While shopper marketing
has gone by a few names since it became the “new and improved” package for consumer promotions, the moniker du jour is “Path to Purchase.” This recognizes the massive influence the digital channel has come to play in the shopper experience.
These days, 62% of shoppers engage in at least one digital activity for half of their shopping trips (Booz & Co, GMA 2011). And at the recent 2011 Shopper Marketing Expo
, the seminars geared toward digital innovation were standing room only in many cases.
Successful shopper marketing has always been a somewhat complicated recipe, but when you add the ever-changing digital landscape, the tools needed to reach and influence shoppers have never been so numerous or so complex.
As we kick off 2012, take a deep breath, and keep in mind three rising trends when planning your shopper marketing activity:
1) Get to know the Social Shopper
Shoppers can and do regularly go online before their shopping trips. The current average number of sources shoppers use to inform their purchase (according to Google) is 10.7 – more than double what it was a year ago. They check out reviews and deals while they are in the store – 40% of smartphone users compare products and prices (Forrester 2011), and they let friends know what they bought after they leave the store. Sites like Kaboodle
, among many others, make it even easier to make shopping social.
2012 Reco: Think about what is social about your product or service and consider the new avenues that make sense to activate along the social shoppers’ purchase path.
2) Mobile strategy is not a nice to have – it’s a NEED to have
It is predicted that mobile web usage will surpass PC web by 2014 (Morgan Stanley, 2009). Shoppers have endless amounts of information at their fingertips while they are shopping, which can make the shopping experience incredibly rich and valuable.
2012 Reco: With QR codes and the adoption of apps, you are no longer limited by the physical constraints of the shelf or floor when building a brand experience at retail. Think beyond the usual display footprint.
3) NFC technology is coming
are two strong entries to the Near Field Communication marketplace. While Apple has yet to announce their take on the technology, make no mistake, in just a few years we will all be enjoying the convenience of loyalty programs, coupons and payment from our phones. For many brands this means FSI’s and traditional coupons may be obsolete.
2012 Reco: Begin testing Direct-to-Card discounts with relevant retail loyalty cards now, and stay tuned for more on this serious game changer.
How are you planning to influence the shoppers’ Path to Purchase this year? Let us know in the comments below. Happy New Year and Happy Shopping!
Note: all statistics were presented (with the references I mention) during sessions at the 2011 Shopper Marketing Expo.