Provide value justification
The days of buying what you want when you want it, without so
much as a second thought, are over and shoppers want to feel in
control of their budget. They need to be able to justify the
money they are spending, both before and after they shop.
That doesn't mean that there isn't any room for treats - there is,
but they need to fit within the budget that the shopper has set for
themselves. Retailers and brands need to react to this by
justifying the place that they hold in the shopper's basket.
The recent M&S 'Shwop' campaign is a great example of this.
Shoppers feel justified in buying a clothing item, knowing that an
old item is being donated to Oxfam. Trusted brands are
well-placed to tap into this trend as there is a latent
understanding of the value they bring to a shopper. Brands
such as Heinz and Lurpak have built on this by targeting the
shopper with emotional language which justifies their place on a
shopping list - Heinz has used the label on tomato ketchup bottles
to declare it "Your secret ingredient" while Lurpak tells shoppers
that "Good food deserves Lurpak".
Show trust to achieve trust
Trust in previously well regarded institutions has been tumbling
and retailers and brands are not immune to this - illustrated by
the popularity of pound stores and brought to life in Aldi's
current campaign which questions whether shoppers really need to
spend money on branded goods. Both retailers and brands can
fight back by creating an open relationship with shoppers and
entrusting them to make the right choice. This means owning
up to the fact that a brand can be 'flawsome' - it might not always
get things right but it's willing to listen and react to what
shoppers want. Starbucks has 'my Starbucks idea' where they
listen and respond to customer feedback and action popular
requests. Walker's have also successfully tapped into this
when they asked shoppers to help them design a new flavour.
Good retailers have also reacted to this by understanding how they
should talk to their shoppers, for instance, gone are the days when
a shopper will trust a price drop message at face value.
Use technology wisely
Whilst retailers and brands tend to work across retail channels
in silo, shoppers see only one purchase journey. They demand
the best price and information everywhere and seamlessly cross
between a retailer's website, mobile site and the actual
store. Forward thinking retailers have responded to this with
solutions such as allowing shoppers to buy online and collect
instore, understanding that shoppers are busy but will buy if it's
made easy for them. These retailers only use technology it if
will help a shopper and are rewarded by a shopper's loyalty.
Allow for personalised shopping
As high streets have become more homogenous, so shoppers have
begun to look for a more personalised shopping experience with
their favourite retailers and brands. Starbucks' recent
innovation around adding your name to your coffee is a great
example of this - they may be the biggest coffee shop brand in the
world but they still want to take the time to know your name.
Putting time into understanding shoppers and their purchase
barriers can reap rewards for brands. At a time when every
pound a shopper spends needs to be fought for I think it's a wise