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WHI T E PAPER                                                  The     Empowered         Shopper                By dr. r i...
Trigger                                                                               P re                                ...
Many brands are identifying and engaging                their purchases. They may be inspired to deviate fromwith influenc...
In-Store Technology Solutions. Interactive             Their experiences will contribute to determining theirtechnologies ...
Social Media. “When you have a problem, your        consumers to share their experiences with others;first instinct is not...
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The Empowered Shopper, By Dr. Rita Wheat, Group Director, Emerging Shopper Marketing & Retail Technologies, G2 USA


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The Empowered Shopper, By Dr. Rita Wheat, Group Director, Emerging Shopper Marketing & Retail Technologies, G2 USA

  1. 1. WHI T E PAPER The Empowered Shopper By dr. r ita Whe at purchase. They research products, look for offers, review the opinions of peers and experts, prepare g2 uS a shopping lists and select stores. Acquiring knowledgeC and gaining confidence are key as consumers evaluate onventional wisdom has always been the options, plan for the shopping trip and commit to that most brand purchase decisions are purchase decisions. made in the store. But with the new, • Point-of-Purchase. Consumers survey the digitally empowered consumer entering store, search for a product and select a particular the store better prepared than ever before, brand. They are able to compare products physicallyis the new reality that most purchase decisions are and select or deselect specific ones. They may alsomade at home or on the way to the store? The truth find inspiration in the form of product usage ideas,most likely lies somewhere in between. promotional offers, or other products or brands that How can manufacturers ensure that their brands they had not considered earlier. A positive shoppingare included in the consideration set and make the experience will reinforce the consumer’s commitmentfinal cut? They must identify shopper needs and to both the brand and the retailer.behaviors at every phase along the path-to-purchase • Experience. After purchase, the consumerand deliver relevant experiences that shape purchase experiences the product, interacting with the packaging and ultimately using the product. At this point,Are you ready to engage consumers will seek advice on stocking, preparation and usage. Positive usage experiences will provide validationconsumers along the that they made the right choice and reinforce brand commitment, which can influence future path-to-purchase? • Reflection. During this phase, consumers assess the entire experience, from pre-purchase to point-of- purchase to experience. A positive experience at eachdecisions, from pre-purchase to point-of-purchase, phase will reinforce brand commitment, while afrom consumption experience to post-experience negative one will lead to brand rejection. During thisreflection. phase, consumers will share their experiences with The 24/7 connectivity that mobile devices offer their peers and, in the process, review the opinions ofmeans that not only do consumers have access others. Those opinions have the potential to influenceto information while on-the-go and at the store, their own evaluations positively or negatively.but retailers and manufacturers have expanded Each of these phases can either reinforce or weakenopportunities to reach and influence them at key connections made with the brand in the previouspoints along the purchase decision journey. phase. Maximizing brand commitment requires first The digitally empowered shopper’s behaviors are understanding shopper needs and behaviors at eachcaptured in four phases of brand commitment that phase, then delivering against those needs as part of aoccur once a purchase journey has been triggered: comprehensive marketing plan that may include both • Pre-Purchase. During this phase, consumers digital and traditional initiatives. Our focus here is onactively seek out information that will influence digital initiatives.42 THE HUB  MAY/JUNE 2010
  2. 2. Trigger P re t ion -P lec ur • Assessing • Evaluating ch Ref • Accepting or • Planning a se Rejecting • Coordinating • Sharing • Retail Impression ase • Getting Inspired • Stocking • Qualifying • Consuming rc h • Selecting Ex • Purchasing ri Pu pe en f- ce -o Po i nt Path-to-Purchase: Shopper Needs and Behaviors S o u r c e : G2 USA Brand commitment, and thereby higher sales, can Website and Mobile Utilities. Marketers canbe achieved at each of these four phases by matching deploy a variety of web and mobile utilities toappropriate digital solutions to the goals and needs of overcome barriers-to-purchase and get their productsthree key players — the shopper, the manufacturer and on consumers’ shopping lists. A challenge for athe retailer. drugstore brand like CoverGirl is the inability of shoppers to try on cosmetics before purchasing e P r e-P u rc h A s e P h A s e For example, CoverGirl’s website offers the CG This digital journey begins in the pre-purchase Makeup Mirror, a virtual makeup try-on utility. Aphase, where consumers are focused on gathering user uploads her photo and applies cosmetics to it.information. Manufacturers meanwhile seek to drive Products may be saved to a shopping list, which canbrand engagement and commitment, while retailers be printed or sent to a mobile device, bringing thewant to drive consumers to their store to complete the user one step closer to making a purchase.purchase. A variety of online and mobile tools can be Marketers are adapting their existing websitedeployed to address the goals of all three players. utilities or creating new ones for mobile distribution. Search. Given that most consumers begin their Dunkin’ Donuts’ Dunkin’ Run app takes a socialproduct research using search engines, marketers approach to shopping trip preparation. Its Dunkin’are shifting more of their budgets to search engine Run website, mobile site and iPhone app make itmarketing (SEM) and ensuring that their websites easy for a user to compile separate coffee orders fromare search engine optimized (SEO). Some retailers, multiple friends and create one consolidated list thatlike Target, are taking advantage of paid search can be viewed in an email, on the mobile site or onresults to drive consumers directly to online circulars the app, or printed out to bring to the store.promoting special offers. Peer-to-Peer Communications. Customer reviews Reaching consumers through search can also be and recommendations greatly influence shopperextended to mobile devices, with the added bonus of GPS buying decisions. Mobile apps and websites alike arelocation-based results. Placecast’s mobile ad network integrating ratings and reviews into their offerings todelivers dynamic messaging based on consumer behavior influence consumers during their purchase decisionand location. A mobile user searching for running journey. Manufacturers and retailers of a wide rangeevents while walking near a Niketown, for example, of products are posting user ratings and comments onwould be alerted to running gear sold nearby. their websites. MAY/JUNE 2010  THE HUB 43
  3. 3. Many brands are identifying and engaging their purchases. They may be inspired to deviate fromwith influencers through social media to help shape their planned purchases by any new information theyconsumer decisions during the purchase journey. acquire at the store.Rubbermaid deploys a blogger outreach program to In this phase, the manufacturer is focused onget the message out about product benefits through increasing share-of-basket, whereas the retailer isthe voice of the consumer. focused on increasing basket size, but both want to It provides bloggers with product samples and make it as easy as possible for shoppers to find theencourages them to discuss their experiences with items they are seeking.others. General Mills’ word-of-mouth network, Pssst…, Mobile Utilities. Mobile should be an integralgives connected members the inside track on new part of marketers’ in-store shopper strategies,products and special offers, encouraging them to providing consumers with the information they needshare with others. at the point-of-sale. Calls-to-action can be placed in Content Distribution and Digital Toolkits. Since any media — shelf talkers, packaging, circulars — withconsumers rely on a variety of online resources to response initiation via SMS, QR codes or barcodes.research products — manufacturer sites, retailer sites, For example, fashion designer Norma Kamalithird-party review sites, blogs — it makes sense to deployed QR codes at her flagship store duringextend the content reach beyond websites via content Fashion Week in New York, providing mobile userspartnerships. The Grocery Shopper Network makes it with videos, photos and promotions for specificeasy for consumer packaged-goods manufacturers to items. Scanbuy’s Packaging Connect will allowdistribute content, such as recipes, to grocer websites. manufacturers to link their barcodes to a host of Additionally, contextually relevant ad placements digital content, providing mobile users with easyon those sites offer the ability to add advertised access to valuable information.products to shopping lists directly from within the The Tesco Finder iPhone app helps consumersads. Kraft Foods’ is a resource create shopping lists and locate stores. But morefor recipes and store promotions exclusive to Publix. important, it enhances the in-store experience: Digital Coupons. As consumers look for ways to Using the app’s search functionality when at a storestretch their budgets and as newspaper circulation will provide details on the product’s price and anydeclines, coupon websites, such as and promotion, as well as its location, down to aisle, are experiencing record-breaking shelf. The Tesco Wine Finder app, powered by a visualtraffic, stealing share from newspaper FSIs. Mobile search engine, gives users detailed information aboutcoupons are also becoming increasingly popular. wines when they take photos of the label.These coupons tend to have higher redemption Social Shopping Technologies. Amazon.comrates than print coupons (five percent to 20 percent revolutionized social shopping years ago by applyingcompared with one percent for print coupons), collaborative filtering algorithms, based on peerbecause while consumers often forget to take their product purchases and ratings, to product recommen-coupons to the store, they will rarely leave their mobile dations. Some marketers are looking beyond peerdevices behind. ratings, enabling consumers to interact with a smaller, Target’s mobile coupons, delivered to opt-in more trusted group of people they actually know —subscribers on a monthly basis, are scannable on a that is, friends and family — while they shop onlineredeemer’s mobile device at check out. For now, the or offline.program is one-size-fits-all, but is likely to be tailored Social shopping technologies let consumersto individual interests and purchase behavior in the connect virtually with friends at the point-of-decision.future. Mobile coupon apps, such as Yowza!!, take utilizes DecisionStep’s ShopTogetheradvantage of the iPhone’s GPS capabilities to deliver technology that enables shoppers to share onlineelectronic coupons for a variety of retailers and quick- shopping sessions with their friends and get the socialservice restaurants based on a user’s physical location. validation necessary to complete their purchases. members share photos of andth e Poi n t- of -P u rc h A s e P h A s e comments about purchases with friends via Facebook During the point-of-purchase phase, consumers and Twitter. A planned augmented reality mobile appare focused on retrieving the research and offers they will allow users to walk into a store and “see” whathad amassed during the pre-purchase phase — finding other members have previously purchased andthe products, making their selections and completing commented on.44 THE HUB  MAY/JUNE 2010
  4. 4. In-Store Technology Solutions. Interactive Their experiences will contribute to determining theirtechnologies are being deployed at retail to bring the brand loyalty and what they will share with to life, to provide personalized experiences and Depending on the type of purchase, the approval ofsolutions, and to help shoppers find the products that others may play a role.are right for them. Ukrop’s loyalty program members For example, a mom who has purchased Raguscan their cards at Savings Spot kiosks when they pasta sauce for dinner will take her family’s feedbackarrive at a Ukrop’s grocery store in order to receive into consideration when later evaluating the experience.personalized circulars. In this phase, both manufacturers and retailers can Modiv Media’s Scan It! system for supermarkets provide usage ideas and customer service solutions tocombines shopper data (loyalty card purchase ensure positive brand experiences.and redemption history), contextual data (radio- Product Usage Guidance. Providing purchasersfrequency identification, or RFID) and behavioral data with guidance, advice and suggestions can ensure(products put in the shopping cart) to deliver targeted that consumers have positive brand experiences. Theadvertising and promotions. Shoppers scan their QR codes that Springer Mountain Farms places on itsloyalty card at a Scan It! kiosk to access a handheld chicken packaging allows mobile users immediatescanner device. They scan items as they put them in access to recipes and promotions at the company’stheir cart and get cross-promotions and special offers. mobile website. In-Store Digital Networks. In-store digital screens Recipes on packaging are commonplace, butand networks remind shoppers of brand associations QR codes add an element of flexibility. The recipesor give compelling reasons to purchase a particular associated with a particular QR code can change bybrand at the point-of-purchase. The Walmart Smart the time of day they are scanned (a breakfast ideaNetwork, for example, deploys message optimization versus a dinner idea), the day they are scanned (atechnologies that enable the delivery of targeted content quick weekday dinner casserole versus a slow-cookedby store, by screen location, by day and by time of day. stew on weekends) or the season (a Thanksgiving New technologies are adding additional layers recipe versus a Christmas one).of personalization to these screens. METRO’s Mobile and online videos are also helpful inExtra Future Store in Rheinberg, Germany, has enhancing the brand experience and ensuringexperimented with linking in-store screens to RFID success, providing step-by-step guidance on how toproduct tags. When shoppers pick up tagged Pantene use a product. DKNY’s iPhone app for its Cozy wrapproducts, for example, an overhead screen delivers serves as a personal fashion stylist, advising users oncross-promotional product offers. the different ways to wear the versatile garment with YCD Multimedia is testing facial-recognition instructional to enhance in-store screen messaging. A Customer Service Utilities. Digital toolsshopper’s facial features — nose size and shape, eyes, can be used to help ensure that consumers havecheekbones, jawline — are analyzed to determine the positive brand experiences. Live Chat is a methodshopper’s particular demographics, resulting in highly of responding to customer questions directly in realtargeted advertisements. time through online chat technology. It is useful Many of these stand-alone technology solutions during the pre-purchase phase, when consumers areand in-store digital networks will eventually be conducting product research on websites and areintegrated into consumers’ personal mobile devices. having difficulty navigating the sites or determiningPlacecast’s ShopAlerts program uses “geo-fencing” which products are right for to pinpoint messaging by location, Live Chat is often used during the point-of-purchaseconnecting opt-in consumers at the right time and phase by online retailers, who can proactively invite aright place. Pilot programs with retailers, including shopper to chat when they sense that she may be aboutAmerican Eagle Outfitters, indicate that location to abandon her shopping cart. During the experiencetriggered messaging yields a positive impact on store phase, Live Chat customer service representatives canvisits and purchases. address consumers’ usage questions. visitors can access CoverGirl’sth e e x Pe r i e nc e P h A s e Live Chat Beauty Consultants from every page of the During the experience phase, when consumers site to get advice about how to apply the productsexperience their purchases and validate their brand they have purchased. These sessions present anchoices, they seek usage directions and suggestions. opportunity to promote additional products. MAY/JUNE 2010  THE HUB 45
  5. 5. Social Media. “When you have a problem, your consumers to share their experiences with others;first instinct is not to call customer service because to send them replenishment reminders; and to cross-it’s going to be painful,” says Salesforce senior vice promote products that may be of interest to them.president Alex Dayon. Rather, consumers turn to Williams-Sonoma’s emails invite consumers tosocial media where they can resolve issues on their return to the site to review purchases, stressing theown by interacting with one another. importance of those reviews to both the company Companies such as Comcast, JetBlue and Starbucks and other shoppers. Neiman Marcus sends emails toare engaging their customers on Twitter, responding customers who purchased beauty products online toto inquiries within hours in a public forum and turning remind them that it is time to purchase again.customers into fans. Loyalty Programs. Retailers, the travel and Many companies are also enabling these customer hospitality industry, and financial services haveself-service discussions by creating forums on their long used loyalty rewards programs to strengthenwebsites. Nestlé’s community relationships with their customers. Some manufacturersmessage boards feature discussions on a wide range are offering rewards for more than just productof baking topics, for example. So, a consumer who purchases. For instance, Huggies’ rewards programis uncertain about how to prepare an on-pack cookie lets parents earn points by registering and interactingrecipe can tap into the wisdom of other visitors to the on the website,, withmessage board. points subsequently redeemed for sweepstakes entries and e r e f l e c t ion P h A s e Others are integrating social media as a core During the reflection phase, consumers evaluate element of their loyalty programs. Tasti D-Lite’stheir entire purchase journey. Their evaluation will TastiRewards loyalty program links its point-of-impact retailer and brand loyalty and what they will sale system with Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare,share with others. In this phase, both manufacturers allowing registered members to broadcast theirand retailers can provide rewards for brand or store purchases on a variety of social media platforms,choice, encourage purchasers to share their positive earning program points. The location-sharing elementexperiences and trigger the purchase cycle again by lets consumers spread awareness of new stores as theproviding repurchase reminders. company continues its worldwide expansion efforts. Social Media. While peer-to-peer and expertreviews play an important role during pre-purchase th e r igh t m i xproduct research, they also play a role post-purchase. Digital technologies have revolutionized theAfter making purchases, consumers go online to voice shopping landscape, empowering consumers andtheir opinions in social media. In doing so, they may permanently altering the way they interact with — andreview what others have said, which could influence shop for — brands.their final evaluations. These technologies present marketers and For example, a consumer who had little success retailers with a plethora of innovative and excitingwith an on-pack macaroni recipe may go online to opportunities to reach, engage and influencewrite a review of the product and recipe, and find that consumers. Winners in this new world are navigatingothers are confidently posting positive experiences. ways to best deploy technologies along the purchaseThis may convince her to repurchase the product and decision journey to maximize brand commitment,give the recipe another shot. delivering consumers the right mix of information, CoverGirl’s Facebook page encourages fans solutions, inspiration and community. At home. In-to share their product experiences and engage store. And on the go. nfurther with the brand in social media. Stickybitsmarries barcodes, location-based services and socialnetworking to reveal what it calls “the secret lives DR. RITA WhEAT is director of digitalof objects.” Users scan product barcodes to view strategy and research at G2 USA. She is responsible for translating consumercomments, photos and videos left by others, and to and market insights into interactiveupload their own content, which is tagged by location strategies and initiatives. She mayand broadcast via Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare. be reached at 212-537-4962 or Post-Purchase Communications. Online marketers post-purchase email communications to encourage46 THE HUB  MAY/JUNE 2010