Shopper Research is a fast evolving discipline. Born of the age of Category Management, it’s fuelled by Industry consolidation and the resulting, ever increasing need for retailers and manufacturers to work together to optimise their joint business. If insights can be gained about the drivers and barriers of shopper purchasing, changes can be made that grows the category to the benefit of both parties.
Second to this “growth and optimisation” agenda is the desire for manufacturers to win “in the last 3 feet” for their brands. All the investment in marketing will fail if the shopper gets diverted in the final step before the actual purchase. The discipline of shopper marketing is evolving fast as practitioners develop more and more effective ways to engage closer to the point of purchase. Better still, if the shopper marketing goals of retailer and supplier can be aligned then 2+2 = 5, both can realised better returns from their various investments and resources.
The goal therefore of shopper research is to uncover objective information about how shoppers think, behave and make decisions. First and foremost is the need to measure whether we are giving shoppers what they want, and then we must uncover how they pass from need to purchase.
There are an array of different methodologies to assist the researcher. Both qualitative and quantitative approaches can be used. In store observation, tracking work, and intercepts are all valid routes to insights. Where Shopper Intelligence comes in is in the sheer scale of our interview process which aims not only to give you metrics on your category but uniquely to benchmark across the entire store. It’s the largest research program anywhere in the world today.