April 25th, 2011 By Jack Morton
From WSJ click above link to access (subscription needed)
Marketers are wise to consumers’ strategy of price comparing and researching products before heading to stores to shop. In today’s WSJ, reporter Ellen Byron focuses on the increasingly digital, out of store shopper marketing tactics companies are using to sway customers.
“It’s well known that consumers research expensive products like electronics online, but coming out of the recession, consumers are more scrupulous about researching their everyday products such as diapers and detergent, too. More than a fifth of them also research food and beverages, nearly a third research pet products and 39% research baby products, even though they ultimately tend to buy those products in stores, according to WSL Strategic Retail, a consulting firm.
That has led retailers and brands to target customers via blogs, social-media sites such as Facebook and Twitter and campaigns on retail sites, in addition to in-store campaigns.
Consumers’ careful research means the shopping trip now begins long before the shopper enters the store, so store-focused marketers have to move their efforts forward…..
To be sure, the shift hasn’t eliminated the need for effective campaigns inside stores. In-store marketing gained appeal and sophistication amid the fragmentation of television and print audiences, and accelerated during the recession, when marketers believed cash-strapped shoppers made even more purchasing decisions when looking at the store shelf.
But as consumers are starting to open their wallets, companies are more focused than ever on attracting them during their shopping trips: Post-recession, 83% of consumer-product companies say they plan to increase their investments in shopper marketing over the next three years, while 55% say shopper marketing is their top investment, with spending increases topping 5% annually, according to the Booz & Co. survey.”