Way to Shoppers Mind, Heart & Wallet
Shoppers are only getting complex with every passing day, with technology at their disposal they become more unpredictable and thus the Path-to-purchase also gets a little twisted. Thus through this space we bring to you some international wisdom which helps you get closer to your shopper. This time we have a feature penned by Jason Rorgers, who that indicates how brands need to fashion their digital-media strategies to satisfy the hierarchy of needs and values of Shoppers. Read on to know more.
media strategies must satisfy a hierarchy of needs and values. Much has been said and written about the distinction between consumers and shoppers. We’re consumers every moment of our lives. We’re bombarded with marketing from the moment we awake and hear a deejay promoting a concert until late at night when we see a commercial for a new hybrid car. As a result, most consumers shut out all but the most engaging messages. Shoppers, on the other hand, simply want and need something. New car, laptop or home? No question, shoppers are invested. Toilet paper, canned vegetables or after-school snacks for the kids? Hmm! maybe not as invested. Despite operating at very different ends of the consideration spectrum, there is a common denominator: Shoppers have a goal. The level of effort, enthusiasm and time they will invest is based on what that something is. Now, let’s see how digital fits into the equation. Digital is not exclusive to some people’s lives; it’s central to everyone’s lives. The web has fundamentally changed the way we find, discover, share, shop and connect. Whether they know it or not, when consumers use digital, a switch flips in their brains. They become task-oriented. Even when it’s casual browsing, they have something in mind that they want to accomplish. Understanding they have a task means that, as marketers, we need to make sure that how we join them on that journey is relevant. When we think about shoppers, a common assumption is that those who are shopping online are early adopters. While perhaps this was true a few years ago, it’s certainly not so today. With the exception of the 65-plus target, all other age demographics are increasing online shopping exponentially. Younger demographics — the Gen X, Gen Y and below — have been raised as digital natives rather than digital immigrants (as Rupert Murdoch referred to them during his 2005 speech to the American Society of Newspaper Editors). Digital natives have never known a time when there wasn’t email, Firefox or mobile phones. Digital immigrants are the rest of us. We’ve had to adapt to technology. Table stakes are to deliver against core shopper needs of saving time and money, but to succeed you must satisfy higher order needs (see chart one). Shoppers need to feel smarter, they want their shopping experience to be enjoyable and are eager to know you are supporting their values. At the end of the day, they will trade time and cost savings to be fulfilled on these other levels. Let’s explore how expectations have changed and how that impacts the way we connect with shoppers by outlining best practices, drawn from our latest “Digital Shopper Marketing” study.
Shopper Needs at Home. The at-home phase of the shopper’s journey has been about pre-planning and list building. However, it’s evolved to include alternate commerce models. While e-commece has been common in other categories for some time, it’s fairly new for packaged-goods brands and retailers. The key to winning at this stage is getting on their shopping list. The shopper figures out what they need, considers brands, where to find them, and who has the best price. As we think about how the typical consumer uses digital, we can find ways to influence each step in the process. Retailers can improve the instore experience and online presence, ease of access, selection, loyalty model, commerce model, online and in-store selection of items, content, mobile tools and beyond. Brands can enhance the ease of access to product information, premium content or experiences beyond the product itself, promotional strategies, price incentives and leveraging brand equities. Keep in mind that while shopper traffic to brand sites is down, traffic to retailer sites is up — significantly. Amazon. com is the #8 ranked website in the US, with Walmart.com coming in at #33. Retailer sites are where your shoppers are spending time and populating their shopping lists. So, make site search simple to use with clear, intuitive navigation. Deliver content that is in keeping with who you are and how you want to be known.