Many people often mistake the role of the shopper and the consumer. Whilst they are sometimes one and the same person, often the shopper is not the end consumer and it is only by making this distinction that we can truly understand what engages and motivates the person making the actual purchase. After all it is their shopping experience that retailers will want to enhance to gain shopper engagement.
In some shopping categories such as toys for example, the number of shoppers who are not consumers is very high, since children do not tend to buy their own toys. This is also true of sectors such as male personal care and beer, the shoppers tend to be women, but the end consumers are men. How then can retailers engage with their shoppers if they are not the end user?
Someone who uses a brand will have a different experience from someone who simply buys the brand for another user. How you approach engaging the shopper therefore will be different if they are not the end consumer. Take beer as an example, if the majority of shoppers are women but end consumers are men there is not much point in having taste testing sessions in store to encourage people to buy as the ones tasting the beer will not be the ones drinking it and therefore may not be inclined to make the purchase.
Ultimately a consumer choice is different to a shopper choice. So the shopper marketer needs to take this into account when planning engagement strategies. Understanding shopper data is key to gaining insight into shopper behaviour.
It is important to take heed of data to determine what proportion of shoppers are end consumers and if this is a small ratio, can anything be done to send a message back to the consumer in the form of free samples or leaflets about new products? If the shopper is not the consumer what is it that triggers impulse purchases and how can you use this information to align activity to influence shopper behaviour?
There are many questions to be asked and answered in the process of understanding shopper engagement but the most vital is to first determine whether your shoppers are in fact your consumers.
For help understanding your customer data and using this to deliver efficient marketing strategies please contact our data & insights team.