Digital Shopper Marketing


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Evolution Insights analyst David Oates explains why digital media is set to shape the world of shopper marketing.

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Digital Shopper Marketing

  1. 1. Digital Shopper Marketing Evolution Insights analyst David Oates explains why digital media is set to shape the world of shopper marketing. What is Digital Shopper smartphones and their “Essentially, DSM Marketing? applications (‘Apps’); encompasses any and barcodes / RFID and everything with a digital Digital Shopper Marketing associated scanning characteristic(s) that (DSM) is a new term in the devices; digital coupons and loyalty cards; digital features, or can feature, in retail arena, but what does it actually mean? POS / signage / interfaces a shopper’s path to (e.g. in-store TV). purchase. “ Essentially, DSM encompasses any and everything with a digital Given the breadth of this “DSM can manifest almost characteristic(s) that definition, it is no anywhere i.e. in store, at features, or can feature, in exaggeration to say that a shopper’s path to DSM can manifest almost home or on-the go, and purchase. anywhere i.e. in store, at almost any time i.e. home or on-the go, and before, during or after the almost any time i.e. before, The current DSM landscape actual purchase itself.” is a transient and nebulous during or after the actual one, which is no wonder purchase itself. given that ‘Digital’, in this context, relates to both What are the benefits? physical elements (e.g. PCs and touchscreens) and As DSM can play such an content elements (e.g. important role in websites and blogs). influencing shoppers, the challenge for While a bulletproof manufacturers and retailers definition is elusive, is to understand and utilise however, the DSM space is it. broadly seen to comprise the following: retailer and For these organisations, the manufacturer websites and benefits of DSM are brand microsites; social obvious; it offers not only media (e.g. Facebook, the opportunity to engage Twitter, Blogs, and Virals); with the shopper, mobile phones and SMS; 1
  2. 2. but also to feature more channelling shoppers (e.g. “Any discussion of DSM prominently in their the recent Cadbury Creme should start with the decision criteria. Egg and Kellogg’s Krave internet, which is the campaigns are both good linchpin of many DSM However, considering its examples). initiatives. ” broad nature, it is easy to imagine that marketers are Social media somewhat daunted by the prospect of including DSM Social media exists in an “But it is no longer within their remit, let ever-increasing number of sufficient for alone trying to align it with forms, from established Facebook, Blogs and manufacturers and company strategy. Twitter to more recent retailers to just ‘tart-up’ developments like the their websites and So what does it mean for location-based Gowalla promotional microsites ” marketers? and foursquare networks. Any discussion of DSM While these social media “Successful organisations should start with the formats differ, their will be those that choose internet, which is the relevance to DSM remains to target, feed and linchpin of many DSM the same i.e. that they put initiatives. As internet consumers more in control respond to social media usage has continued to of brands, allowing the and its many apostles..” evolve over recent years, it former to ‘make or break’ is no longer sufficient for the latter in a matter of manufacturers and hours. While this may retailers to just ‘tart-up’ represent an inconvenient their websites and truth for many marketers, promotional microsites successful organisations every few years. will be those that choose to target, feed and respond Natural engagement with to social media and its such sites varies many apostles. enormously, so to reach shoppers modern DSM In future, good brand techniques must instead management will include adopt a more holistic view aspects of social media of the internet and its that will help it to create capabilities. For example, new, and leverage existing, more savvy organisations loyalty by capturing are now using tools such as consumers (as “friends”, social media to work with “fans-of” or “followers”) their traditional channels and turning them into in capturing and shoppers. 2
  3. 3. Smartphones and loyalty all found to their detriment “Integration with mobile is with their now aborted in- also at the forefront of this Traditional retail marketing store TV offerings. These branch of DSM, as tools such as loyalty cards well publicised examples exemplified by emerging and discount coupons, are have caused many to think smartphone scanning also relevant to DSM. that the use of digital signage in retail was a false applications, which enable For example, mobile and dawn but, if done right, the the user to perform on- smart phones can potential to use it across the-spot price circumvent the need for the retail space remains comparisons and/or physical cards and coupons huge. product reviews.” altogether, by displaying codes on-screen via SMS or An extension of digital ‘Apps’. Although these signage in the retail digital tools are currently environment is interactive at an early stage of interfaces, which include development, it is easy to WiFi, projected displays, imagine that they have an kiosks, and information inherent advantage due to points for product their ease of retention, recommendations and transfer and use. promotions. Integration with mobile is also at the Certainly, early evidence forefront of this branch of points to usage/ DSM, as exemplified by redemption rates that are emerging smartphone far higher than traditional scanning applications, alternatives. which enable the user to perform on-the-spot price Digital signage comparisons and/or product reviews. Digital signage/ interfaces are another way in which Ultimately, the challenge retailers and brands can for digital signage is to communicate with actually enhance the customers in store. shopper's in-store experience. As opposed to Communications are playing generic targeted at shoppers when promotional videos on a they are in ‘full shopping loop, there are emerging mode’, but successfully opportunities to spotlight engaging shoppers who specific products and have such little dwell-time features, and to provide is challenging, as Tesco, value-adding information Asda and Sainsbury’s have 3
  4. 4. to shoppers at the point of opportunity to reach “Retailers themselves are decision. shoppers with digital a media platform in their signage, interactivity, own right, offering brands Some initiatives even websites links, free an opportunity to reach promise to go further by samples and sponsored shoppers with digital using way-finding content. The fact that technology to pinpoint digital signage, and DSM in signage, interactivity, specific individuals and general, can bring mutual websites links, free engage them with tailored benefits to retailers and samples and sponsored offers; but this is pie-in- manufacturers should act content.” the-sky thinking for the as an incentive for them to short-term and there are work together more more obvious and closely. attainable developments “DSM has the capability to to expect in the coming Return on Investment act as a powerful tool for years. For example, Walmart in the US created determining ROI.” While retailers and the ‘Smart Network’, which uses digital signage manufacturers recognise throughout stores to the growing importance of communicate relevant DSM, some initiatives are content to shoppers that easier to justify than can be tailored by store, others, which raises the screen, day and time. tricky consideration of Return On Investment The Walmart example (ROI). highlights that digital signage initiatives DSM has the capability to have to be endorsed and act as a powerful tool for then managed day-to-day determining ROI. For by the retailer, which example, a mobile presents something of an messaging service obstacle for many informing customers manufacturers, particularly browsing store aisles could in countries where the also provide useful retail environment is less information on sales radical than in the US. conversion. Speaking more broadly, it is However, seeking ROI worth noting that retailers measurability for its own themselves are a media sake can be dangerous platform in their own right, since firstly, not all offering brands an measureable DSM 4
  5. 5. initiatives will be profitable A bottom up approach? “The holy grail for DSM is and secondly, not all to be able to create profitable initiatives will be The holy grail for DSM is to content, measure it, measureable. This presents be able to create content, interpret it, then change it something of a Catch-22 measure it, interpret it, accordingly situation, since most DSM then change it accordingly, programmes will only be but because the pursuit of sanctioned after a robust this ideal can introduce financial business case has cold and hard-nosed ROI been given. “Many DSM initiatives demands, it can also target digital savvy constrain innovation. In the heavily integrated shoppers with an world of DSM, it is difficult Perhaps a more subtle way ‘innovator’ or ‘early enough to disassociate the adopter’ profile, but the of approaching DSM is to different elements, let adopt a ‘bottom-up’ potential of the remaining alone to measure the approach, which has and largely untapped extent to which they shopper perceptions and market is huge.” contribute to ROI. needs at its core. The impact of this approach on For example, consider a building brands over time shopper who first reads a could still be measured, product recommendation and would instead create a on a blog, then spots a more strategic set of goals, microsite promotion linked as opposed to simply to a Smartphone voucher tactical ones. that is only redeemable at Tesco, before downloading It is no surprise that it, using it and telling five traditional consumer friends about it on loyalty is fast becoming an Facebook. How do you old-fashioned concept. measure the extent to Consumers are more fickle which these different DSM than ever, given their elements contributed to increasingly hectic the sale? lifestyles and such a heavy bombardment of The answer is you can’t, marketing messages and but it doesn’t make any of promotions. It will be the contributive elements interesting to see how any less valid, as they were retailers and all integral to engaging the manufacturers adapt to shopper through the path- this constantly changing to-purchase. shopper behaviour and 5
  6. 6. Evolution Insights Ltd how they will go about shoppers respond to and harmonising their online why? About Evolution Insights and offline propositions, Evolution Insights is a research led consultancy specialising in shopper because if they don’t assist In essence, shoppers will marketing. We deliver original the shopper, then simply not respond to DSM research, analysis and insight into someone else will. initiatives unless they shopper motivations and behaviour provide one fundamental for manufacturers, retailers and agencies. Beyond early adopters thing: value. Value delivered via access to, or For more information please visit increased awareness of, It is worthwhile new features / discounts, remembering that or by facilitating the ease E-mail: shoppers are already using of shopping. various digital technologies Tel: 0113 389 1038 in their shopping practices. In summary Many DSM initiatives So to summarise, the target digital savvy challenge for shoppers with an manufacturers and ‘innovator’ or ‘early retailers is to understand adopter’ profile, but the the role that DSM can play potential of the remaining in communicating their and largely untapped brands and messages market is huge. Engaging directly to shoppers. From with these more ‘at-home’ to ‘in store’, the traditional, less ‘techy’ holy grail is to understand shoppers is an even more and control the key touch acute challenge, but bears points that engage considerable attention shoppers, build brand since this segment still equity, develop represents the majority. relationships and, above all, drive an attractive Whatever DSM initiative is return-on-investment. Evolution Insights Ltd is a private selected, the key is firstly limited company registered in the UK to get it used by shoppers with registered number 07006001. and secondly to make it influence their purchases Evolution Insights Ltd, Prospect accordingly. So, the House, 32 Sovereign Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4BJ. question then becomes, what is the awareness of © Evolution Insights Ltd. All rights different DSM techniques, reserved. and which do, or would, 6