Shopper Marketing is the latest buzzword. It’s like all of a sudden, all these ‘consumers’ have woken up and found that they are now ‘shoppers’.

The truth is that they have always been there – and shoppers have always been the focus of attention for Below the Line agencies. The age-old debate of ATL versus BTL still rages. A good way to make the distinction between the two is by the effect they each have. 

Above the Line effects perceptual change and Below the Line effects behavioural change. The same logic applies to the difference between consumers and shoppers: consumers think or feel, shoppers buy.

We are all consumers and can easily be categorised according to factors such as our age, where we live, what we do, what media we consume. But is not so easy to define us as shoppers.

During one trip to a store, I am multitude of shopper types. Standing in the Health & Beauty aisle, I am a browser, preferring to read labels, consider my options and make an informed decision. On the next aisle, I pick up a milk carton without even looking at the options. I just always buy what I always buy. So within the space of five minutes I am a considered shopper, a habitual shopper and a deal junkie – and I am not alone.

How can I be targeted if we cannot readily fit ‘me’ into a shopper type? The answer is that we can’t, and to really win in Shopper Marketing, we need to get a lot more sophisticated in our thinking.  

Some people assume that Shopper Marketing equals in-store marketing. But if 50% of shoppers consult a mobile device when shopping, does this not make digital marketing a key component in Shopper Marketing? 

Also, if you are lucky enough to be at the first half of the shop, your display or offer is more likely to have an effect where shoppers are more likely to take up an offer – empty trolley and full wallet. 

Towards the end of the shop, as a full trolley and an empty wallet loom, shoppers are more likely to stick to their list. It’s always a good idea to understand where your shoppers are likely to come in contact with your brand and what their mindset is likely to be.

Sounds complicated, but the size of the prize is huge, with over 50% of purchase decisions being made in store. 


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