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Shopper Marketing In Modern Trade

By Dipanjan Mukherjee | February 25, 2015

It important for companies to look at new shopper marketing possibilities, and it is equally important that the retailers make it easier for companies to implement innovative and ground breaking solution, says Nyka Miglani, Client Services Director, Geometry Global.


The last festive season witnessed yet another drama of brands jostling for communication space in Modern Trade. On entering a hypermarket during this season, all one encounters is a sea of branding and communication material. So much so that it becomes hard to even read the category headers or signage boards inside the store. Is this mass bombarding of in-store communication what effective shopper marketing is all about? Yes, sometimes it is.

During the festive season, there is already a lot of noise in the Modern Trade environment. Brands have to undertake overwhelming amounts of marketing in order to be noticed, and retailers cash in on the frenzy. Large scale point of sale solutions are seen during this season.

But what about the rest of the year? Larger than life retail solutions are prohibitively expensive and can be undertaken by select organisations once or at the most, twice a year. Suppliers, in partnership with retailers, therefore, have to learn a great deal about how to manage effective shopper marketing campaigns the rest of the year.

And it's not just about what happens at the primary aisle. It is important to understand the various types of shoppers, their journey right from the time they enter the store up to the final purchase -   depending on the category, this might happen either at the primary bay, secondary stocking touch point(s) or at check-out. The aim should be to clearly map out the necessary stocking and communication touch points based on the flow of traffic, relevant adjacencies and other brand promotions, in order to create a relevant shopper campaign.

Apart from understanding shopper behaviour and the journey to the final purchase, the use of digital media to engage and entice shoppers is another step in the evolution of this marketing science. Modern trade formats like hypermarkets are where buying behaviour can be influenced and altered through targeted and innovative solutions. Digital-led solutions are few and far between as compared to the West. There could be several reasons for this, ranging from the apprehension of shoppers to interact with a digital interface to the idea of using their smart phones beyond just communication and basic social media. Real time product led information through QR codes, NFC chips and mobile apps are just some of the ways digital can play an enriching role during a shopping trip. However, this would mean shoppers need to embrace mobile technology in a broader sense, which in itself is a huge challenge. With regards to companies or suppliers, the biggest hurdle is the investment in this type of solution, especially in the absence of ROI data. It will probably take a maverick organisation to bet on disruptive digital solutions by diverting funds from a large number of 'safe' vanilla communication touch points.

Whatever be the case, the point is that organisations are not tapping into the plethora of possibilities that shopper marketing solutions in Modern Trade have to offer. It is time for companies to take a leap towards this goal and it is equally important for the retailers to make it easier for companies to implement innovative and groundbreaking solutions.

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