Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cracking the code: Shopper Insights

As market researchers, we know that high gas prices, high unemployment, and stagnant incomes have changed the way consumers make decisions. We know that these factors, among others, contribute to less discretionary spending, more conscious spending and fewer shopping trips. These are macro-trends that are likely effecting how consumers decide where, what, and how products will be purchased.

Despite the economy and altered decision-making processes, your shopper still needs to shop. Let’s assume for a moment that you are retailer. What do you know about your shopper’s behavior in regards to your particular store? Is she making less frequent trips? Purchasing fewer items? Is she switching to different brands or price points? Is she using more coupons? What is she looking for in your store, and are you delivering?

Behavioral information, as used by by shopper marketing, can offer powerful insights to marketers seeking more effective ways of influencing decisions within the store. Shopper insights can help gauge perceptions, opinions, feelings, and attitudes of shoppers as they specifically relate to your store. By narrowing the focus from macro consumer trends to shopper insights, we can garner a much more robust and colorful picture of how shoppers are approaching their decisions within our stores (assuming limited irrationality with high price sensitivity and need for value).

By attending TMRE this year in Orlando, you’ll learn much more about shopper insights and how shopping can become more personal, and a much more experiential activity for those entering your retail space.

Garrett McGuire is a Consumer Insights Analyst for a major retailer. His areas of focus are advertising research, brand equity, and providing consumer insights for many marketing initiatives. Prior to his current position, he was a graduate student at Michigan State University where he began his blog, "The Journal of mAD Man" that explains the theories and methods of advertising.

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