Today’s shopper has many choices. From the physical shops around the corner to 24/7 shopping in their pockets, capturing and retaining their attention is a challenge for any retailer.
That challenge is made more difficult by the speed at which the landscape shifts. With technological changes, evolving retail services, fresh fulfillment models and unique product offerings, some retailers feel as if they’re headed toward an uncertain future.
Fortunately, there is a North Star for retailers to follow: The “Shopper Value Equation.” According to The Hershey Company, shoppers frequent the online and physical locations that most consistently provide value. Research shows that, on average, shoppers visit 17 retailers (either physically or online) each month, but only 12 percent of shoppers consider alternative retailers for each individual trip.1
The reason? Over time, shoppers build loyalties toward retailers for specific shopping trips.
Phil Stanley, chief customer officer at The Hershey Company, says earning loyalty takes more than a good deal: “Hershey shopper research shows that three key criteria converge to create the value equation shoppers use for determining retailer selection: spend, time and experience. Optimizing all three, and putting the most emphasis on experience, enables retailers to build baskets, drive trips and unlock growth.”
So how do retailers satisfy the Shopper Value Equation? Stanley says it starts with a holistic approach, blending online and brick-and-mortar in ways that stay a step ahead of consumers’ evolving needs and expectations. In a world where one in three store purchases now start online2, and one in four online purchases start in store3, retailers have no alternative.
As part of this holistic approach, Stanley offers three keys to unlocking growth:
Findability: Make it easy for shoppers to find what they want.
Whether a shopper is in the store or on their tablet, they want to find what they are looking for – quickly, effortlessly – which means understanding how the customer searches is key to winning the sale.
With 87 percent of product searches starting online4, creating seamless navigation between the digital and physical worlds is an essential step toward making searching – and finding – easier. People appreciate consistent organization and optimized navigation from the aisle to the online shelf, right on through to the checkout experience. Finding what they need, they are then content to browse and add to their basket.
Optimizing the check-out experience enhances their sense of accomplishment, which reinforces their sense of loyalty. In fact, shopper surveys show only price and location outrank pay point experience in importance.5
Engagement: Make each trip something special.
While almost 50 percent of shoppers give retailers high marks for “Makes me feel like I’m getting a good deal,” only 24 percent award high marks for “Retailer I look forward to shopping.”6
Retailers create value and build shopper anticipation by consistently delivering engaging experiences that also fulfill shopping needs. In store, eye-catching displays that engage shoppers and make it simple to shop grow shopper loyalty.
Stanley elaborates, saying, “Retailers are well-served by creating in-store displays around singular occasions.” He cites examples such as s’mores-making, hot cocoa-sipping, or similar, co-merchandised experiences that shoppers can enjoy and share online.
Whether online or in store, engagement is all about making each shopper visit interesting, memorable and shareable.
Personalization: Make the right offer at the right time.
Hershey’s research shows 80 percent of people are likely to purchase with a company if it offers personalized experience.7 From targeted ads and personalized recommendations, to optimizing convenience across all channels and fulfillment models, successful retailers are those wholly committed to fitting seamlessly into shoppers’ busy and complex lives.
Says Stanley, “By being able to match who bought what to who saw what, retailers can drive new shopper value though effective media messaging.” Doing so, he says, requires retailers to map and analyze their point-of-sale and addressable media data, along with their suppliers’ media data.
In fact, Stanley adds, data is essential to each of these fundamentals. The ubiquity of available data means we now know more about shoppers than ever before. That knowledge is empowering: Responsibly collecting, analyzing and implementing it will enable retailers to better blend their in-store and online offering, more effectively optimize the shopper’s time and experience, and fully deliver the value shoppers desire.
- The Hershey Company
- Source: Large National Retailer
- Source: Large National Retailer
- “2018 Shopper-First Retailing,” Salesforce and Publicis.Sapient
- Forrester Opportunity Snapshot / Digimarc “Consumers Cringe at Slow Checkout”, August 2018
- Kantar ShopperScape 2018
- Epsilon Research