Having recently attended the industry conference, here are some of the lessons we learned from the ISMI April Shopper Marketing Summit.
1. Pre-Shop, Shop and Post-Shop Conundrum
It’s lazy to just say we need to think 360 on each project. We should consider the shopper land scape like an eco-system – each element can bolster the next. According to Google, pre-shop is the most important way to win through better search results. Others, like Walmart, discussed the missed opportunity of the post. All of the phases in the path to purchase are important and the tactics associated with each should deliver against a specific objective.
2. So called “Low-Involvement Purchases” are now “High-Involvement Purchases”
The path to purchase is convoluted and nonlinear. We know this. Even in categories that seem low-involvement, there’s a more complex path that now incorporates mobile search, digital, word of mouth, etc. Each way a shopper finds information is an opportunity to bring a compelling message to her, in her own words and in places she is most receptive.
Who knew the day would come when people would invest time and effort to purchase a loaf of bread? It’s here. Monthly searches for everyday items such as “paper towels,” “soap” and “bottled water” are in the millions. “Coupons” outpaced searches like “Lady Gaga” and “Justin Bieber” in 2010. People are looking for the best deals and the best information online and that’s driving them to the store with a brand in mind for their purchase.
3. Mobile is a shopper tool
Over 50% of the US population will own a smart phone by the end of 2012, and mobile search is seeing growth at 400% per year. There are three mobile trends that are most relevant to us today:
- 79% of shoppers use mobile to help them shop
- 74% have purchased based on a mobile search
- Mobile is immediate – over 88% of shoppers act on their search that day
- One of 3 mobile searches is local (e.g., her neighborhood, area she shops most frequently)
What does this mean for you?
We must consider the entire path to purchase, along with traditional and digital tactics when developing an effective shopper program. You should define strategies for each phase and develop tactics with quantifiable objectives that align with the strategies. In order for your product to be considered in the pre-shop phase, online presence is crucial.
Don’t forget the post-shop phase. Product reviews are the best advertising these days – in fact, they’re better than word-of-mouth because everyone can access them. And there’s a big opportunity to take advantage of mobile as an effective shopper tool. Do you have a shopper mobile strategy? If not, you should.