which if done right, can help make the shoppers life easy by simplifying the navigation process and amplifying purchase.
1. Disrupt your category/brand.
Create a global shopper toolkit that challenges shopper expectations and disrupts the category with breakthrough innovation. Deliver the message in relevant but unexpected places.
2. The key visual is dead.
Provide engaging and flexible brand experiences through the touchpoints so assets can move from online to offline channels.
3. Stand out with the packaging.
Be bold and be different while highlighting new product benefits.
4. Gamify the experience.
Gamification can be used as a tool to increase interaction and educate an audience in a fresh way.
5. Scale for ecommerce and beyond.
Offer a suite of customer touchpoints with integrated campaign assets like packaging, in-store, digital content, and KOL (key option leader) kits for influencers in the space.
Shopper marketing is nothing but a point of experience. It is all about how your consumer engages with the product at various touchpoints, how you as a brand make it easy for them to navigate, how you empower the shopper with more information about you and your product, and how your brand stands out in the noisy fragmented complex world.
Identify punctuation points in and out of the store to disrupt the shopper journey and build desire towards purchase. There is no single solution but a combination of approaches that leads to a successful shopper marketing project. Simplify shopping, amplify purchase.
About Meenaz Shamim
Meenaz heads Business Development at SGK for India and Middle East region. With 16 years of progressive experience she is responsible for SGK’s growth in India and Middle East through its brand experience and packaging solutions. In the past she has been associated with WPP (KineticWW) and Meru Cabs. From smaller organisations, to enterprises, she has the experience of working with clients across various verticals throughout her career. Leveraging her experiences she brings solutions from diverse perspectives, rather than just identifying problems.