Friday, April 12, 2013

Multi-channel shopper marketing

A couple of months ago I write a post about how I saw the discipline of shopper marketing (SM) evolve into digital shopper marketing (DSM) and then into Multi-Channel Shopper Marketing (MCSM).

Now I've had a little while to think about this some more and work with clients on this, I thought I would share some more of my thoughts and observations.

1. Shoppers are now multi-channel
It is not simply the case that online marketing influences online purchases and traditional marketing influences in-store transactions. Online and offline are now just different channels, each potentially contributing to the acquisition and retention of the customer over a range of time.

2. Influence has a huge part to play
The path to purchase starts with initial awareness and continues up to the point that the shopper reaches for the product. In between these two events, there is a wealth of channels, touch-points and devices that the shopper uses to make their purchasing choices. Google calls this the Zero Moment Of Truth (or ZMOT for short) and has produced a number of studies to show just how many information sources a modern multi-channel shopper uses before they commit to a sale.

3. The shopper is getting more savvy
We now live in an age of austerity for most people, where nearly everyone is watching what they spend (in a way, this is the way it always should have been). This translates to a change in shopper behaviour, where they now search around for the best price of brands / commodity products and a lot more now look out for discount codes and promotions. This has a clear effect on eCommerce sites, where a lot more visitors now jump out of the transaction funnel just before they compete the payment look at voucher sites and to hunt down any relevant offers.

In the future I hope to dig into the ways that brands and  retailers can utilise this behaviour and get the maximum benefit from the new ways that multi-channel shoppers act.
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