Shopper marketing is a strategy employed by companies who wanted to gain more customers who are at the point of purchase. This is an effective way to generate more income, and it influences the customers to buy the product on the spot. Compared to the traditional forms of advertising that are broadcasted on the television, radio, or printed in newspapers and magazines, shopper marketing does not linger inside the minds of the consumers. Instead, it makes a last minute appeal for the customers to buy the product. This strategy works so well that many advertisers are now offering their services to businesses who wanted to improve their shopper marketing strategy.
Through the years, shopper marketing evolved into different forms, and the strategy developed depends on the product being sold and the retailers who are selling the product. One of the most common examples of shopper marketing inside the stores are the free samples given away by groceries. Consumers can try out the free sample, and if they liked it, the customer might purchase the product. Another strategy practiced by big businesses would be the construction of elaborate store displays during special occasions (this includes point of sale displays and point of purchase displays), like the football season. In high-end stores, the management plays with the lighting, ambience, and music to keep the customers in the mood for shopping.
A common misconception in the past shows that shopper marketing is only happening in physical stores, but with the rise of e-commerce, many online retailers have also adapted the practice to suit online consumers. Today, whenever an individual buys a product online, a long list of recommended products would appear on the screen. This is a shopper marketing strategy that aims to influence the consumer in buying more products. For example, people who are buying DVDs online may notice that their recommendations feed is filled with other DVD films where the same actor starred. This might encourage the consumers to spend more than they actually intended.
Manufacturers and Retailers: Investing in Shopper Marketing
Manufacturers and retailers are the two groups that are investing a lot in shopper marketing. They view this strategy as a way for them to earn more profit, and they are doing everything to promote their products. The manufacturers consider three main factors when they market directly to shoppers: the price of the product, the packaging design, and any special arrangements with the retailers. The manufacturers had to spend a lot in the promotion of their product because they knew that it will translate to more profit. Their goal is to make their product standout, especially if it will be displayed on the same shelf with another competitor.
The retailers, on the other hand, are focusing on the number of customers who will be visiting their stores. They are investing a lot to encourage more people to visit their store, and for their loyal customers to come back whenever they need something. The retailers are also competing with other stores, and standing out is very important. The factors that the retailers consider when it comes to shopper marketing would be their location, the signage outside the store, the store design which includes the lighting and the layout, and the overall presentation of the products inside the store. There are also other factors that are involved, but it varies diversely among the stores.
What are the benefits of shopper marketing?
Business profits increase
The shopper marketing strategy generates more profit for the business. For manufacturers, they need to create a product that stands out to encourage more people to buy it. When their product is purchased by many people, additional profit is generated for the company. Retailers, on the other hand, would love to welcome more people who will be visiting their shop.
Brands standout inside the store
When manufacturers are focusing on the design of the product and its pricing, it can attract a lot of consumers, and it will stand out inside the store. When a product stands out, more people will be willing to purchase it. The product’s popularity will encourage more people to buy it.
Encourage the people to spend
When the public spend their money, the economy benefits a lot. This is the reason why companies wanted the public to spend more money because it will encourage the circulation of cash, which is beneficial for the economy.
The brand image improves
Brands that are purchased by many people tend to have a better image compared to its competitors, and that is the reason why manufacturers are doing their best to make their products stand out so that more people will be buying it.
Improved relationship between the shoppers and the retailers
An effective shopper marketing strategy will drive more people inside the stores, and it would encourage a good relationship between the consumers and the retailers.
What are the best practices for shopper marketing?
- Identify the personality of the consumers. This is important when planning for an event that will take place inside the store. Store owners need to establish a comprehensive data about the personality of their consumers so that they can identify what kind of approach will be the most effective.
- Support products that are made locally. In the United States, buying locally made products is more appealing to the majority of the population. Walmart took it as an opportunity to market their products that are proudly made in the United States, and they were surprised to see how their sales increased.
- Focus on online marketing and encourage the people to follow a particular brand. This is the reality around the world – companies are paying influencers to promote their products, and in exchange, generate huge amounts of profit from the sales. It is also important for businesses to hire an effective online marketing team who will drive more followers to a certain page.
- Jump into the bandwagon when retailers launch a promotion. When Amazon’s Prime Day became a huge hit, Walmart and Target followed suit, offering discounted products to their consumers. Imitating the promotion launched by Amazon enabled them to earn additional profit.
- Use augmented reality to influence shoppers. This practice was adopted by Target in 2017 when they decided to add an augmented reality function inside their store. Consumers who would buy furniture can use the augmented reality function and observe if the furniture piece that they wanted to buy would suit perfectly inside their homes.
- Reduce the prices of products. Retailers like Whole Foods were able to drive more consumers inside their stores after they slashed the prices of their products. The products that have been sold in large quantities were organic food products that are expensive elsewhere.
- Give your loyal customers the reward that they deserve. Giving a reward to your customers would also help them stay loyal to your business, and it will encourage them to shop more.
What are the trends in shopper marketing?
Convenience using multi-channel opportunities
Despite the spike in the number of online shoppers, many consumers are still visiting their local grocery stores whenever they need to buy supplies. The main reason why people are still going to retail stores is because they do not want to pay an extra amount for the delivery of the groceries they purchased online. 51% of the respondents on a recent survey stated that they would rather go to the store to buy their groceries than to pay for a grocery delivery fee. This mindset gave developers an idea – and the online grocery pickup was born. The online grocery pickup, or OGP, provides convenience to the consumers by letting them purchase their groceries online, and then picking it up at the retail store later on.
The OGP was revolutionary because it gave the consumers a chance to buy groceries inside their homes at their convenience while avoiding to pay hefty fees for the delivery. Experts predict that by 2024, more than 70% of consumers all over the country will be purchasing their groceries online, and the OGP is a great example of how the stores should prepare for these changes.
Advertising early to reach more consumers
Amazon’s Prime Day demonstrated how advertising early would gain more consumers. The event happened weeks before the Black Friday sale which has become a tradition for most Americans. When Amazon decided to launch their event weeks ahead of the Black Friday sales, they noticed that a lot of consumers visited their website to purchase products. Walmart, which also launched their own promotion weeks before the Black Friday sale, saw an increase in the number of consumers who purchased something from their website. Advertisers and marketers now encourage retailers to launch their own promotion days ahead of major holidays and events.
What are the current statistics about shopper marketing?
According to studies, the number of shoppers who are using their mobile device when going inside a store jumped to 70%. Experts in the field of marketing and advertising are recommending store owners to take advantage of the number of customers who are using their mobile phones and set up booths where their smartphones can do a wide variety of gimmicks. They can use the smartphone as a tool to search for a product inside the store, and others are also using it to search for a product online and comparing the prices. However, physical stores are the most affected establishments when it comes to price comparisons, and store owners are already mitigating a solution on how to counter customers who keep on comparing online and physical store prices.
The media played inside the store also plays a huge factor on the decision of the consumers to buy a particular product. According to a study, 20% of consumers decided to change their plans of buying a product after they have been influenced by the media played inside the store. Store owners should also understand that more people are now shifting to their mobile devices to perform different actions like paying for their groceries or redeeming coupons. In the next five years, experts believe that self-checkout counters inside the grocery stores will be the norm, and the payment will be scanned using a mobile device. The stores need to prepare for these changes, while at the same time focusing on shopper marketing to increase their profits.