Creating value with shopper solutions

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Creating value with shopper solutions

By Dennis J. Belcastro - 11/01/2011

Recently the Grocery Manufacturers Association released its fifth annual shopper marketing study, titled "Creating Value with Shopper Solutions," authored by Matthew Egol, a partner at Booz & Company Consumer, Media & Digital, and supported by John Ross, chief executive officer of Shopper Sciences.

This year's study reveals that leading CPG manufacturers and retailers are increasingly adopting a solution-based approach to amplify the impact of their shopper marketing investments. The study was designed to accomplish the following:

  • Identify the characteristics of winning shopper solution events and programs
  • Provide tangible examples of effective solutions and their objectives, insights, vision, execution and results
  • Define the capabilities needed to deliver customizable-at-scale shopper solution programs
  • Highlight future opportunities in shopper solutions

As marketers increasingly come to understand that consumer behavior is not always a predictor of shopping behavior, they are becoming more focused on what drives shopper choice, in both online and physical stores. Retailers also are finding that their wealth of transaction data on what people bought doesn't give them true insights into why shoppers behave the way they do. Retail merchandising and marketing leaders are rethinking everything from store layout to promotional displays and even in-store education and training of key store personnel.

The evolution of shopper marketing is best understood as an ongoing drive to deliver and capture even greater value from manufacturer and retailer collaboration.

The evolution of shopper marketing is best understood as an ongoing drive to deliver and capture even greater value from manufacturer and retailer collaboration. The discipline of shopper marketing emerged from the realization that influencing consumers when they are in shopping mode can enhance sales and return on investment. Shopper marketing spending grew rapidly as manufacturers established retailer-specific budgets distinct from–but often closely coordinated with–trade promotions.

The next leap forward came when manufacturers broadened their focus to reach shoppers along their path to purchase, which includes home and on-the-go as well as in-store. The imperative to increase reach and share of voice across a full path to purchase, and the proliferation of vehicles needed to achieve those goals, added much more complexity to the choices confronting shopper marketers.

The most recent evolutionary stage in shopper marketing is the rise of shopper solutions. Shopper solutions are insight-driven events that often feature two or more products that shoppers can purchase together. They can deliver incremental value to shoppers in their shopping and product experiences, and thus simultaneously build brand engagement and drive consumer action of purchasing multiple items with a particular solution in mind.

Dennis J. Belcastro
Executive Vice President
Industry Affairs & Collaboration Grocery Manufacturers Association