Is your shopper experience for shoppers, consumers, or influencers?
Let’s talk diapers. When you go to the grocery to pick up diapers, you’re the shopper and not so much the consumer. But in this case, you’re also the influencer – in your mind, the final decision comes down to how you perceive the brands, the colours, the packaging, the price – even the shelf. Your baby may be the consumer of those diapers, but unless they’re feeling some incredibly adverse effect from your current diaper choice (chafing, let’s say), they won’t have much say in influencing your decision.
Now let’s talk cereal. You may be the shopper. But when you shop for kids’ cereal, you certainly aren’t the consumer, and I can guarantee you aren’t the influencer.
So as a marketer, how do you balance this equation, and make sure you’re marketing to the right person, in the right place, in the right way?
In our experience, marketers (like everyone else) tend to get a bit myopic about their work.
They may focus in on the “target” influencer six year olds when it comes to selling cereal. But are they addressing the shopper parent properly? The answer is a firm ‘maybe’.
The only way to know you’re doing the right thing is to pull back. You need to post the 4P’s on your wall – price, product, placement, promotion, and overlay your shopper, consumer and influencer. It may look messy at first, but by sorting through all the ‘what if’s’ – if the influencer is a six year old, and the consumer is a six year old, but the shopper is a Mom, what should the price be and Why?
What’s fascinating about this is that you not only get perspective into the complex interactions and thought processes ‘normal’ consumers go through as they shop and buy, but you get insights that may actually help you innovate a better product.
There’s no guarantee you’ll get this right. But there is a solid guarantee that the more you do this, the better you’ll get at it. Some useful things to remember:
- When was the last time you looked at how your product presents itself instore?
- When was the last time you watched people shop your aisle? What body language did they give off around your product?
- When was the last time you talked to people shopping your product? What could you gather from the conversation? Who’s the influencer? The consumer? The shopper.
Even if you make subtle changes based on this ongoing learning, those changes will most likely drive ROI. Knowledge is more than power – you can take it to the bank.