Shopper Marketing [shop-er mahr-ki-ting] – noun. 1. In-store advertising, promotion and design initiatives that align with and extend supplier equity-building objectives while simultaneously creating a source of differentiation for participating retailers through tailored executions that address specific shopper need-states and activate purchase at the point-of-sale. Source: Marketing Leadership Council
The concept of Shopper Marketing is a relatively new tactic in the marketing toolkit. It is only since the mid 1990′s that agencies such as Saatchi & Saatchi X, Arc Worldwide, DraftFCB, and Integer have emerged under the premise of turning shoppers into buyers by tapping into the so-called First Moment of Truth. And it’s no wonder this discipline has emerged when you consider these facts about the store:
- Each week, over 127 million customers walk through a Walmart in the US, versus 68 million people who watch ABC, CBS or NBC Evening News on average.
- Studies estimate that 70 percent of purchase decisions are made in-store and 68 percent of in-store purchase are “impulse buys.”
- Shoppers make up their mind about a product in between 3 to 7 seconds.
It is easy to see why investment in Shopper Marketing is estimated to be growing 21 percent annually when brands need to account for these factors.
But for all the positives of Shopper Marketing, a Brand Manager also has these factors to consider:
- 41 percent of online shoppers say they always or often consult consumer reviews before making a purchase decision and 70 percent cite them as extremely or very important factors in their decision-making process.
- More than 25 percent of the search results on Google for the world’s 20 largest brands are consumer generated content (Nielsen Buzz Metrics).
- The number of retail channels has more than doubled in just 50 years and online retail sales are growing 5x faster than offline.
- The web is projected to influence 50 percent of offline sales by 2012, up from 38 percent in 2007.
This means that if a Brand Manager only thinks about the in-store environment for Shopper Marketing, they are missing a tremendous opportunity to turn shoppers into buyers.
Brand Managers Need Everywhere Shopper Marketing
“The web is not an advertising medium…it is a buying medium…the user controls, the user experiences.” – Jakob Nielsen
In the years to come, Brand Managers need to evolve from focusing on Shopper Marketing In-Store and instead focus on “Everywhere Shopper Marketing.” Today, the shopper marketing cycle is offline and online, all at the same time. Brand Managers need to “close the sale” at every marketing touchpoint, giving consumers the chance to be shoppers AND buyers.
“Everywhere Shopper Marketing” means you will start focusing beyond just the store aisle. Instead, a Brand Manager will think about how a Banner Ad can be a sales channel… something HP has done well in the past. They will think about how to drive sales through the “Database of Intentions” that exists in Search. They will think about how the role of mobile in the Shopper Journey, much like Amazon has done with Amazon Remembers. And they will think about how to create a Social Shopping experience, much like the latest experiment from Zappos.
Everywhere Shopper Marketing is a mindshift for marketers and agencies alike. But the fact remains it is a necessary change if we hope to keep up with the changing shopping habits of consumers.