There’s a fine balance between success and failure in shopper marketing. A campaign can make pop culture history for the right or wrong reasons.
Take Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign.
It first launched in Australia back in 2011. That summer, consumers bought more than 250 million named bottles and cans in a nation of less than 23 million. Being able to sip a drink with their name on it made Coke even tastier, and the campaign has since launched in more than 70 countries. It truly connected with the hearts and minds of consumers.
Other shopper marketing campaigns don’t quite hit the mark and damage a brand’s reputation.
If you’ve ever walked past a Hollister or Abercrombie store, you might have noticed the smell of cologne. Using aromas to attract and immerse customers can be a fantastic shopper marketing tactic. Catching a whiff of their signature scents should have transported shoppers from store to beachside. Unfortunately, the balance wasn’t quite right, and customers complained about the strong smell. One group even protested as they believed it was dangerous.
Two shopper marketing examples. Two very different outcomes. How can you make your efforts a success? In this blog, we’ll explore how to use shopper marketing and consumer promotions to acquire, retain, and engage customers without leaving a bad taste in their mouths.
You'll see 4 shopper marketing examples at the end of the post. Want to brainstorm shopper marketing campaigns with us? If so, Contact Us here!
What is Shopper Marketing?
Shopper marketing focuses on improving the customer shopping experience and increasing product awareness in-store and online. Most shopper marketing tries to influence customers while they’re shopping.
A survey of purchase journeys found that 85% of purchases involve brands the customer has already tried. And 22% of consumers report feeling worried or nervous about trying a new brand. Brands don’t have an easy job to establish themselves in the market, so adopting at least some shopper marketing techniques is a great place to start.
When it comes to your customer acquisition strategy, these shopper marketing techniques can help to build trust, increase brand awareness, and convince potential customers to buy. Here are some shopper marketing campaign ideas and below this you'll find real-life shopper marketing campaign examples. For more detail, see our guide on Shopper Marketing Trends.
Marketers can install end-of-aisle, freestanding, or product containers to display items. They can also use interactive, animated, or static digital displays. These are all branded and designed to draw the eye and separate the product from competitor alternatives.
Displays are a great opportunity to improve brand recognition and build loyalty.
Receipts They’ll Want to Keep
Receipts are often overlooked as purely functional. But they are an incredibly powerful marketing tool. Shopper marketers can collect and analyze online and in-store POS data to better understand customer behavior and drive sales through loyalty rewards, personalized offers, etc. If retailers have a receipt processing solution they can analyze and consolidate all purchase data down to brand and category at basket level in one place. They can use that data to better reward customers for purchases while collecting insightful data.
Demos are a great way to showcase the benefits of a product to a potential customer and build interest and trust before they make a purchase.
They’re enjoyable sensory experiences, too. Customers can feel the material used to make the product, experience the taste of edible items, and get a VIP look at products outside of their packaging. If a demo impresses a customer, this creates a desire to purchase.
A Welcoming Environment
Building a positive shopping environment puts customers at ease and keeps them coming back. Small things can have a big impact on ambience. Music choice is a great example. Recent research found that customers shopping for wine were more likely to buy German wine if German music was playing, and French wine if French music was playing – even though they had no recollection of the music they were listening to. These decisions were all made subconsciously. When marketers implement strategies like this based on cognitive science and neuroscience, it can also be classified as neuromarketing.
Embrace Their Inner-Child with Contests, Sweepstakes, and Promotions
Injecting fun and urgency into the buying journey is a great way to improve the customer experience. Contests, sweepstakes, and promotions create opportunities for people to get something in exchange for engaging with a brand. And brands are likely to get something back in return – a third of entrants sign up to receive further marketing communications.
Build Excitement with Events
Shopper marketers can create demand and offer customers great value by hosting or taking part in events. For example, a stationery brand could host a back-to-school event to help parents equip their children with what they need for the new school year. Or a technology brand could discount their products for global shopping events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Advertising these events on social media ahead of time can help to create excitement and interest.
Shoppers are the most important part of shopper marketing. Cater to their needs and create campaigns to excite and delight them. Do that, and you’ll see results.
Why is Shopper Marketing Effective?
- It’s data-driven. Shopper marketing strategies use accurate and relevant customer data so marketers can understand shopper behavior, preferences, and habits. This lets them craft campaigns that deliver the right message at the right time and connect with their target audience. But just 26% of global marketers are fully confident in their audience data. For shopper marketing to be effective, it’s crucial to have tools that can capture and store data safely as well as provide analytics.
- It influences customers at the right time. When customers are shopping online or in-store, it’s easier to capture and hold their attention. Nearly 80% of shoppers will go to a store to buy when they have an item they need or want immediately. If they see the right campaign, offer, or competition while shopping, they’ll engage with it and will be more likely to make a purchase.
- It adds a personal touch. Marketers can personalize shopper marketing to customer preferences. Taking promotions as an example, if basket data shows a customer buys diapers and formula, you could offer a discount on baby-related products. 87% of shoppers say knowing they got a good deal is important to them when deciding which brand or retailer to buy from. Personalized offers are a great way to build brand trust and increase perceived value.
- It’s omnichannel. Shopper marketing tactics span the digital and physical so you can meet shoppers where they are. Send a promotion through a retail app, email about an event, create an in-store display to showcase a new product, and more. Make the most of every channel and ensure your messages are consistent so customers get a seamless experience.
Standout Shopper Marketing Examples that
Cut Through the Noise
We already mentioned the wonderful “Share a Coke” campaign that allowed consumers to find the names of their loved ones on Coke’s famous bottles and cans. But here are some more great examples of shopper marketing campaigns.
1. Naked Juice – Live Naked campaign
Naked activated an in-store element of their Live Naked campaign to drive new and repeat purchases of their juice at the point of sale. They attached a coupon to every bottle, inviting customers to show the brand how they use the product. Harnessing user-generated content showed their customers authentically enjoying their products and encouraged continued participation and purchases. It connected to their existing customer base, attracted new customers, and sparked interest in new flavors.
The campaign resulted in a 26% sales lift year on year.
2. Procter and Gamble – Entering a new Market with Pampers
P&G had to work hard to change consumer behavior in a market that didn’t use disposable diapers. In China, most babies wore kaidangku — open-crotch pants for squatting. P&G launched their “Golden Sleep” Pampers campaign to raise awareness of the improved quality of sleep babies could get in a disposable diaper they could wear through the night. This was widely advertised in-store and Pampers developed different-sized packs for different areas. They found that parents in urban areas were more likely to buy a larger pack than parents in more rural areas, so developed single packs at a low price point and displayed them on hanger strips to encourage parents to try them.
The campaign also invited parents to share photos of their babies getting their “golden sleep”. These images were then used on a billboard to strengthen the campaign message.
Pampers is now the most popular diaper brand in China.
3. Beam Suntory - Pinnacle Vodka’s “Pinnacle Perfect Patio”
Beam Suntory wanted to drive sales and brand loyalty for Pinnacle Vodka in Virginia ABC stores.
To support this goal, Snipp built an engagement sweepstakes around entertaining at home with a prize of a patio makeover. During the time of the campaign, most bars were closed due to the pandemic, so a home-based prize worked well for the target audience.
Stores installed branded digital displays to promote participation, and customers could easily enter the sweepstake on their phones. The merchandising reflected some of Pinnacle Vodka’s 30 flavors and favorite cocktails to inspire customers to host for family and friends.
4. Starbucks’ Payment App
Starbucks developed an app that customers can use in-store or online. The app:
- Allows users to order ahead, pay, and browse the menu
- Gives users points every time they buy which they can redeem against future cups of coffee
- Sends users notifications when new products are released
- Invites users to special events and sends customized ads with deals relevant to their location
In 2018 it was the most popular mobile payment app, and it’s expected to hold its lead through 2022. In 2018, 23.4 million people used the Starbucks app to make a point-of-sale purchase. Starbucks also use receipt validation to reward their customers.
Want ideas about a shopper marketing campaign for your business? Contact Us here!
Listen to Your Customers More
To succeed at shopper marketing, you first need to succeed at capturing, storing, and understanding your zero-party and first-party customer data. Once you understand your customer behavior and preferences, start to build out a shopper marketing strategy tailored to their needs.
Don’t do everything at once – pick a couple of methods to engage shoppers online and in-store, and measure your results. And use a shopper marketing tool (and learn more about shopper marketing agencies) to support your efforts. Choosing the right solution can help you to manage and automate your shopper marketing campaigns so it’s easier to deliver seamless and engaging customer experiences.