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Shopper marketing: The schizophrenic shopper Michelle Whelan Admap February 2013
Title: Shopper marketing: The schizophrenic shopper Author(s): Michelle Whelan Source: Admap Issue: February 2013 Shopper marketing: The schizophrenic shopper Michelle Whelan ArcA major new shopper study identified six key behavioural types characterised by their purchase decision-makingand their response to price and promotion, which varies by category.The growth of shopper marketing has been exponential in recent years, with marketers having an unprecedentedunderstanding of the shopper and the shopping experience. The segmentation of the shopper is a hot and important topic,with brands and retailers creating, re-creating and re-cutting shopper segmentations year in year out. Which, of course, leadsus to ask how many segmentations really exist, and how do brands design activities for all of these?We recently carried out our most comprehensive shopper study to date with 13,000 shoppers across the US and mainlandEurope, and a further 5,000 in the UK.The PeopleShop study revealed the true complexity of todays shopper by identifying six key archetypes, all of whom havevery different paths to purchase. In addition to shopper archetypes, the study also revealed that shopper behaviour is drivenby risks and rewards associated with a particular product or category. Further still, shoppers behave differently within each ofthese categories.Yet we still see a very similar set of principles underpinning the shopper communication in-store, when really retailers need torealise that they cannot necessarily apply the same rules to all product categories. This begs the question as to how brandsare able to effectively reach and influence their target audience when their shopping behaviour would seem to be so complexand multi-dimensional?PeopleShop allowed us to identify six shopper archetypes with two distinct axes. The first of these differentiators suggests thatshoppers are either Thinkers, Feelers or Doers. The second differentiator is price sensitivity – as much as we hate to talkabout it, price is an ever-increasing factor in this day and age. However, the real interest isnt so much derived from the sixarchetypes, or shopper behaviours, but the fact that, as individuals, we are different archetypes and express differentshopping behaviours dependent on the category in which we shop. Downloaded from warc.com2
Stella Artois Cidre: with the rest of the cider sector, targets Opportunistic AdventurersFor instance, if I am shopping for a bottle of wine, I am a Quality Seeker (thinker/ non-price sensitive) and will undertake a lotof research and use an inordinate number of touchpoints before committing to my final purchase. However, if I am shopping fora tin of soup, I am a Habitual Sprinter (doer/ non-price sensitive) and know exactly what I want, I just want to be able to find itquickly and get out as quickly as possible.A category with a high number of Quality Seekers, for example baby toys or video games, has a tough task as the needs oftheir shopper are varied and many. They will need to consider the most appropriate touchpoints to offer the best advice andinformation, as well as the type of messaging they project. To effectively target the Quality Seeker, understanding where theygo to for information is key, whether it be manufacturer websites, retail websites or product review sites. Yet the QualitySeeker doesnt just look for this information online, they want to continue the conversation into the retail environment, whichmeans that salesperson training and detailed point-of-sale material are just as critical.Baby toys and video games also attract a high number of Strategic Savers (thinker/ price sensitive) making it important toemploy different tactics – ones which give the shopper the ability to balance the features and costs. So the question formarketers is whether to focus on a single archetype in any given category, or risk alienating the other by trying to speak tothem both at once? By understanding the various archetypes and how they differ between categories, it is possible to identifythe most appropriate channels for each. Downloaded from warc.com3
Tesco: has started segmenting its wine fixture to target three different shopper typesTescos wine section is a good example of targeting different shopper types with different but appropriate messaging. Theretailer clearly understands there are different shopper types, with different needs, shopping in the same category. Verysimply, Tesco has segmented the wine fixture into three distinct areas, the first of these aimed squarely at the Quality Seeker.It has used quality cues, borrowed from high-end independent retailers to highlight the fine wine section. The messaging andinformation at the fixture is extensive, with detailed tasting notes and food pairing recommendations; you actually feel for a fewseconds that you have stepped into another shop. Furthermore, Tesco has targeted the fine wine drinkers by boosting itsonline presence of Tesco wine by the case website, as well as introducing premium Bordeaux, following the much-celebrated2009 vintage.As you move down the wine aisle, Tesco targets the Passionate Explorer (feeler/non-price sensitive). This section is arrangedas you would expect, by country and region, yet the key difference is the point-of-sale communication – great with. Tescounderstands that a large proportion of their shoppers are looking for inspiration in an increasingly complex category, which iswhy the shelves are scattered with bold, bright colours and simple messaging to highlight the perfect matches for alloccasions. The logical next step is to take this into a meal deal activation to take the messaging from inspiration to a true callto action.The end of the aisle is reserved for the Opportunistic Adventurers – those on the hunt for a bargain. Above the fixture is asimple message stating clearly that this is where you come to find the special offers, backed up with supporting ads in thenational press. Crude? Maybe. Effective? Absolutely – a great example of understanding how shopper behaviour and paths to Downloaded from warc.com4
purchase differs within one category.With austerity still a dominant factor affecting many households across the UK and indeed across the globe, the PennyPincher is, of course, an archetype that many brands want to, and need to, appeal to. This is perhaps good news for breakfastcereals, yoghurt and beer where Penny Pinchers are commonly found.While brand building is important and, of course, has its merits, beer, yoghurt and breakfast cereals need to consider moreactivity instore if they are to appeal to the Penny Pinching shopper. Price promotions are extremely effective in thesecategories as they are relatively low-engagement purchases, with the decisions made at the fixture, or more commonly thesedays, at the gondola ends. Furthermore, by investing more in classic tactics such as coupons and vouchers, the brand is onthe shopping list before the shopper arrives instore, giving them one less decision to make, and often at a lower pricediscount.Of course its not just Penny Pinchers who buy cereals, beer and yoghurt. For example, 20% of yoghurt shoppers are HabitualSprinters, which means yoghurt brands could make the shopping experience easier for them by top-quality categorymanagement and fixture navigation. For example, yoghurt shoppers would be more likely to pick up a brand if it wasmerchandised by occasion, and the brand promise was backed up through better use of on-pack, shelf-ready packaging orpoint-of sale-materials.Of course if budgets allow, as Tescos does, brands should target both archetypes, or indeed, every archetype in theirparticular category. So, while its paramount that marketers understand that our shopping behaviour varies by category, it alsovaries by how much shoppers engage with each category and the risk associated with making the wrong choice.The PeopleShop study identified four separate quadrants, allowing us to develop a Risk/Reward map. Categories which havehigh engagement and low brand risk – the Entertainment categories such as chocolate and wine – have the lowest averageshopper journey length, with an average of six days, and are driven by their more impulsive nature. Purchases in Burdencategories (low engagement/high risk) however, or Passion categories (high engagement/high risk) deliver a far more lengthyand in-depth journey, at 26 days and 56 days respectively. These categories are notoriously research-heavy, which means itis vital to consider the role of digital and the digital touchpoints that are most appropriate. Brands need to know which sites areproving most effective for researchers, the manufacturer or the retailer, and how shoppers are being directed there in the firstplace.Computer printers are a prime example of a Burden purchase as we only seem to consider buying a new one out of necessity-if one breaks or if we buy a new incompatible computer. Moreover, the category has one of the highest levels of StrategicSavers (54%) as shoppers find the category genuinely confusing and frustrating. They know it is a purchase that will havelongevity but they want to ensure they are getting the maximum bang for their buck. In this category, 74% of shoppers usetouchpoints in the early stages of their shopping journey (engagement and research), and these are predominantly online toolssuch as retailer websites (74%), search engines (55%) and product review sites (35%).With a high proportion of printer shoppers, therefore, doing their due diligence online, and 40% stating that they use in-storedisplay to clarify what they have already learnt online, printer brands need to ensure the message is carried through into theretail environment if they are to seal the deal. Given what we know about printer shoppers, it would also seem shrewd forprinter brands to align their ranges to usage, e.g. simple home tasks, student or professional; and match the relevant functionsto the different needs. This simple, yet consistent, targeting could then be applied throughout the relevant touchpoints, which Downloaded from warc.com5
would then create a stress-free path to purchase for the shopper.For Routine categories, the requirements are different but just as important. Many of the categories lying in the low-engagement/ low-risk quadrant are everyday FMCG goods. The shopper behaviour is very task-orientated, with a mixture ofshoppers just wanting to get in and out as quickly as possible, without really caring whether they save a penny or two. Itseems vital, then, that retailers and brands need to make the category easier to shop for, by employing back-to-basicsmerchandising principles and supporting them with inspiring ideas and solutions on your point of sale.PeopleShop also studied various alcohol categories, all of which fell into different quadrants, attracting different shoppingstyles. Spirits for example are a Burden category, requiring advice and information, driven by the relatively high purchaseprice. Therefore, marketers need to be treating these shoppers with more care and attention to help them through theirshopping process. Perhaps they can learn from Tescos approach to wine and employ the use of tasting notes or servingsuggestions closer to the point of purchase.Lager and beer fell under Routine categories, with in-store display the most powerful touchpoint. However, we found ciderand flavoured alcohol fall under the Entertainment category, with shoppers looking for inspiration and ideas. With a highnumber of Opportunistic Adventurers, cider brands need to be enticing them into making impulsive decisions and purchases.Much of this difference has been driven by recent category innovations, such as Stella Artois Cidre. AB InBev has, quitebrilliantly, taken its quirky advertising into the store environment through value-added promotions, including the free chalice,and linked it beautifully back to its consumer engagement programme.ConclusionSo, it would seem we are rather schizophrenic in how we shop, yet there is a pattern that marketers can learn from. We dontshop by age, gender or social class. Our decision tree is driven by our engagement with the category, the fear we have ofmaking the wrong choice, the amount of time we have and the context of the shopping mission we are on. The type of shopperwe are drives the length of our shopping journey and the touchpoints that influence us.Brands need to know if their shoppers are Thinkers, Feelers or Doers and whether price is important in their decision-making process. Usage/consumption occasions need to be at the centre of communication strategies if they are to driverelevance on the shopping journey. The message needs to be engaging, informative and advisory upfront, getting morefunctional and rational as you reach the point of purchase. And finally, brands need to understand the role of digital within theircategory and, most importantly, keep the message consistent and relevant to the stage on the shopping journey.About the AuthorMichelle Whelan joined Arc in 2010 and was promoted to managing partner in 2012. She leads Arcs shopper marketingoffering. Downloaded from warc.com6