Internet Marketing Association

Effective Shopper Marketing More Important Than Ever

July 28, 2016

Shopper marketing is more important than ever now that many people do most of their shopping online. While it was once used for driving short-term sales, it is now essential in motivating behavior, according to findings from the Association of National Advertisers and GfK. An article from Luxury Daily stated that, when surveyed, “41 percent [of respondents] identified driving conversion among shoppers as a key role in shopper marketing, 35 percent identified it as a way to motivate behavior through means other than price. The increase in online shopping and its convergence with in-store has spurred increase in shopper marketing as it becomes a viable means of instigating long-term gains.” Needless to say, shopper marketing is essential to making sure your business gets and keeps customers.

When discussing the original purpose of shopper marketing, Sarah Gleason, senior vice president of Gfk shopper and retail strategy, said, “Initially shopper marketing was primarily about influence shopper behavior within bricks-and-mortars’ four walls.” She continued on to say, “With the advent of online and digital and mobile that has included influencing behavior wherever the shopper is, online or in-store.” Gleason expanded on the need for companies to have a persistent online presence: “That means not just when they’re making a purchase but also when they’re researching and looking for coupons and gather product info, compare price, understand benefits, etc.,” she said. “All of that now needs to be available when and where a shopper is considering shopping.”

One of the ways in which shoppers can be targeted on their phones is through geo-location. The report, Shoppers Want More From In-Store Mobile, focused on shopping behaviors and found that 33 percent of shoppers regularly use a mobile device while shopping in a store. Previsit, geo-location can kick in and start sending someone advertisements related to shopping areas by them. If they happen to be driving by, why not stop in to the store that just sent you a coupon? While in the store, advertisements encouraging those 33 percent of shoppers to buy products will continue. Likewise, mobile is now being used to extend people’s shopping visits. While they may not have bought an item in the store, they might go back in to buy it if they receive a coupon after leaving. It’s all about enticing the customer via mobile.

Companies may think they have the upper hand in this situation since they can easily target and persuade shoppers. However, this isn’t actually the case. An Internet connection is obviously needed in order for shoppers to be receiving these coupons online. With an Internet connection comes exposure to other stores. So while you may think that your coupon is going to blow the shopper’s mind, they could in fact be finding the same product for a cheaper price elsewhere, despite the coupon. This is an obstacle that companies are fighting to overcome. It just goes to show how important good shopper marketing is.

“Shoppers have taken control,” Gleason said. “If you think about it historically, in the ’50s with the advent of brand marketers they were in control, but then as retailers got bigger they got in control, and now with mobile and digital, shoppers are in control.

“It’s not bad at all; it requires a lot greater level of insight and understanding that are these moments of truth where you can truly influence or intersect with a consumer or shopper,” she said. “There is this huge range of places they may be interacting with you, but not all are going to have the same level of impact and influence on their purchase decisions.

“Today, you need to have more understanding of the shopper that you are going after.” 

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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