The field of Shopper Marketing continues to be red hot. Ever been pressed for time, needing only that single carton of milk to quench your cereal or top off a coffee? Yet the supermarket store owners have strategically placed that precious milk carton (as though it were the holy grail) at the farthest point of the store, forcing you to sprint in a panic, dodging everything in your path..
The elusive milk carton is seemingly taunting you at the back wall, calling out, “You know you need me, but you’re going to have to pick up many other items along the way.” The milk’s partners in crime, bananas and bread, could equally be causing you such shopping anxiety. Shockingly, Shopper Marketing Expert Herb Sorensen disagrees with the ‘milk at the back’ strategy, suggesting that it causes shoppers emotional distress and they will simply buy their milk elsewhere.
Shopper Marketing is “a discipline designed to drive growth by understanding and improving the shopping experience for the shopper.” The Lightning Marketer’s favourite definition is that of Chris Hoyt, Shopper Marketing pro, “Shopper marketing is [marketing] in a retail environment.” It basically involves everything from packaging, to displays, to promotions, to improving store layout and traffic flow.
While the field can be incredibly complex, you can learn a lot simply by observing your shoppers and their behaviours in your store, and adjusting accordingly. To quote the experts, “To really understand how people shop, there’s no substitute for going shopping with them.”
Actionable Quick Tips & Ideas
Here is a Part 1 (of 2) roundup of the best, quick, actionable Shopper Marketing tips and ideas from the pros. Use them to drive sales and make your shopper’s experience more efficient, whether you have a full store or just a booth.
Adapted from Inside the Mind of The Shopper by Herb Sorensen
-Shoppers fall into 3 categories: “quick (average spend $20), fill in (average spend $50) and stock up (average spend $100).” On more than half of all shopping trips, people seek fewer than five items, but retailers design stores for stock-up shoppers. Rethink store design to accommodate these distinct groups.
-Reduce ‘choice angst.’ Fewer product choices displayed can actually lead to more sales, as the selection process becomes easier for the shopper, and less time is wasted. Maximize time spent ‘closing/purchasing.’
-Focus on your “Big Head Items.” 80 items account for 20% of a supermarket’s sales, with milk and bananas at the forefront. Half of all sales come from approximately 1,000 items. The few items that generate most sales are called “the big head.” The store’s thousands of other items are “the long tail.” Having more big head items on display is more efficient for the consumer, and will lead to more sales.
-Use these in-store drivers: in-store flyers, aisle-end displays and freestanding displays have the most impact on consumers.
-Product Packaging must grab attention in 3 seconds or less. Think Tide, Absolut Vodka, Mr. Clean.
-Segment and display your products as follows:
- “Leaders” – have strong stop-and-close power. To increase sales of leader-level products, like soft drinks, display at checkout stands and on aisle endcaps.
- “Niche” – “Few stop to shop, but those who do, buy.” Put niche products in places with high visibility from heavily trafficked areas of the store.
- “High interest” – “These are window-shopping categories. Shoppers stop to shop, but don’t buy.” Pricing and merchandising work better than placement to increase these sales.
- “Underdeveloped” – “Few stop to shop, and the few who shop don’t buy.” Place these in low-traffic areas or promote them as if they were new products.
Stay tuned for Shopper Marketing Confidential Part 2…Coming Soon
Have best-practice tips or examples of Shopper Marketing? Need some quick, expert advice from The Lightning Marketer about how to maximize your retail environment for sales success?