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What is a Shopper Marketing Agency?

Learn about what Shopper Marketing agencies do, what strategies they employ, examples of campaigns as well as a short list of example agencies.

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    What is Shopper Marketing?

    Shopper marketing is the process of improving the shopping experience at the point of sale (POS) to drive more sales. The idea is that if you implement specific tactics that raise consumer awareness of, or engagement with, a product when they are in the process of shopping, then you have a stronger influence on their decision to purchase that product immediately. Learn about recent shopper marketing trends here.

    What is a Shopper Marketing Agency?

    A shopper marketing agency is an advertising agency or specialized team within an advertising agency that works with retailers and manufacturers (brands) to help them determine what that shopping experience should be to drive more sales of a product. Shopper marketing agencies work with retailers and brands to build awareness, improve consideration, and increase conversion.

    Shopper marketing agencies help manufacturers improve the sale of their products in retail stores. In this case, the focus is on the product. But they can also help retailers by focusing on the store itself rather than a specific product.

    These agencies start by understanding who the target shopper is, developing personas and journey maps. They next analyze shopping behavior through a number of tactics, including AB testing, focus groups, surveys, monitoring shopper behavior, and social media listening. The agency then develops a set of recommendations for campaigns to implement and helps implement them in stores and online.

    What Tactics Does a Shopper Marketing Agency Employ?

    A shopper marketing agency can recommend several tactics for in-store marketing, such as where and how a product is laid out in the store, lighting, sounds (ambiance), coupons, shelf talkers or wobblers, posters, as well as product demos or sampling.

    All of these tactics, and others, are designed to capture a shopper's attention, get them to pay attention to the product, and entice them to make a purchase. For example, Costco provides sample stations throughout its store for various products, asking people to sample the product and then offering a coupon to get a discount on the product at the checkout. 

    Other examples include special displays close to the checkout, samples of wine at a liquor store, displays of sales at the end of isles in a grocery store, and cosmetic associates offering free makeup applications with a coupon for a product they used. See more shopper marketing campaign examples here.

    How Shopper Marketing Agencies Work With Online Retailers

    Shopper marketing doesn't apply to the in-store experience only; it can also apply to the online shopping experience. For example, a shopper marketing agency might recommend implementing a chatbot on a retail site's product pages to help a consumer make an order. On the homepage, the chatbot might provide information about the store, special deals available, and offer registration for a loyalty card.

    An agency may also recommend geo-targeted advertising on Facebook or Google to reach shoppers in a particular location where a sale is happening.

    Influencer marketing is another popular tactic for shopper marketing agencies. For example, to help launch a new product or revitalize sales of an existing product, the agency would work with a series of influencers popular with their target audience to have a launch party or to run sponsored posts for the product on their Instagram or TikTok account.

    Examples of Shopper Marketing Campaigns

    Shopper marketing agency, Propac, worked with influencers to host a launch party, "Crave the Unexpected," to help Steve's Ice Cream, a premium ice cream brand, launch its ice cream to retailers.

    The TheoryHouse helped Starbucks stimulate sales of its ready-to-drink products through in-store displays and social activism on Instagram.

    Velocity Worldwide helped County Shopping Mall increase Autumn/Fall fashion sales through online and in-store tactics, including installing multiple fashion hotspots throughout the mall and using email, social media, and digital advertising to offer discounts, competitions, and fashion trend guides.

    Examples of Shopper Marketing Agencies

    There are many shopper marketing agencies, including (in no particular order):

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