How to unlock shopper potential by getting under their skin and influencing them to act to increase sales is a top priority for retailers and brands.

While there isn’t a magic formula per se there are several tools and techniques we can deploy.

Over the next four weeks we’ll be sharing our know-how with tips and inspiration to help you unlock shopper potential. We kick off with our five top tips:

  1. See the world through the eyes of your shopper
    When was the last time you shopped as your customers do? You need to get out there to really understand your retail space. Take time out to shop best in class and flagship stores both in and out of category – if you sell car wash, don’t assume John Lewis can’t teach you a trick or too! This is about quality not quantity. Shop at leisure and open your eyes to what’s around you. A retail tour will end with you feeling inspired and on top of the latest happenings – through the eyes of your shoppers.
  1. Let your shoppers surprise you
    You know your brand inside out; what sells, what doesn’t, who the competitors are, what latest marketing techniques are being deployed. One of the biggest marketing blunders is to assume this information means you truly have an appreciation of your customer too. Shoppers have an amazing knack for surprise. It’s vital to get to grips with what makes them tick, how they view the world and how they prefer to shop. This doesn’t always have to involve a costly piece of research. You can learn a lot by simply observing people shop. You may just find that what you think they want, they don’t want at all. This insight has shaped some of the most successful campaigns and new product developments.
  1. Cast off the sales funnel
    The buying process is no longer linear with prospects entering at any stage and often jumping between them. People experience a brand in many different ways before purchase. A study by Google revealed the average shopper uses 10.4 sources of information to make a purchasing decision. This makes unraveling the complicated and convoluted shopper journey more complex than ever. What’s important is to ensure brand consistency with the right message delivered at the right time, dependent on where they are on their journey.
  1. Deploy a shopper impact plan
    Brand consistency is resolute for any integrated campaign, but don’t make the mistake of thinking this means saying the same thing everywhere. Rather success is about a consistent tone of voice and personality. A shopper impact plan will define the points at which you need to influence shoppers and the content necessary to make them act – getting the right message in the right place at the right time that reflects a consistent brand personality.
  1. Listen!
    You understand your retail environment and know your shoppers inside and out, you have mapped out their touch points and identified which messages to deliver when. It’s time to combine everything you know into a creative marketing campaign that will resonate, engage and influence shoppers to act. Easy?! Too many times we see marketers struggle with making a step-change. Perhaps something in your research isn’t what you expected, perhaps the board believe a new product direction/proposition is the right way but this contradicts insight, perhaps you’ve always taken a particular creative route that all your competitors rely on too. In a world where there is rarely a magic formula for success, here we have one -listen to your shoppers and give them what they want.

We don’t always have the time or in-house expertise to plan a retail tour, develop shopper insight or an impact plan, which is why we’re here. If you’d like help with any of the points above – as a one-off project or as an on-going partnership Please get in touch.

Next week we will be sharing inspiration from one of the leading lights in home retail.

Sue Benson, Managing Director, The Market Creative