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Nearly half of food and beverage category shoppers and almost 60 percent of health/beauty and household goods category shoppers buy their favored brand even when a cheaper alternative is available, with many shoppers using coupons and price promotions to justify the more expensive purchase, according to initial findings of a shopper marketing study from the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), global management consulting firm Booz & Co., and online consumer community SheSpeaks. “Shopper Marketing 3.0: Unleashing the Next Wave of Value” analyzes survey data collected from 3,600 shoppers across the food and beverage, household products, and health and beauty categories, and encompassing various retail formats.
“This research shows us that even in a recession, more often than not, shoppers are making purchase decisions based on factors other than price,” said Brian Lynch, director of sales and sales promotion for Washington-based GMA. “This key finding reinforces the notion that there is significant opportunity to influence shopper behavior by having the right messages in place along the entire path to purchase.”
The research additionally found significant differences among product categories that make specific shopper marketing tactics more effective. For instance, shelf signage and end cap displays are almost twice as effective in driving impulse purchases in the food and beverage category. This is demonstrated by a much higher incidence of impulse purchases for food and beverage shoppers (73 percent of shoppers making at least one impulse purchase per trip) vs. the household products and health and beauty categories (41 percent and 39 percent, respectively).
“This new study captures real consumer insight and behavior, giving GMA and its members a much deeper understanding of the shopping experience and what influences purchases both in and out of the store,” noted Aliza Freud, founder and CEO of SheSpeaks. “By enlisting an online community of consumers as part of this study, we uncovered significant opportunities to influence purchases throughout the buying process. For instance, we learned that more than three-quarters of shoppers conduct research, often for an hour or more, before they shop, and that 41 percent of items purchased were brands that the shopper had a strong preference for before entering the store.”
“Most CPG manufacturers have not yet aligned shopper marketing initiatives with other marketing capabilities that influence shoppers along the entire path to purchase, such as trade promotions, relationship marketing and brand advertising,” said Matthew Egol, partner in New York-based Booz’s Consumer, Media & Digital practice. “The lack of alignment leads to disconnected marketing messages, wasted spending, and missed opportunities to drive purchase. For shopper marketing to fulfill its potential, CPG companies must manage it as a strategic capability that is integrated throughout the marketing value chain.”
“Shopper Marketing 3.0” also stresses the need to identify shopper marketing effectiveness measures to help companies devote their resources to the most successful shopper marketing tactics. For-instance, savvy companies are looking at the incremental profit impact from shopper marketing programs and developing dashboard metrics to gauge shopper marketing’s sustained effect on brand equity.
An executive summary of “Shopper Marketing 3.0: Unleashing the Next Wave of Value” can be found at www.gmaonline.org/publications. The full report is due out in December 2009.