There’s no question the path to purchase is nonlinear, especially for moms. Moms seamlessly zigzag through various channels and media all the way to the checkout line. For many years, in-store shopper marketing was limited to initiatives such as store signage, displays or promotions to drive sales at the point of purchase. While these tactics are certainly still effective, moms no longer rely on just the latest end cap.
They are using their smartphones for things like price comparison, product information and overwhelmingly, reviews and recommendations from other moms. This can be both a blessing and a curse to marketers. Many shopper marketers can struggle with getting retailer access and interaction to drive awareness. With 90% of shoppers using smartphones while in-store, there is now an endless portal of new strategies to entice purchasers while in a retail location.
The challenge I hear from most marketers targeting “momsumers” is about designing a cohesive strategy that addresses the constantly moving target of “how moms shop.” Brands must take a proactive stance to ensure that moms are armed with the information they need when they are ready to buy. It sounds simple in theory, but is quickly convoluted in practice. As we fast approach Q4, here are three things to remember to help influence purchases in-store.
Always-On Online Advocacy is Key.
Moms want to feel in control of their purchase decisions and they will do their due diligence before buying. Most will pre-shop before making a purchase and then research while browsing the aisles. They are often seeking advice from consumers like them and other social influencers. This is why it is critical to establish an ongoing strategy of sprinkling user-generated content across the online landscape.
According to a Deloitte study, shoppers are 29% more likely to make a purchase the same day when they use social media either before or during their shopping trip. Additionally, 81% of women say they frequently buy items they’ve seen on social media and 72% say the ability to check social recommendations takes the guesswork out of buying a new product. Marketers can be active participants in triggering reviews and recommendations — either by soliciting reviews from existing consumer advocates or partnering with key influencers to educate their respective audiences.
Provide Easy-to-Navigate Resources.
In addition to user-generated content, brands can help moms by providing useful information and offers. Things like “how-to” videos, product demonstrations, coupons, skimmable articles or use cases help deliver value. In fact, research from Google shows that mobile “how-to” searches on YouTube are growing 70% year over year. In order for these items to be successful, it’s important that they are easy to navigate and of course, they are mobile optimized. This also offers a fantastic opportunity to blend both brand and user-generated content. Make it easy for consumers to immediately navigate from branded content to consumer reviews to promotional offers. This will reinforce your brand messaging and trigger action.
Strengthen and Integrate In-Store Initiatives Through Social.
When executing traditional shopper marketing plans, most marketers already know to integrate promotions with social and online channels. Yet, it can be hard to execute successfully. It’s important to work together with retail partners to keep social shopper activations easy for the consumers. Whether it’s providing a simple hashtag or involves a multi-step engagement process in a larger campaign, online and offline tactics should balance each other.
Social engagement can be the glue to bond together your shopper-marketing tactics. However, this is not just limited to crafting posts on your brand’s social networking pages and hoping for likes and comments. Ninety-two percent of women pass along deals or finds to others. When you make it easy for shoppers to share with their friends and followers, your shopper marketing initiatives have exponential reach. Well beyond the brick-and-mortar location.
Each year will bring new ways to reach moms in-store, and it can often seem overwhelming. Brands who build a solid foundation of valuable resources online put themselves in the best position to cut through clutter and end up in the sough-after basket at the checkout line.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on Sept. 30, 2016, in Engage:Moms.