No discussion on shopper marketing strategy would be complete without mentioning environmental psychologist, Paco Underhill, author of Why We Buy. Here are some adapted, lightning-quick tips you can use from his bestseller on shopping science
- Don’t place signage/product in the store’s immediate entrance area, as this is a transition zone for consumers.
- People naturally move to the right. To push/promote a new brand, place it on shelf to the right of the most popular brand. This is why we often see generic store copy-cat brands to the right of name brands.
- Your store is a ‘collection of zones.’ Strategically map them out. For example, one zone could be a ‘discount, traffic builder,’ while another could be ‘new items’.
- People who come with others will buy more if there is a chair so the non-shopping person can relax and feel comfortable. (I think we’ve all benefited from that lifesaving chair at some point).
Some key tactics to engage your shoppers include:
- Touch: Shoppers should directly experience the material world. This is critical. Almost all unplanned buying is due to the senses — seeing, touching, hearing, smelling or tasting — making merchandising often more important than marketing. [many sources indicate that up to 50-70% of purchases are unplanned]
- Discovery: Subtle hints and enticing smells (such as warm bread) add a sense of adventure. Ever smell the wafting aroma of popcorn or cinnamon buns from afar in mall?
- Mirrors: Mirrors grab shoppers’ attention, and help them see themselves in wearable items. Who doesn’t love looking at one’s self? :)
- Talking: Shoppers experience extra enjoyment when shopping includes a social aspect. No wonder greeters seems to exist at nearly every mall store nowadays. [My favourite mall store greeter joke comes courtesy of legendary comedian Steven Wright. He tells of a trip to a mall store and the greeter asks, "Can I help you, sir?" He replies, "Yeah, do you have anything I would like?" The confused greeter replies, "How would I know what you'd like?" Steven Wright, in true form then replies, "Hey, you started this." Priceless.]
- Online site efficiency: make it easy to browse. Make it very clear what you can and can’t do. Provide ways to navigate back/forth quickly.
Markus Stahlberg and Ville Maila, in their book Shopper Marketing, also relay key insights that can help organize your shopping environment:
-When planning your shopper-marketing experience, think of your shoppers as “heroes” on a quest to buy something. The North American Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council identifies 9 different shopper personality types for individuals:
- “The keeper” – Supplies a home with food and other vital goods.
- “The quartermaster” – Has a personality that is similar to the keeper’s, but doesn’t like shopping and is hard to please.
- “The reluctant shopper” – Hates shopping and rushes through it.
- “The bargain hunter” – Only buys when you – or your competitor – cut your prices.
- “The courier” – Is a “grab and go” shopper with a short list based on “speed and price.”
- “The banker” – Is budget-conscious and responds to good deals and low prices.
- “The seeker” – Sees shopping as “discovery” and is always ready to try new things.
- “The desperate shopper” – Will leave if you don’t have a specific, targeted item.
- “The hungry shopper” – Buys something, like cigarettes, to fill an immediate need.
Recognize yourself in this list? Make sure you understand your shopper personality types, and organize your retail environment accordingly.
Have some buzz-worthy shopper marketing tips to share?
Ask your marketing question of The Lightning Marketer. His speed and brevity may shock you!