Shoppers Shift On Ads: Give Us More Signal, Less Noise

A new study from Valassis finds that shoppers are eager for -- and even crave -- more information about brands while shopping. They just wish advertisers would figure out a way to give it to them “with more signal and less noise,” says Carrie Parker, vice president of marketing for the marketing technology company.

“When they are in the purchasing circuit, consumers want experience as well as efficiency,” she says. “They want that serendipitous feeling of finding something new, and that was a real 'aha’ for us in this research. Marketers do have an opportunity to fuel discovery.”

So while shoppers crave time-saving conveniences, with 39% saying they prefer retailers that offer a “Buy online, pick up in store” option, they’re also willing to make time for the unexpected.



About 38% say they wish ads would help them discover something new. “And four in ten tell us they want advertising to help them break out of habits,” Parker tells Marketing Daily.

The study, done in conjunction with Kantar and based on responses from 1,000 adults, found that 68% believe they are better at making smart purchasing decisions than they were five years ago. About 60% say they often research products online before purchase, and 62% read product labels closely.

Almost 70% prefer to get their shopping done as fast as possible, and they love convenience; 24% have signed up for auto-replenishment services. And 39% prefer retailers that provide buy online, pick up in-store options. But 38% wish ads would help them discover something new.

Shoppers would also like it if ads were more helpful. About 51% (and 68% of parents in the research) wish advertising would help educate them so they could have the best experiences with a product, and 47% say they’d prefer that relevant advertising would address their personal needs. Some 43% don’t understand why targeted ads don’t guide them through stores to actually locate products.

And as companies gain a deeper sense of just how nonlinear shopping has become, the research indicates that instead of “fixating on stages within the customer journey, advertisers and marketers should focus on the triggers that motivate people to move from one stage to the next.”

About while fewer than a third -- 30% -- of shoppers say they pay attention to influencers and celebrities they see online, that percentage jumps to 51% for millennials.

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