4 min read

Are You Missing Out On Shopper Insights?

Through our work, we've realised that not enough people understand the differences between Shopper Insights and Consumer Insights. So, we decided to put together this quick read to give you an overview to exactly what Shopper Insights is & how it differs to Consumer Insights.
Are You Missing Out On Shopper Insights?

First a quick recap of what you will learn in the next 5 minutes:

  1. Why do you need Shopper Insights to win in-store?
  2. What exactly are Shopper Insights?
  3. Are Shopper and Consumer one and the same?
  4. How do you make Shopper and Consumer Insights work together?
  5. What are the methodological specifics of Shopper Insights?

Let's dive right in!

Did you know that it takes just 15 seconds for a shopper to purchase a product in a typical supermarket?

Based on our automated in-store observations done in mainland Europe, we measured that an average grocery shopping trip takes 18 minutes. Sounds like a lot, but most of that time is spent walking around the store and checking out.

These last moments of path to purchase are crucial because most shopping decisions are:

  1. made in-store
  2. automatic
  3. made in incredible short time frames

In-store executions need to be flawless - and that’s where Shopper Insights help.

Walk in to any supermarket and you’re immediately bombarded with thousands of promotions, POS marketing, and new products… not to mention the 30k-40k+ different SKUS already there.*

Before even grabbing a cart at the entrance:
❗more than 55% of what shoppers see are brand promotions
❗raising up to 80% when in store

POS marketing is one way to make your brand stand out, but did you know that more than 75% of these materials are considered ineffective due to their poor communication?

It’s no wonder shopping is done on autopilot!

Shopper Insights exist to help brands cut through the noise and make an impact worth purchasing. After all, 40-70% of all decisions are made in-store!

So, what is Shopper Insights? How does it “cut through the noise”?

Shopper Insights is a set of observational and experimental techniques used to capture unfiltered shopper behaviour. It aims to decode the decision-making process of those purchasing products.

*To be sure, all of this has an analogue in online shopping - but online behaviour is easier to measure than the offline physical.

Now that we’ve established what Shopper Insights is, you might be thinking, “a shopper sounds a lot like consumer!”. And you wouldn’t be wrong. Well, you would be…a little.

It is imperative to understand that not all shoppers are consumers and vice versa!

Consider this: just because you bought an item, doesn't mean you're the one using it:

  1. parents buying sweets for kids
  2. women buying alcohol or toiletries for their husbands
  3. consumer who planned to buy product X switched to Y due to a promotion

Shoppers and Consumers (even if they are the same person) have different roles when it comes to purchasing:

A shopper might purchase any old stick of deodorant (that’s not their preferred brand) because it’s on sale, while a consumer would gladly pay the full price for their favourite deodorant because they know they are paying for the experience of smelling fresh all day.

Either way, a stick of deodorant is being bought.

The consumer is a potential shopper, at best. Every marketing tool will be made redundant if it fails to convert at the point of purchase.

Let's find out exactly how we can take these insights and create a 360° customer profile.

Photo by Viki Mohamad / Unsplash

The end goal of every brand is to get noticed and bought – that’s the job of the shopper. But the job of brand is not complete if a consumer doesn't go back to buy more.

When commissioning a research study, consider the following:

1. Shopper Insights address the first moment-of-truth behaviours: what in-store factors aid or hinder their intent to purchase. Think: POSM, promotions, cross-merchandising, shelf & store navigation and such

2. While Consumer Insights generally analyse the zero moment-of-truth and second moment-of-truth behaviours: Usage experience, Brand associations & emotion, social & sharing aspects, etc

The data from these findings should be combined to create a winning combination of shelf disruption:

  1. Shopper Insights will guide you to creating prime visibility and accessibility at the point of purchase
  2. Consumer Insights will guide creatives, communication, and overall brand strategy

Finally, we need to discuss the differences between Shopper and Consumer Insights methodological approaches.

Earlier in the series, we illustrated how quickly and automatically decisions are made in store. Most Consumer Insights approaches just aren't fit for addressing those behaviours.

Consumer Insights are mostly based on assessing opinions via:

  1. focus groups
  2. online surveys
  3. sometimes boosted by some more modern methods like EEG or facial coding

But "opinions" (written responses or likert scales) often won't cut it when it comes to in-store context and automatic decision making‼️

That's why it's essential to know that Shopper Insights methods are able to measure automatic reactions (e.g. gaze) and choices.

So, a proper Shopper Insights project will most likely involve one or more of these methods:

  1. eye tracking
  2. some sort of sensors in-store
  3. 3D virtual shopping
  4. shopping in VR sometimes-surveys for some instances, but they aren't always appropriate

The combined forces of these methodologies create the perfect environment for brands to truly understand their customers and continue to grow!

There you have it! Hopefully now it's easier to understand not only the importance of Shopper Insights, but the impact its data has on your bottom line. Shopper Insights should be combined with Consumer Insights to unlock the full potential of market research.

Our next blog post will focus on these methodologies in action! Stay tuned!

Follow shopnosis.io for more Shopper Insights resources.