Shopper marketing is a well-thought business practice designed to attract a customer into purchasing a given product or service. Unlike other methods of sales promotion like advertisement and publicity, shopper marketing is a last-minute appeal that attempts to influence a customer’s purchasing decision at the point of sale. Just like any other marketing plan, shopper marketing may employ different tactics.
These include attractive packaging, issuing of coupons, mail out an ad, and giving out free product samples. The short definition? They use the right tools to make you want to buy their product, almost force them to sign on the dotted line, so to speak.
The primary aim of shopper marketing is to stimulate buyers into buying a product and driving the volume of sales. This article is a guideline to help entrepreneurs adopt the right shopper marketing tactics for the advantage of increasing their sales. Like any trade, this is a learned skill that you can learn too.
8 Shopper Marketing Tactics to Boost Your Sales
1. Make A Detailed Shopper Marketing Plan
The first thing that you need to do before you start reaching out to your shoppers is to set aside a portion of your time to the formulation of a sound marketing plan. In this step, you will have to identify your target market and set the achievable goals for your marketing campaign.
Furthermore, you need to identify the various marketing approaches that you will employ in the shopper marketing scheme. Assemble your marketing team ready for the task. A detailed marketing plan will be directing you to the right direction while executing the marketing plan. However, without a comprehensive plan, your marketing scheme may not catapult you to the desired results.
2. Focus On The Shopper Rather Than The Consumer
Remember that the target segment of a shopper marketing plan is the shopper and not the consumer. The big difference between the two market segments is that shoppers buy your product while consumers use the product.
As such, it is no secret that your plan should focus on market tactics that would simulate a shopper’s purchasing decision. Some marketing tactics that you can employ here include price adjustment, provision of free product samples, and modifying your branding according to customer needs. This means pleasing the customer while best utilizing your time and money without exceeding your budget.
Therefore, you need to find ways of motivating your shoppers to buy your product alongside working to eliminate the different barriers that prevent shoppers from buying your product, thus, you must listen to your consumers. In this step, you can use different insights to establish the factors like economic pressure, price, branding, and any other issue that may influence a shopper's buying behavior.
3. Invest in Branding
Expert shopper marketers commit much of their time to research on how buyers perceive their brand. This is important because most customers love to buy products with a robust and active brand, that is no mystery.
Just like an expert shopper marketer, entrepreneurs should spend their valuable time to understand the strength and weakness of their brand, just like an agency or agencies do with their companies. Afterward, you should invest in improving your brand to resonate with the needs of your shoppers. Shoppers like to buy a product that responds to their shopping motivation. They feel as if it gives a good description of themselves, almost like their own personal brand.
Marketing experts say that a strong brand lives and evolves in the mind of your potential buyers. As a result, a strong brand will place you ahead of your competitors. It will improve a customer’s emotional attachment to your brand, and promotes customer retention, this is an integer part of what makes this method work.
4. Ensure that Your Branding Is Appropriate
Most shopper marketing plans fail because most business managers do not consider the fact that shoppers and consumers are not the same. Don't be that manager. Since a brand that works on one shopper may not work with another shopper, marketers should be flexible enough to design a brand that matches factors like age, class, and other factors that make customers different. Have a couple examples that will head their way to the top when it comes to what will work for your customers. If by the end, you have a complete book or magazine of ideas, that is ok. If one doesn't work, move onto the next.
5. Collaborate with Your Retail Partners
This collaboration tactic is essential for businesses that manufacture a particular product. Working hand in hand with your retail partners helps them to meet their shoppers’ interest. Increased sales of your product at the stores translate to a boost in sales in your manufacturing company.
For example, if your product is in London, UK, Calgary, CA, Phoenix, AZ, Michigan City, IN, or Chicago, IL, you'll have to market your product differently in each location if you wish to call out to the trends of each location. This doesn't mean that you must change your branding, as that should be find global or international, or an locations that you've got your product in.
6. Maintain a Good Brand Loyalty
Another strategy to improve your sales through shopper marketing is to maintain if not improve your brand’s loyalty. Maintaining your brand loyalty helps you to retain your current customers as you work to attract new ones. Meaning, if you get bad reviews, don't fire back with nasty comments. Institute a policy or procedure book on how to defuse situation and respond properly. The procedure books jobs are to do just that.
To maintain a market-wide brand loyalty, you should ensure that your client gets the exact quality as that promised by your marketing campaigns. Using deceptive advertisements to market your products is a sure way of losing your customer's trust in your product. This isn't something that you want to test. I am sure the Hampton Motor Lodge doesn't get as many guests or travelers booking with them as the Hampton Inn, but all the same, they have a brand loyalty to adhere to.
Brand loyalty also awards you the knowing that you can stand behind your product no matter the job. What will define your company with good brand loyalty? Will it be good reviews, the response to bad reviews, the hours your put into your company, or what you get out of it?
7. Look For A Stable Source Of Funding
It is a market standard for any entrepreneur to spend some substantial amount of money if he or she wants to his or her shoppers’ marketing plan to conceive as expected. Consequently, you should have a reliable source of funding to support the program's execution, it can't be a pulse of income here or there, it must be weekly if not daily that your source of income provides for your shoppers marketing plan. This will create a path to fuel your shopper marketing plan to success. Insufficient funds will limit your ability to focus on better programs aligned to branding and marketing strategies. Be creative in how your find your source of income (no, not the drug market, that is illegal).
Check out a forum of what worked for other businesses. Set up a stand or a banner at the local Unilever food mart or host an expo that you can reap the benefits from. Heck! Have a fundraiser that can purchase you your shoppers' marketing campaign.
8. Evaluate Your Shopper Marketing Plan Periodically
Evaluation is an essential process that lets you gauge the performance of your marketing plan critically. Without this important process, there is no way you can know if you are headed in the right direction or if your efforts are stagnant. Some of the parameters that can help you evaluate the performance of your marketing plan include the increase in sales and customers.
You may want to modify some aspects of your marketing plan if you realize that you have not hit your desired outcome for a set period. In doing this allows you to login to your company and make executive decisions about things that need decided on. Some companies will even hold a conference, either in person at their main hub store, or a digital conference that allows those with careers in the field to form as a union and decide what needs to be done. However, there isn't a sentry stationed at the door and the file isn't in PDF where you can't make changes to it!
The market is a platform where various companies compete for the same clients. Based on this competition, firms that want to stay ahead of their competitors must invest in unique ways of stimulating customers to buy their product rather than that of a competitor. From Mondawmin Valley, MD to Warren, MI and anything from 9 mile to 101 miles away, westland or eastland, there are are centerline of protocols that come with shopper marketing.
Shopper marketing is one of the unique tactics that you can employ to influence a consumer's purchasing decision at the point of sale over a website summit or in person. However, you need to employ creative tactics if at all you want to apply this business practice to improve your sales. This isn't news and it won't stop your customers from changing their mind, but it could mean more sales from the mall to online shops.
In all, do you have your own tips on designing the perfect shopper marketing plan? Share your experience below.