In this chapter we define digital shopper marketing, present a framework to classify digital shopper marketing tools, and briefly explain some of its benefits.
Today is the day after Facebook’s IPO. It was the hot topic during the last weeks and everybody was waiting anxiously for the day to come. Although the stock closed without mayor surprises, Facebook still achieved a market value of 104 billion US dollars turning the IPO into the third-largest of US history. Even the last critic of social media should have recognised its potential by now.
But how can companies make use of digital media to communicate with shoppers?
Shopper marketing is “the employment of any marketing stimuli, developed based on a deep understanding of shopper behavior [shopper insight], designed to build brand equity, engage the shopper (i.e., an individual in “shopping mode”), and lead him/her to make a purchase.”¹
Hence, Digital Shopper Marketing is “shopper marketing making use of all forms of communication that are delivered using a binary electronic format, utilizing technology such as computers, mobile devices and screens.”²
To classify different types of digital marketing, In-Store Marketing Institute proposes a straightforward taxonomy according to the stage at which digital media influences the shopper³.
Next, are vehicles that influence positively consumer demand as for example search engine optimization (SEO), social networks or smartphone apps.
At home, where shoppers usually engage in the purchase planning process, digital coupons and retailer websites can facilitate the decision-making process.
During the On-the-go stage, mobile search and shopping apps are among the prevalent marketing tools.
Finally, in-store digital media such as kiosks/ digital signage and mobile scanners can help marketers to improve the shopping experience by instantly providing necessary information.
Digital shopper marketing thus enables marketers to accompany shoppers during the entire path to purchase by providing relevant and customized content specific to every stage. Moreover, especially the appearance of smartphones increasingly blurs the clear distinction between at home, on-the-go, and in-store. As digital devices increasingly enter our daily lives, it becomes essential to marketers to understand and adapt rapidly to these recent development.
In the US, there are currently 221 million internet users compared to 292 million television viewers. Mobile device penetration increases rapidly. According to industry analysts, it is expected that by 2014 most people will access internet via mobile devices. Already today, some 60% of purchase decisions include at least some kind of prior online research at home.
It thus becomes necessary for marketers to incorporate digital shopper marketing tools to offer its costumers the appropriate means to improve the shopping experience. The benefits for both FMCG and retailer can be gigantic⁴.
Retailers, in turn, can use digital shopper marketing to increase store traffic, to foster shopper loyalty, and to offer one-stop solutions by click-to-brick integration.
Considering the above-mentioned, digital shopper marketing is a must for both retailers and FMCG. Although, opportunities to communicate with shoppers are infinite, companies should carefully evaluate which media to use. Given the sheer amount of apps, websites, and other digital marketing tools available, shoppers punish half-hearted approaches with ignorance.
Hence, a clear and consistent strategy for digital shopper marketing is vital to any company that wants to survive in the modern retail industry.
In Chapter VII we will provide you with information on how to execute and measure digital shopper marketing.
Also read our post on Best Practices for Digital Shopper Marketing.
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