What Does The Phy-gital Shopper Want?

February 10, 2015

Colleen Vaughan

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No doubt shopper marketing is now the golden girl of the marketing world with exponential growth last year and continuing well into 2015. Mobile, social, geolocation, technology and endless data will continue to rapidly transform shopper marketing. I started in shopper marketing a million years ago when it was called sales promotion and I don’t remember us ever talking about science or data. The industry has changed enormously.

Mindtree recently conducted a shopper survey of more than 2,400 shoppers in the U.S. to rank over 70 in-store and online features for what they call today’s new “phy-gital” shopper.

Here’s what Mindtree found:

>>Top online features influencing purchases:

  • 50 percent wanting to buy online and choose shipped to home or pick up from store.
  • 33 percent said they would buy more if they could return products to any store and get free home delivery.
  • 24 percent want a 360-degree view of products, but very few retailers offer this.
  • 24 percent want more information: price and product comparisons and a list of best-selling products, but half of retailers do not offer this.

>>Top in-store features influencing purchases:

  • 33 percent are looking for speed: self-checkout and technology features to locate products and see how crowded a store is.
  • 33 percent want flexible purchase and delivery options, such as free home or in-store delivery.

As more and more retailers give the customer what they want and institute these features, it will be harder and harder to differentiate and compete. So how can stores address the needs of the phy-gital shopper and stay ahead of the pack?

>>Easy access to information is key.

360-degree views of the product and reviews are just the tip of the iceberg for influencing purchases. Today’s shoppers want content. Content they can find easily and quickly.

Women do their homework for most purchase decisions. Retailers and brands can win her heart and share of wallet by providing product details, photos of the product in use, reviews, unboxing videos and showcasing additional uses for the product, linking to other valuable content such as recipes and examples of the product in use. But it all needs to be at her fingertips. Don’t make her search and search. Being a useful, helpful resource will keep her coming back again and again.

>>Provide value and be “likeable.”

The Mindtree research stated consumers do not want to social network with a retailer. Maybe that’s because many retailers are not giving the consumer what they want. Brands tend to talk about themselves and do promotion after promotion on social channels. The 80/20 rule applies to your content calendar. Eighty percent of the content should be useful content: how-to content, the story behind a product or invites to events in-store, for example. Twenty percent can be promotions and deals. Leverage social channels to ask and poll customers. Listen and then give them more of what they want. Provide value beyond the discount coupon. By providing value and actually listening, you have the opportunity to endear your brand to the phy-gital shopper. Being likeable can be a big differentiator when the majority of your products are similar in price and in the offering.

>>Remember to make it fun to shop.

Women make or influence 85 percent of all purchase decisions. And for her, shopping is a sport. She loves the hunt for a bargain and the discovery of finding something new and interesting. Leverage that to your advantage. Curate content in interesting ways. Curation could be your secret weapon to surprising and delighting her and making it fun to shop.


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