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Marketing

Published August 5th 2016

How to Bring Shopper Marketing Into the Online Shopping Experience

Shopper marketing has long helped increase the value of a basket at the last minute. How can marketers maximize the technique for the modern shopper?

Who doesn’t have a few items lying around that they never use? The old exercise bike, the dress they only wore once, the ice cream maker collecting dust. Chances are, you were influenced into these purchases by shopper marketing.

Reaching the right people at the right time can be an important tactic in increasing sales, driving unplanned purchases through targeted convenience.

What is Shopper Marketing?

Traditionally, shopper marketing focuses on presenting the customer more options to purchase at the point of sale. The aim is to activate an impulse purchase when the consumer is about to make a different purchase.

Unlike other marketing techniques which can make up multiple touch point with a brand over a number of months, shopper marketing aims to have an immediate impact.

It’s no wonder there is a field of marketing dedicated to the point of purchase, with one study finding that 76% of all purchase decisions are made in-store.

Shopping bags

From bricks and mortar to e-commerce

Shopper marketing in bricks and mortar stores has existed for a long time. It’s a familiar story: you’ve crossed everything off your grocery list and are finally heading to the cashier with a sense of accomplishment at a job well done.

Then you spot that alluring item right at the last moment. You hadn’t planned on it, but it’s right there. Tempting you. You don’t have much time to make the decision. Before you know it, one more item is added to your basket.

There are opportunities to engage in shopper marketing throughout the experience, but this moment just before purchase might be the most persuasive.

With the rise of e-commerce, the physical space doesn’t enter into the last minute persuasion. Marketers have to reconsider how they bring this technique into the online world of shopping.

E-commerce internet shopping add to cart

It’s still entirely possible to engage in persuasive shopper marketing. In fact, the possibilities are even better than before.

Imagine you could replace the standard rows of Cheetos, pretzels, and chewing gum at the cash register with absolutely any item from the entire store, based on what that person has purchased?

Data-driven personalization

With data-driven personalization, that is the reality. At the last stage of making a purchase, the combination of historical data and algorithms can offer items that are more likely to make a sale.

One strategy is to offer items that are related to your purchase – if you’ve bought an Xbox One, you might be offered a second controller or another game.

Another is to offer items based on the shopping habits of others. This brings in an element of social proof to shopper marketing, playing on our natural instinct to trust the experience of others.

In fact, online retail giant Amazon takes advantage of both of these methods. Before you hit the checkout screen, you are presented with various items. Customers who also bought X also bought Y. Recommended for you based on Z.

These suggested items are likely to be more relevant, and be seen by the shopper at just the right moment, making a sale more likely.

Take advantage of micro-moments

Shoppers are increasingly turning to mobile during the shopping experience to help in the decision-making process. Deloitte research states that 64 cents of every dollar spent in retail stores is influenced by digital.

Micro-moments are importnat shopper marketing opportunities

Sometimes this will be pre-shopping research, but stores increasingly see shoppers paused, mid-shopping experience, to double check that final piece of information. Making sure that your site is fast and mobile friendly can make all the difference to positively affecting these micro-moments.

Maximize shopper marketing effectiveness

There are a few steps you can take to ensure your shopper marketing is at its most effective.

Segment your audience

Understanding your audience as different groups is as important here as it is in any area of marketing. Building accurate buyer personas will help you understand the different ways you can market to different groups.

Target the buyer, not the user

There is evidence to suggest that impulse purchases are less rational than emotional. Focus on the decision-making process of the purchase. Much like the perfect call to action, the best shopper marketing moments will create FOMO, remove risk, or emphasize the benefits of the product.

Offer solutions to problems

Having said that, offering batteries for a product that needs them is both rational and convenient. This is why e-commerce sites present similar items. There will be themes within a basket: gadget lover, health-conscious eater, shopper on a budget. Exploit related products to increase success.

Shopping Cart Silhouette

Understand your brand’s associations

Social intelligence is a particularly good method for tracking your brand, including the associations consumers have with it. If you understand the perceived benefits of choosing your brand over another, you can emphasize this at the crucial moment.

Collaborate with retailers

Whether online or in a bricks-and-mortar retail store, unless you are selling your own goods in your own stores you will need to collaborate with the owner of the space to make sure you are seen by the shopper at that crucial time.

Shopper marketing has been a successful tactic in the offline world for a long time. Bringing this into e-commerce requires careful consideration of how to reach the right people at the right moment, without interrupting their experience. Understanding your customers can allow you to personalize their experience, engage with micro-moments, and drive additional, unplanned purchases.

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From May 8th, all Crimson Hexagon products are now on the Brandwatch website. You’ll find them under ‘Products’ in the navigation. If you’re an existing customer and you want to know more, your account manager will be happy to help.