Shopitize Smart (phone) Shopper Marketing

Shopper Rewards remain effective, but need to be smart…

Promotions still influence shopping behaviour and their use continues to grow, most noticeably among previously un-engaged ABC1 families. But with 90% of shoppers actively seeking promotions/new products and shoppers increasingly dissatisfied with traditional promotion channels, engagement is now the key metric in gaining traction and mobile is the key channel in making these engagements relevant, convenient and timely:

discounter-shoppersmobile-in-store_infographics

At Shopitize, we’ve recognised the traditionally strung-out shopper marketing journey and created a platform that engages, empowers and ultimately influences the behaviour of shoppers throughout the path-to-purchase via a single, consistent and measurable channel:

  • Attract – Relevant, timely, convenient
  • Guide – Info, advice, brand values
  • Influence – Sample, switch, reward

Simply using mobile as an alternative distribution channel for coupons is a mistake that many shopper marketers continue to make, led largely by their insistence on transferring the offline coupon models (household distribution, direct mail, press and internet) directly to the mobile channel. What this does is give you a marginal uplift in response (mobile will always beat those channels) but significantly smaller volumes as there are still relatively few mass-market mobile audiences to which these offers can be directly marketed. This continues to make mobile difficult to justify on a ROI basis, simply because the volumes tend to inhabit strictly “trial” parameters.

Whenever brands or agencies discuss “trial” with me, my first response is to ask what they are trialling…We know that shoppers respond extraordinarily well, offers and engagements are warmly received and that the technology works, so I ask “what in your minds are you trialling?” The answer of course is that they want the old results (vast responses and sales peaks) with new measurables (where, when, who, why?) which have not been available through traditional channels but which are all real-time and substantiated with a dedicated mobile channel.

It’s at this point that the true nature of “trial” can be recognised and addressed. What we actually work with brands to achieve is a targeted change of shopper behaviour through a direct-to-mobile experience. What we are delivering is old-style sales penetration of course but also the establishment of foundations for a brand-to-consumer relationship which is not wholly discount-driven, is interactive and which can recognise the stage at which that shopper is in their relationship with the brand and the product.

The outcome of such a “trial” is proving how mobile, when used properly, is uniquely able to reward the right kind of shopper and the right kind of behaviour.

The Value of…Value?!

What Does Value Mean in 2013?

‘Value’ has been code for low-prices as the recession has bitten but the definition is broadening and shopper marketing and promotions need increasingly to both recognise and to reflect this. Up to this point, discounting price has often become confused with value by marketers, either deliberately or accidentally. Not surprisingly, this has led to consumers becoming confused by the messaging and with both parties to the transaction equally confused, straight discounts have now commoditised the “reward” marketing proposition almost completely. One only needs to open a tabloid newspaper to see the supermarket and FMCG brands “out-discounting” each other every day.

But today, workmanship, sustainability, localisation, customisation, innovation, convenience and service can all form part of a genuine ‘value’ proposition for a shopper. Not only can permanent discounting confuse this value equation in shoppers’ minds but ‘recession burnout’ among customers means that price can even be a destructive differentiator. “Recession burnout” is a very real phenomenon and its impact on shoppers can be seen in the success of premium own-label offerings and “luxury” carrier bags: Shoppers are value-conscious but don’t want to be categorised (or perceived) as bargain-basement buyers.

Shoppers want to feel better about themselves and the decisions that they make. They are becoming owners of products rather than users and a shopper’s experience of a brand can represent a large part of their value perception. Combining incentives with education on the full ‘bundle’ and offering mutually rewarding engagement can sway shoppers to reconsider and feel satisfied with their choice.

By establishing a relationship with shoppers where “value” can be established over time on one or all of the levels suggested above, brands can not only avoid being discount-driven but can also begin to integrate the learning from these deeper relationships to drive new product development and longer-term rewarding of loyalty to more accurately reflect shoppers’ own personal definitions of value.