Different products demand varying levels of shopper attention and engagement. A report by BrandSpark, a shopper insight agency formulated four main categories for consumer mind-sets in order to support brands and retailers in strategic product placement among other marketing methods to maximize sales.
The conclusions are based on analysis by 80,000 shoppers in the U.S. and Canada. The research focused primarily on the grocer market, however fashion apparel, accessories, beauty and other fashion-related categories can garner insights from the research. Participants in the study were asked to report on their emotions as they shopped for different products in-store. BrandSpark landed on two overriding factors to delineate the consumer categories: attention and enjoyment. Attention for the purpose of the study was defined as the consumer’s acknowledgment of a product’s features and benefits when shopping for each product category. Respondents also contributed to their levels of enjoyment derived from the process of shopping in the product category.
In measuring the relationship between attention and enjoyment, BrandSpark devised four categories for the consumer mind-set. Autopilot describes when consumers have low enjoyment and low attention — “shoppers want to get in, purchase, get out,” the report said. The report equates this mind frame to when shopping for toilet cleaner. Duty is described as high attention and low enjoyment, the report asserts that “trust is critical to shopper choice.” Here BrandSpark relates this mind-set to that of shopping for children’s medicine. Low attention with high enjoyment is defined as sensory-driven shopping — think impulse shopping to satisfy a sweet-tooth craving. Engaged is the last of the characteristics, which is defined as high attention and high engagement, most frequent when shoppers are considering a variety of options for products such as facial moisturizer.
For products that typically garner an autopilot approach, the report suggests an unapologetic approach to stand out from the competition. “Engagement strategies pre-shop and in-store need to be bold, blatant and persuasive. The goal is to jolt the shopper out of autopilot with disruptive in-aisle tactics and just-can’t-refuse offers of free trials, discounts, bulk buys, print and online coupons,” said the report.
Consider bright colors and appealing images to attract shoppers falling in the sensory-driven category. This is the indulgence sector of shopping, allowing for brands to play up their incomparable draw. “In-aisle tastings and just-too-good-to-be-missed promotions will help grab shoppers by the taste buds; justifications such as: ‘half the sugar, but just as tasty,’ will give the guilty shopper the excuse they need,” the report said. Giving permission, or promoting the allure without the consequences, such as Greek-yogurt ice cream or a 30-minute facial, will be well received.
The engaged shopper is ripe for the picking. Here consumers are already naturally concerned with the variety of products and the distinguishing factors and benefits of each one. However, while engaged, this consumer is already looking at competitors as alternatives. “The product packaging, marketing materials and web site must be informative and sales staff should be briefed on merits of products. […] The right campaign that mixes awareness with education can win over new shoppers, but brands must fight to keep existing shoppers loyal, by reassuring them they have made the right choice,” said the report.