Events, Industry Trends

Top Trends that Will Shake Up the Future of Shopper Marketing

Last month, Crowdtap was on the ground at Omnishopper 2015, the conference dedicated to activating insights and marketing strategies at retail. Beyond presenting our own session on collaborative insights, the Crowdtap team attended several sessions to highlight the most important themes on the minds of insights professionals today. Browse our hit list below to find out what we learned at Omnishopper 2015.

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The digital world moves fast – and it’s getting even faster.

The average attention span of U.S. adults is just eight seconds – down 50 percent since 2000. Not surprisingly, immediacy and impulse are words that will dominate the shopping experience for Millennials and Gen Z in particular. Per a Millennial shopping report shared by Coca-Cola, Millennials’ average time in-store is about 15 minutes, which is 6 percent shorter than that of the average population. In fact, 1 in 3 Millennial shopping trips last five minutes or less.

Key Takeaway: While traditional ways of capturing consumer insights remain core to market research, brands can augment these efforts via emerging methodologies – such as web-based quick polls and low-friction discussions – that better align with the frenetic and fast-paced lifestyles of younger consumers.

Consumers’ opinions of brands take into account the opinions of others.

Reviews and recommendations are increasingly influential when it comes to shopper marketing – especially among younger generations of consumers. Per new research fielded in the Crowdtap community, the majority of Millennials (55 percent) look up online reviews before and during their shopping trips. Moreover, Coca-Cola’s report found that most “planned” Millennial shopping trips are influenced by product recommendations from friends and family members.

Key Takeaway: The power of peer influence is especially strong among Millennials, who rely on their friends as much as they do on expert sources. Beyond awareness and consideration, peer recommendations can also drive purchase. For example, at OmniShopper, the Hershey’s Insights Team shared research that revealed word-of-mouth as a key driver for candy cravings in confections category.

Strong consumer relationships yield stronger consumer insights.

As insights professionals, we’re tasked with representing the consumer voice throughout the new product development lifecycle and beyond. Yet the relationship that research professionals tend to have with consumers is often sporadic, transactional and limited.

Key Takeaway: Marketers should seek ways to nurture the consumer relationship throughout the research process, empowering people to have their voice heard on an ongoing basis. Community-based research initiatives foster more authentic relationships with your customers, providing an ongoing feedback loop and opportunity to learn more about your target, category and brand.

People are skeptical of traditional advertising, but are passionate about brands.

More than half of the Millennials polled in Crowdtap’s study said that they do not trust traditional advertising. Despite this finding, they remain passionate about brands: 45 percent of Millennials say that brands play an “essential” role in their lives  – and that same percentage said they believe they have the power to control the success or failure of a brand (Source: Havas Prosumer Report, 2014).

Key Takeaway: Roughly 60 percent of respondents in our study agreed with the statement, “Brands know nothing about me.” By creating pathways for ongoing engagement, marketers can bridge the communication gap, reaching consumers in ways that are authentic and ongoing.

Digital, social & mobile should play a role in market research.

Within the retail space, insights work often includes “old school” tactics like in-person focus groups and database testing. At Omnishopper 2015, marketers discussed how these systems are being augmented by new technologies that better align with younger shoppers’ mobile-social behaviors. This trend will only increase in importance as Millennials and Gen Z assume more purchasing power in the years to come.

Key Takeaway: Mobile is fundamentally changing the brick-and-mortar experience for retail brands. Given the “endless aisle,” shopper insights teams will want to explore new ways to ensure their brands are in all places, at all times. Further, teams can utilize digital formats to do more with the data they collect – bringing stories to life within their organizations in a new ways that will drive action across their organizations.

 

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