Tag Archive for Mobile Shopping

It’s About Time ….Making the Case for Shopper Time Management

Most would agree that we have entered in a period of radical change in shopping behavior. Almost nothing is the same as it was a mere five years ago. New on-line competitors, technology aided shopping apps provide shoppers new options and retailers new ways to compete for shoppers. Through all of this progress, there is one thing that hasn’t changed. There are still only twenty-four hours in any given day.

To that very point, while shoppers are interested in new tools to help them save money, early returns indicate that shopping apps and new in-store technologies that save the shopper time are the ones rising to the top of the pile.

Traditionally, retailers almost totally ignore the “time investment” shoppers make to buy from them. Ask any retailer what their shopper’s average trip length is or how fast shoppers buy once they are in one of their stores, and you will likely get blank stares.

Aside from some attention to expedite the checkout process, retailers continue to assume that their shoppers relish looking for new ways to invest more of their time exploring aisles, alcoves, reading labels and scrolling directories. In 2015, this is nothing more than a retailer’s fantasy. To demonstrate this misguided mentality, store footprints have continuously grown over the years and along with it the corresponding decline in shopping efficiency.

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The More Options Shoppers Have, The Less Time They Have for any One Retailer!

To put a finer point on it, food retailing study after study tells us that as much as 85% of the shopper’s time is wasted in-store navigating massive stores with extraordinary amounts of products, searching, seeking, but NOT BUYING. Aside from the most ardent “price shopper”, “time” is the shopper’s most prized possession.

Retailers, whether they be bricks or e-commerce, that invest in new ways to give some of the precious commodity of time back to the shoppers will rule over their respective marketplaces.

The Payoff and Rationale of Shopper Time Management
What we steadfastly know is that the faster shoppers buy, the more the buy. Conversely, the long it takes for a shopper to make a buying decision, the less likely they will make one at all.

In fact, shopper time management is the first logical step in a shopper centric merchandising. Dr. Herb Sorensen, noted expert on retail shopping behavior and author of the top selling book, “Inside the Mind of the Shopper”, lays out a new road map for retailers. He refers to this map as the Five Vital Tenets of Shopping Behavior.

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Use the link for more detail on the Five Vital Tenets http://acceleratedmerchandising.net/?page_id=90

Following this guideline represents both a new and necessary methodology of in-store merchandising. Every step of this process is focused as to how the shopper shops, not how retailers would like them to shop. The Five Vital Tenets of Shopping Behavior is predicating on understanding the importance of element of time in the success of connecting products with shoppers in an efficient manner.

As retailers begin to measure and react to shoppers’ “habitual” tendencies when they engage bricks and mortar retailing, connecting shopping efficiency with basket size and shopper visitation increases will provide the empirical justification for changing the mindset of how physical stores are designed and merchandised.

The data is compelling. The relationship between a shopper’s ability to buy faster and every retailer’s goal of increasing sales is irrefutable.

What’s Next?
Seldom does any thing in retailing happen quickly. Adaption speed of Shopper Time Management will be no exception. Retailers are deliberate beasts and venture in a step-wise fashion into new business paradigms, as they are heavily invested in the current retailer-brand monetary ecosystem.

The good news is this. In high volume retailing, even step-wise, incremental gains in shopper efficiency can produce significant impact to the bottom line. It’s time to incorporate the element of the shopper’s time in the mix of merchandising metrics. Those retailers that do so will find their time-starved shoppers thanking them with more of their dollars and enduring loyalty.

Mobile Loyalty…Shoppers on the Move

With more than half of the U.S. now has a smartphone.  With this new audience that clearly represents “critical mass”, new applications and businesses are sprouting up like dandelions on a Spring day.  This is especially good news for many of the loyalty programs in the supermarket channel who have struggled to find a way to communicate with their card holders in an affordable, convenient way.

But that is only true if they the supermarkets, understand the medium and how it is different from other media they have traditionally used.  There is a downside for retailers that comes with new mobile touch points, its called “consumer options” .  Not necessarily good news for retailers who already see even the best shopper’s share of wallet dwindle each year.  Now shoppers have the means to comparison shop at anytime during the store selection process.  New mobile applications are putting new pressures on the retailer’s hold on the shopper.

Mobile applications have also made it much easier for shoppers to view deals and offerings from many different retailers, before making their choice.  Point of decision for these shoppers is now a pre-shopping exercise, long before the walk through the doors of the brick and mortar store.

Retailers are at a critical fork in the road….embrace the new technology and its customer implications, and create a customer enterprise system and culture that enables a consistent view of and conversation with the shopper.  To do this effectively a single, master customer database collects and assembles all shopper activity whether it be from the checkout in-store to the downloading coupons on-line, or even a social media interaction.  Knowing the preferred method of interaction for each shopper will also enable the CRM program to communicate with the shopper on their terms and along the point of purchase path at just the right moment.

As I have said before in many meetings and at industry forums….”Somebody will figure this out.  It might as well be you!”

 

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