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Marketing to Shoppers at Every Touchpoint

Brands and retailers must target consumers pre-shop, in-store and post-shop

January 13, 2011

Traditionally, retailers and consumer products brands have relied mostly on offline media and promotion to deploy shopper marketing programs that help drive sales, secure customer loyalty and encourage trial of new products. However, as digital media and technology have grown more pervasive in consumers’ lives, they play an increasingly significant role in decision-making at each phase of the shopping process.

“Consumers’ daily interactions with digital media, technology and content have dramatically altered the shopping experience,” said Tobi Elkin, eMarketer writer/analyst and author of the new report “Shopper Marketing Insight: Embracing Digital Touchpoints.” “Retailers and consumer products brands must rethink and refine shopper marketing initiatives and incorporate digital elements throughout the shopping process.”

In the pre-shop phase, that means providing cash-strapped and time-starved consumers with tools and resources to get the best deals and make the shopping experience as easy and convenient as possible. US shoppers are already using a variety of digital shopping tools, according to research from the In-Store Marketing Institute, which brands and retailers should leverage by tailoring communications according to specific consumer need states and shopper demographics.

US Shoppers Who Have Used At-Home Digital Shopping Tools, by Type, Sep 2010 (% of respondents)

In-store, there are several uses of digital technology, such as self-checkouts and kiosks, that shoppers use or would be interested in using, according to the same study. Consumers are receptive to tools that give them a tangible benefit, like saving time, and will respond to value-added services provided by retailers.

While in-store digital technologies and media will play a significant role, mobile is the linchpin for next-generation shopper marketing. Location-based check-ins and in-store mobile are starting to become significant for both retailers and brand marketers. And in the post-shop phase brands and retailers should find creative ways to encourage shoppers to share their stories on social media.

US Shoppers Who Have Used or Are Interested in Using In-Store Technology, by Type, Sep 2010 (% of respondents)

“Since there are more points along the path to purchase than ever, retailers and brand marketers must continuously iterate and experiment with persuasion tactics and engagement strategies online, offline, in-store and via mobile,” said Elkin.


The full report, “Shopper Marketing Insight: Embracing Digital Touchpoints,” also answers these key questions:

  • Why is shopper marketing important?
  • What is the consumer’s path to purchase?
  • How do digital media and marketing influence each shopping stage?
  • How are brands and retailers leveraging digital and mobile platforms for shopper marketing?

To purchase the report, click here. Total Access clients, log in and view the report now.


Check out today’s other article, “Who Looks for News Online and on TV?

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