Are Influencers the Missing Piece of the Shopper Marketing Puzzle?

With digital and social media permeating society like never before, it is safe to say that we are never far from a click or swipe.  Much like other aspects of the business world, shopper marketing faces a dilemma of how to evolve with the pervasion of digital. These days, it’s safe to say there is no “offline” for most consumers. Part of this evolvement includes today’s consumers being less interested in advertisements telling them why they should buy a product and more interested in hearing why their peers are glad they did. Shopper marketing is at the forefront of this attitude shift.
Before shopper marketing was called shopper marketing, it was better known as “sales promotion”. Whilst coupons, now are labelled a more traditional promotion tactic, they are still effective, particularly with the growing value-conscious generations. A study by Forrester Research revealed that 34% of Millennials prefer digital coupons saved on their smartphones to printed coupons. This growing desire for paperless variations highlights that coupons should be accessible to shoppers in multiple places, including on a brand’s digital app, social channels and website, as is increasingly the case. Partnering with influencers to promote your coupon can serve as an incredibly effective content tool and motivate shoppers to make in-store purchases.
Shopper insights remain central and wholly integral to shopper marketing and understanding the shopper first and foremost. Thus, last year Deloitte highlighted that approximately $970 billion in sales were influenced by shoppers’ use of mobile devices before and during in-store shopping (representing over a quarter of total in-store sales). Shoppers are using their mobile devices for a multitude of uses including but not limited to- coupon searching, price checking, product information and reviews, asking for opinions from their peers and more.

Now, think about this… which is more likely to influence the purchase of a product while someone is searching on their phone- Some content and photos uploaded by the brand about the brand, or an entertaining story by a likeable, relatable shopper using the product in their everyday life? If you selected the first option, you’re missing a massive opportunity to let shoppers see the product through the eyes of another shopper. As people in every day life, we tend to  trust people like us; why should that be any different in a shopping situation?

To overcome traditional problems in communicating with their customers on a personal level, brands are beginning to take to the best place to communicate with shoppers in a quick and clear manner: social media. Brands have begun to partner with influential shoppers who communicate to consumers through blogs and social posts exactly where to find the products at retailers, complete with signalling photos, opinions and reviews.

If shopper marketing is traditionally defined as “bringing shoppers into the marketing plan and the marketing plan into the stores,” then the question that springs to mind is why would we not amplify its benefits through utilising the most influential shoppers available? Ultimately, social influencers can help your brand tell a story through an authentic, trusted and relatable voice. Very few other marketing activities can move shoppers from the point of brand awareness to the checkout. So the final thought is clear… Isn’t it time your brand started marketing to shoppers, through shoppers?


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