Five Steps for Effective Shopper Marketing


Shopper marketing is a vital component to the success of any retail chain so here are ten basic steps that will put you on the path to effective shopper marketing.

1) Shopper v Customer

Selling to the shopper and not the customer is one of the most common retail adages for good reason, it is vital for a retail business to understand who they are selling to and why they are selling to them. One of the most important facets to the shopper marketing approach is having data, it is vital that retailers have a clear way to access and review their sales data. This is so that shopper motivations and behaviours can be more easily identified. Retailers using this approach need to focus on what shoppers are thinking about when they go to make a purchase. For example are there any brands or types of products that are favourably shown in your data? Are mothers more likely to purchase sugar free, preservative free soft drink over traditional soft drinks? Do shoppers often buy multiples of cleaning products or long life products, is there an opportunity for a multiple discount to incentivise purchases? Are home brands/discount brands selling comparably to bigger brands, does price really matter to shoppers? Are there any days in particular where certain products are purchased in high volume, are fresh fruit and vegetables purchased largely on Sunday for the weekend ahead? If so maybe there is a opportunity to coordinate deliveries or purchasing incentives. All of these questions will lead retailers into thinking about WHY shoppers are actively making the decision to purchase a product. A shopper based marketing approach should seek to be analytical of the data and ease the path of purchase.

2) Brand Knowledge

Understanding what shoppers are looking for in a brand and when they purchase certain brands is vital to shopper marketing. Creating a clear link for shoppers to the benefits of a brand is key to creating a lasting purchasing relationship. Often branding gets reduced down to a price reduction but it should be both about capturing the price point to incentivise purchasing and highlighting the benefits of the brand.

3) Shoppers are a diverse

Understanding that what motivates the purchase of one shopper may not motivate another is a simplistic idea but one that often overlooked. It is important that retailers understand their retail environment. What is the demographics of your locations shoppers? Are you in a working or middle class suburb? As a result of this would your business benefit from a consistent discounting program or perhaps in an expanded range of premium/recognisable brands? Do you have significant populations of Asian or middle eastern shoppers? Would your business benefit from trying to incorporate an Asian fresh fruit and vegetable section or perhaps a specific Halal section. Understanding your stores market can help you improve profitability by allowing you to cater to your shopper directly.

4) KISS (Keep It Simple, Sweet)

In retail environments where the shopper is bombarded with choice providers need to make smart decisions about what value messages and branding material are placed before shoppers. value messages and branding material should be simple and sweet or rather to the point. What this means is that simple messages that reassure and explicitly tell the shopper why they are purchasing something are best. Shoppers don’t want to be bombarded with countless colourful, verbose signs they want quick to digest, eye catching visual queue that will reassure them of their purchase decision. If your marketing material is too difficult to digest (more than a glance) than shoppers will be drawn to the easier alternatives which are usually the cheapest ones.

5) Constant Analysis

Something that is vital in any marketing strategy or indeed in any business is the constant reviewing and refining of strategies, data and decisions. Comprehensive analysis of how your marketing strategy is progressing and its success rate should be under constant observation. The only thing that is constant in marketing and business is that change is inevitable, indeed it is a must if companies and retailers wish to survive and succeed. Using a combination of data analysis and frequent review retailers can help refine and improve their strategies, sales and business. Look for emerging trends, see what marketing messages have seen an increase in sales, determine what sections of your inventory are not being purchased and consider the factors that may be contributing to this, reviewing sales figures can also help you manage your inventory and create a clear demand hierarchy, this will both make and save you money.