Making shopping a science

This month, along with the announcement of our retail alliance with AOL, Mediabrands unveiled of a new shopper market agency called Shopper Sciences. Retail veteran and Mediabrands EVP, John Ross will head the agency which will focus on the key influence factors in shoppers’ journey from undecided to decided.

Utilizing a range of tools from across Mediabrands, and relying heavily on the Lab, the new shopper marketing agency will have the ability to pinpoint the media sources that move a shopper from indecision to decision, evaluate the barriers to purchase at different points within the purchase cycle.   The agency will use influence research to reveal points where the shopping process fails to meet consumers’ needs.  By also partnering with Geomentum it will provide clients with location-based insights and customer traffic to retail locations.

The Lab sat down with John Ross to discuss the future of the Shopper Sciences Agency. Continue reading “Making shopping a science”

How shoppers make choices

How do shoppers make choices? (iStock)The laptops are arranged in neat rows, seemingly endless black rectangles each glowing with bright blue screens. I point out to my daughter what the numbers on the little signs next to computer mean. I show her how to evaluate the features – Longer battery life, more RAM, bigger hard drive, larger screen, total weight. With each model comes a trade off, and after a few minutes I can tell she is getting confused. “Look, decide what features are most important to you, and then choose based on that,” I tell her. She nods, then proceeds to look at the back of each computer, and to feel the touch pad on each one.

My daughter finally stops at a mid-priced Sony and nods. Good brand, good choice, I think to myself. I glance at the features – seems like she picked one with a good balance of performance and portability. I tell her she’s a smart kid, figuring out what is best from amongst all those feature trade-offs. “It wasn’t that,” she tells me. “It’s a pretty silver color, not boring like all those others. And I liked the way the keypad felt.” Continue reading “How shoppers make choices”

Focus on shopper marketing

Shopper marketing (iStock)The Lab is proud to announce our partnership with the In-Store Marketing Institute. We’ve partnered to provide our clients with greater insight into the shopper marketing field, and the Institute will be an integral part of our Retail Experience Center which is opening in 2010. We sat down over email to discuss what shopper marketing is and why it’s so important to retailers right now.

Lab: Shopper Marketing seems like hot new buzzword for marketers—for our readers who may not be familiar with in-store marking, how do you define it?

Institute: You’re right that “shopper marketing” is a hot area. So hot, in fact, that a fair amount of time and energy is being spent on a workable industry-wide definition by some of the major study groups, such as our “Retail Commission on Shopper Marketing.” Continue reading “Focus on shopper marketing”

How retailers can tap into pre-shopping

How retailers can harness the power of pre-shopping (iStock)Let’s go shopping.

Those three words used to mean climbing into the car and heading to the local mall. But for today’s connected consumer it more likely means going online, hitting the blogs, following a Facebook trail, or sending out a tweet–all without ever visiting a single retail location.

Two recent surveys show that at least 30% and as much as 70% of consumers who bought retail reported pre-shopping for information about a product before shopping a physical store (ARG, “Pre-shopping and the ever changing role of retail” January 2009). And these numbers are up almost 20% since the same survey less than two years ago. Continue reading “How retailers can tap into pre-shopping”

All eyes on shopper marketing

shoppermarketingBrands are rethinking marketing strategies, analyzing what is working and what isn’t. In this economic climate, marketers are re-evaluating this year’s budgets. Some are turning away from big ticket buys in TV and print, and looking for the most accountable and measurable opportunities that lead to sales lift. With the emphasis on direct results,  shopper marketing is suddenly all the buzz. Apple’s decision to withdraw from MacWorld, is a recent example of a brand adjusting marketing budgets to focus their retail efforts.

Bill Gerba, CEO of WireSpring, points out in a recent article that there has been a substantial increase in marketers’ interest in shopper marketing based on THE HUB’s survey results from the past three years. This year’s data indicates that 45% of respondents have an integrated process in place and 64% have established budgets for planning and executing shopper marketing initiatives. This is in contrast to marketers’ very limited knowledge of the opportunities in 2006. Continue reading “All eyes on shopper marketing”