Shopper Missions Sit at the Heart of Any Successful Shopper Marketing Strategy

Inperspective, shopper missions


Understanding who your shoppers are and what tactics will engage them is vital if you want to influence them to buy, but that alone is not enough! Shoppers are not loyal to retailers, they shop at stores that will best serve their needs at that moment in time.


The challenge for most retailers and manufacturers is that shoppers often leave the store without fulfilling all of their needs either because they forgot to buy, didn’t realise that they needed it, couldn’t find what they were looking for, or felt that the price was more than they were prepared to pay.


On average, shoppers do nine different shopping missions (trips) per week!


This doesn’t seem feasible when there are only seven days in a week but shoppers may go to different stores on the same day to fulfill a variety of different needs. Take a typical Saturday morning for example; a shopper could go to Woolies to get food for the weekend, go to Pick ‘n Pay to top-up on branded household products, go to Dischem to buy Personal Care and medicinal products and then buy chips when they are filling up with Petrol as a snack on the way home.


Shopper Missions are the most critical component to any Shopper Marketing strategy. The shopping mission is their reason for coming to the store and indicative of the types of categories they will buy. We need to understand what our shoppers’ needs are when they come into the store and how best we can meet these in order to get a larger share of their basket.


Shoppers will make their selection as to which retailer to shop at based on the shopping mission that they plan to do.


The better able we are to meet shoppers needs on different shopper missions, the greater chance we have of getting more shoppers into our stores, more often and spending more each time.

Shoppers behave differently on different missions, so the way we engage them needs to differ too.


Foremost in their mind is how well the stores’ range will fulfill their needs, however, as part of their decision making process as to where to shop, shoppers will make trade-off’s depending on the mission they are on.


For example if they are doing a ‘bulk grocery replenishment’ they may be prepared to trade off convenience for better prices. Similarly price may be less of a consideration to shoppers who are shopping for a ‘special occasion’, where range, freshness and quality become more important, and therefore, worth paying more for.


Shoppers’ openness to impulse products, the role of broadsheets and their price sensitivity will vary depending on the type of mission they are doing, which means that the tactics we use to engage our shoppers should be tailored to meet their needs for that particular mission.


While some shoppers may have a list or have made a mental note of what to buy, most shoppers shop by mission, not by category. In other words, they may have specific items that they intend to buy but invariably will also have broader needs, such as ‘food for the week’ and in many cases can be enticed to buy something they see, if they feel they need it. This means that if we understand their needs, we can get them to put other categories in the basket.


Shoppers will walk different parts of the store on different missions and see different things when they are in the store. When shoppers navigate their way through the stores they have ‘relevance filters’ on which means they are more likely to notice certain activations because they are appropriate for or relevant to their needs at that moment in time.


If we want to capture a larger share of their basket, we need to have the right solutions for their shopping mission. These need to be merchandised together or in a logical place, so they know where to find what they are looking for with reminders next to other relevant categories to entice them to buy other products that weren’t top priority when they came into the store.


It’s Complicated!


While there is often a single idea behind successful shopper marketing campaigns, effective Shopper Marketing strategies require more than this. We need to understand where to prioritise, how to activate across the 5P’s and how we can change behaviour. In order to do this we need to understand our shoppers’ needs and how to differentiate across different retail environments.
Insight into Shopper Missions can help one activate effectively across the 5P’s. This insight informs:


5Ps: Activation implications from INSIGHT and Shopper Missions.
Product Range: Breadth of range in terms of categories and segments stocked as well as most relevant pack formats
Placement: Category adjacencies (floor layout), home self segmentation and the need for, and location of, secondary sitings.
Price & Promotion: The role and potential influence of price and promotions in driving basket performance.
POP Communication: How to talk to your shopper; do you need to remind them, trigger an impulse purchase, offer them a solution etc?


But we need to make it simple for our shoppers…



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