From Shopper Programs—to Shopper Solutions

Manufacturers are trying to leverage their shopper marketing dollars by creating programs capable of building brand equity, engagement and sales. To achieve this, they are turning to shopper solutions.

While shopper programs were once thought of as primarily consumer promotions that incentivize shoppers to purchase a product by offering a discount, when we examine behavior from the shopper perspective as opposed to the consumer, we see that shopping trips are often highly intent driven as opposed to price driven. People go to the store looking for a combination of items to address a particular problem or need. That is why shopper marketing programs are evolving into shopper solutions. It is less about the discount and product itself, and more about providing a successful shopping trip that makes the shopper feel accomplished in their trip goals by meeting need with convenience and speed.

For example, when we go to buy a new computer, we may also be looking to buy a printer, speakers or desk and chair as a complete home office solution. Similarly, when we go to the store to get cough medicine for a cold, we may also want to buy cleaning products, tissues, tea or vitamins to provide a comprehensive household cold season solution.

The Grocery Manufacturers’ Association defines a shopper solution as: “A series of scalable, customizable events that are built around an insight capable of delivering incremental value to the shopper that goes beyond the inherent benefits of a product or price promotions.” In short, they are insight-driven solutions that deliver functional value to the shopper. They leverage the motivations driving a particular shopping trip and offer functional solutions to help the shopper accomplish their goal efficiently and affordably.

With solutions-based events featuring at least two or more complementary products purchased together, they not only offer the potential to drive incremental value to the shopper, but the potential to build brand equity for the manufacturer and brand differentiation for the retailer. An example of what might comprise a successful shopper solution would be creating a POP display for the summer season that includes all of the ingredients necessary for making s’mores, supplemented by promotional pricing and digital content along the path to purchase that offers a variety of s’mores-making tips and recipes, as well as additional camping trip activity ideas.

The Grocery Manufacturers’ Association published a paper called “Shopper Marketing 5.0”. The study identified the four components required for delivering best-in-class shopper solutions:

• The ability to develop and integrate consumer and shopper insights
• The ability to gain an intimate understanding of the needs of retailers and identify opportunities where there is the greatest headroom for growth
• The ability to work with external partners and tap into a full arsenal of platforms and vehicles to deploy shopper solutions across the full path to purchase
• The ability to create a well-oiled organizational machine that can effectively and efficiently execute shopper solution programs and measure their results

Leading CPG manufacturers and retailers are increasingly adopting a solutions-based approach to amplify the impact of their shopper marketing investments as they continue to prove their ability to deliver significant incremental value to themselves and their shoppers, and triumph the results of consumer promotions and product line extensions.

According to GMA though, “The leaders—those manufacturers that capture the highest levels of influence and financial results from shopper solutions—are not always the largest and most experienced at shopper marketing. Rather, they are building capabilities that enable them to design and execute shopper solutions that create motivation and drive action simultaneously, leveraging shopper solutions as a natural bridge between brand marketing and trade promotion.”

To explore how you can expand your organization’s capabilities to design and execute high-value shopper solutions, please call 203-731-3540 or email inquiries@cierant.com to speak with one of our shopper marketing solution representatives.

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