Brand Managers Need To Practice “Everywhere Shopper Marketing”

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.

Zappos pushes eCommerce boundaries with Social Shopping launch

My Zappos Social Shopping

I can’t think of many companies that would announce a new product launch on a Friday night.  After all, you miss most of the major news cycles, the financial markets are shut down and people generally have the weekend on their mind.

But Zappos.com is not like most other companies.   So it came as no surprise to see Tony Hseih, CEO of Zappos.com, posting on Twitter about the beta launch of their new Zappos Social Shopping Site – My.Zappos.com – late on a Friday night.

But what exactly is Social Shopping?  According to Wikipedia:

Social shopping is a method of e-commerce …in which consumers shop in a social networking environment. Using the wisdom of crowds, users communicate and aggregate information about products, prices, and deals. Many sites allow users to create custom shopping lists and share them with friends.

I spent some time playing around with the site today and  it is pretty straightforward.

Building Your Network: After a simple registration, a few Zappos Groups are recommended to follow such as Zappos Golf, Zappos Beauty, etc.  This is a smart move by Zappos because it builds community right off the bat.  After that, you go to the home page where you can find more people to follow, including people from your Twitter or Facebook network.  In less than 5 minutes, the Social Part of Social Shopping is in place.

Starting to Shop:  The next step is to start adding stuff to your closet.  As the site states “At My.Zappos you can add items you have, want, or just plain like. Once you add an item, your friends can tell you what they think and even suggest new stuff for you!”  This is accomplished through a simple bar that runs at the top of the Zappos site with a simple button that says “Add Item to Your Closet.”

Making Shopping Social:  Once you have added an item, the social part takes over.  For me, I need to get a new weekend watch.  So i put an item in my basket on My.Zappos.com and added a comment asking my friends to give me their opinion.  I was even able to click to send the comment to my friends on Twitter and Facebook asking their opinion as well.

After my short experiment, I can say that this is a great move by Zappos and one that will really resonate with their consumers.  For the industry, the launch of My Zappos brings a big, new player to a space of eCommerce that previously included Social Shopping sites like Kaboodle, Woot and ILikeTotallyLoveIt.com.  Personally I think it just might be what drives Social Shopping mainstream, causing it to be as much part of the eCommerce landscape as Ratings / Reviews or “Items You Might Like.”  Well done Zappos, well done.

Microsoft’s view of the world in 2019

Want to see how Microsoft views the world in 10 years?  Check out this amazing compilation video that was previewed at the Wharton Business Technology Conference courtesy of Microsoft Labs (if in RSS, click through to see):

If you visit the Microsoft Labs, you can also see longer videos for:

Thanks to the FEED: Digital Design Blog for the lead

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Why the Digital Shopping Experience should matter to Brand Managers

Digital has emerged as a dramatic influence of both online AND offline purchases over the past year according to Resource Interactive.  In an extremely engaging and though provoking presentation on the importance of the Digital Shopping Experience, Resource outlines what brands needs to pay attention to in this channel.  They also go into deeper detail in the White Paper they wrote for Shop.org that went along with this presentation.  Both are worth spending some time with.

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Weekly Round-Up: 5-23-08

Been slammed in meetings all week but wanted to share the following links that caught my attention.  Have a great long weekend!