More Than Ever, the Shopping Process Begins at Home
As the way we buy continues to evolve, customers determined to find the best deals for almost everything are researching their purchases online before going to the store. For marketers and brand owners, that means a new mindset on how and when they tempt consumers to buy.
Retailers reliance on in-store marketing – the practice of trying to influence consumers’ buying decisions as they shop – must evolve as the last 6 feet stretches from the queue at the register all the way back to the lounge room. In store marketing traditionally consisted of eye catching product displays, special promotions at the end of the aisle and attention-grabbing packaging on the shelf, but studies are showing established changes to the way consumers research and select their product choice before going into store – even researching which store has the product they have selected.
Dina Howell, chief executive of Saatchi & Saatchi X, an in-store marketing unit of Publicis Groupe SA says; “This isn’t just about cardboard displays anymore—you need to accommodate the way shoppers behave now, and that means online and in stores.”
• It’s been well documented that consumers research expensive products like electronics online, but coming out of the recession, consumers are more scrupulous about researching their everyday products such as diapers and detergent, too. More than a fifth of them also research food and beverages, nearly a third research pet products and 39% research baby products, even though they ultimately tend to buy those products in stores, according to WSL Strategic Retail, a consulting firm.
• Some 62% of shoppers say they search for deals online for at least half of their shopping trips, according to a survey by consulting firm Booz & Co. and trade group Grocery Manufacturers Association.
• About 80% of women say they pay more attention to price on “just about everything,” says Candace Corlett, president of WSL Strategic Retail, citing a WSL shopper survey from last year. That’s up from 64% in 2008, she says.
• Google Inc.’s user queries for local searches (like store locations), coupons, recipes and product reviews have doubled or tripled year on year, says Kevin Kells, Google’s national industry director for consumer-product companies. “Those are just proxies for this more informed, more sophisticated shopper,” he says. “The shopper is saying ‘I can’t really afford to be wrong.’ “
• As consumers are starting to open their wallets, companies are more focused than ever on attracting them during their shopping trips: Post-recession, 83% of consumer-product companies say they plan to increase their investments in shopper marketing over the next three years, while 55% say shopper marketing is their top investment, with spending increases topping 5% annually, according to the Booz & Co. survey.
Retailers who’re not integrating the way they provide information about their products through the online as well as physical retail environment are missing out on being a part of the critical purchase selection cycle.
A great recent article in the Wall Street Journal covers this paradigm changing shift: By Ellen Byron in the Wall Street Journal.
- In-Store Marketing Begins at Home (online.wsj.com)
- Reportlinker Adds The Top-up Shopper Mission 2010; Biscuit & Crackers Focus (prnewswire.com)
- Multichannel precision marketing at the store shelf (econsultancy.com)