Although still in its relative infancy, the Shopper Marketing discipline is gathering pace in Australia, with 60% of recent national industry survey participants implementing Shopper Marketing activities. Traditional Category Management, pioneered in the 80’s, has now evolved and spawned a child, being Shopper Marketing.

ShopAbility is an Australian leader in Shopper Marketing thinking and application. In 2010 we conducted the first  POPAI/ShopAbility Shopper Marketing Industry Benchmark Survey  (supported by TorchMedia), providing a clear picture of where the industry is currently at, and where it’s going.  ShopAbility Director Peter Huskins is Chair of the POPAI Shopper Marketing Industry Council, a working group  of industry leaders set up by POPAI in response to survey feedback that the industry needs a body to provide support and direction for the Shopper Marketing discipline in Australia.

The Australian study, entitled ‘Shopper Marketing – The Journey Begins’ (© ShopAbility 2010), is available from our survey partners POPAI, on this link.

What is Shopper Marketing?

POPAI’s Shopper Marketing Industry Council (SMIC) has developed the following Australian definition for Shopper Marketing:

“The application of shopper insights along the path to purchase, to affect purchase behaviour in order to increase sales for both retailers and manufacturers”.

This definition varies slightly from the US Retail Commission on Shopper Marketing one, which believes that building manufacturer brand equity is part of the shopper equation. We believe brand equity is built out of store, the role of the store is to get conversion whilst supporting (or at least not eroding) brand equity.

Shopper  Marketing uses many of the same tools and techniques that consumer marketing does, it’s just that the lens is different. (prestore, not just instore). Historically consumer/brand marketing has owned ‘above the line’ and to a lesser extent digital media, but this is changing  with the advent of mobile and social media which allows brands and retailers to contact shoppers with offers wherever they are… not just in store.
Fig 1
The scope of what is considered included in Shopper Marketing is broad, and includes ‘traditional’ category management (see Figure 1 ). Shopper Marketing includes activities currently falling under the current labels of Customer/Account Marketing, Trade Marketing, Retail Marketing, Merchandising, Activations and Instore Presence.

So rather than being a new discipline in and of itself, Shopper Marketing is in essence an amalgam and evolution of shopper and retailer facing functions already in existence, albeit with some broader marketing elements thrown in.

The inclusions are not limited to traditional executions, with in-store media the third most cited activity type and ambient/sensory in-store experience coming in 8th. This is indicative of the ‘emotional , not just rational’ line , underscored by nearly all survey participants’ identification of ‘instore theatre’ as an area of opportunity.

Retailer clean store policies notwithstanding, the above demonstrates that companies are broadening their perspective on what Shopper Marketing activities are, even if they are not yet actually trialling or implementing some of the ‘newer’ forms.

ShopAbility can help you navigate the Shopper Marketing landscape and prioritise the strategies and activities that will yield best business results – based on our years of experience and understanding of the trade. Visit the main Shopper Marketing page to find out more about our services in this area.