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Shopper marketing: How mobile technology is transforming shopper engagement

Shopper marketing is a broad term defined as last-minute efforts to influence a shopper’s behavior at the point of purchase. This strategy can include anything from simple couponing to sophisticated omnichannel campaigns.

No matter how complex your shopper marketing strategy is, you can expect to see these key benefits: 

  • A short shopping cycle
  • Impulse buying
  • A share shift through the motivation of shoppers to try competing brands

In the ever-growing arsenal of shopper marketing tactics, mobile technology opens up new vistas through its pervasiveness and unique capabilities.

The Evolution of Shopper Marketing 

There was a time when shopper marketing was looked at somewhat dismissively as simply decorating end caps and distributing coupons. Attitudes began to shift as shopper marketing strategies became more sophisticated (like demo techniques) and proved effective enough to “steal” customers away from brands and retailers that were using much more elaborate marketing campaigns. 

Walmart was instrumental in transforming shopper marketing into a more rigorous, competitive process. The retail giant emphasized the need to know your customer and identified 19 “moments of truth” (or touchpoints) when the consumer can be reached. 

Costco became well-known for its abundant sampling, but that’s not the only shopper marketing tactic they successfully utilize. Its lack of signage and habit of moving items around seem counterintuitive at first, but it encourages exploration and the discovery of new product needs. The strategy has proven to be undeniably advantageous for the retailer. 

Through big-box retailers’ proven utilization of shopper marketing, its value grew among both brands and retailers. Now with the integration of technological advancements, shopper marketing has become more powerful than ever. Major brands and manufacturers, such as PepsiCo, Kellogg’s and Reckitt Benckiser, have been channeling a significant portion of their marketing budgets into search advertising on Google and Amazon, giving the consumer the opportunity to convert at the earliest stages of product research. Thanks to shopping functions on social media channels, such as TikTok and Instagram, a similar process can unfold on these mediums as well. 

Mobile Technology and Shopper Marketing

Mobile technology is ideally suited for shopper marketing due to its abundance. In the U.S., 81% of adults own a smartphone. That figure rises to 90% among Gen X and 93% for millennials. Plus, with 68% of consumers acknowledging that digital influences their loyalty, a mobile shopper marketing strategy is the perfect opportunity to capitalize on this growing digital trend. 

A successful mobile shopper marketing strategy should have the following key capabilities: 

Geofencing and Data Gathering

Geofencing allows for extremely accurate targeting. The technology can identify consumers who are located within a defined area and target specific ads to them. Then, the marketer can track the behavior of the geotargeted consumers and use this data to drive sales and identify valuable trends in the form of purchase history and demographics, which can all be used to provide more personalized marketing in the future.

Burger King put geotargeting to clever use in its Whopper Detour campaign in 2018. People who downloaded the Burger King app received a notification offering them a Whopper for a penny every time the user was within 600 feet of a McDonald’s. When they placed an order, they were directed to the nearest Burger King, to which the order was forwarded as well. The Burger King app was downloaded 1.5 million times thanks to the campaign.

Shopping Rewards System

Woman interacting on mobile phone while shopping in store. Coupons are legacy shopper marketing tactics that although were once revered as effective, have been shown to erode profit margins and dilute brand equity. With today’s technology, there are new alternatives that preserve margins and build brand affinity. 

Third-party shopping rewards apps such as Shopkick provide a solution for brands seeking to influence shoppers digitally both at home, and in-store at the moment of purchase decision. Rather than depending on coupons, Shopkick awards points (“kicks”) for the purchase of specified items. Kicks can also be awarded for non-monetized activities, such as interacting with a product in store or watching a branded product video.

Using innovative 2D image recognition and post-scan video features, Shopkick has the unique ability to reward consumers while the product is in their hands, creating a positive brand affinity and increasing the likelihood of purchase. 

Augment Shopper Marketing With Shopkick 

Shopkick is a highly gamified third-party app that provides a fun and rewarding way for consumers to interact with products. Shopkick can enhance customer engagement strategies with geotargeting and has the capability to greet every user who has their Bluetooth turned on with a personalized message (and a kick) upon entering the store.

By rewarding shoppers for seeking out and engaging with certain products in-aisle, Shopkick helps brands steal attention and sales from competitors on crowded shelves.

This encourages first-time exposure and incremental purchases. Shopkick provides detailed information on customer purchase habits to partnering brands that can help make more informed, data-driven marketing decisions.

Shopkick partnered with Rimmel London in a campaign to spotlight the brand in the cosmetics aisle. They used proximity messaging to bring customers into stores and direct them to the Rimmel London products for “trial in the aisle” engagement, driving incremental conversion. The result was 38% new purchasers and 14% shifted market share with 5:1 ROI.

To learn more about how to engage customers and drive sales through shopper marketing, contact Shopkick. Our partners have reaped the benefits of a successful partnership with us, and we’re confident you can too. 

Image courtesy of Nomad_Soul
 

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