Do you really need to incorporate technology into your shopper marketing plan?
One way to answer that question is to ask yourself these questions:
1. How have your shoppers evolved their behavior to shopping your store/brand/product?
2. How have you adapted your approach to connecting with their behavior?
The behavior of shopping continues to evolve and nowhere is this more clear than in the area of technology. According to InsightExpress, 82% of consumers use mobile phones during their shopping trips. Said another way, your shoppers are using their phones to help them make brand and product decisions.
Best Buy is a retailer that continues to adapt its technology toolbox. It is ironic when you think that Best Buy, as a technology retailer, faces challenges from the technology it sells. Based on the consumer electronics products it carries, a typical shopper's path to purchase involves a lot of Internet research. A visit to a brick and mortar store is used as a way to physically see and interact with the products, but Best Buy sales have been suffering as shoppers end up Internet price shopping and purchasing that product somewhere else.
Best Buy, realizing this trend, has been creating tools to convert those retail visits into purchases. One strategy is increasing the amount of information available in the store, thus controlling where shoppers are getting information. In an announcement this month, all their US retail stores product fact tags will now include QR codes. This makes them the first national retailer in the US and they will definitely not be the last.
So what are QR codes and how exactly do they work? Retail Customer Experience has done a great job of outlining what QR codes are, different options available and some further thoughts around Best Buy's announcement.
So, back to my original question - do you really need to incorporate technology into your shopper marketing plan? I trust this example from Best Buy reinforces it is becoming more and more critical for retailers and manufactures to integrate shopping and technology. At the end of the day, Shopper Marketing is all about reaching shoppers based understanding and leveraging shopper insights. So based on shoppers utilizing technology in their shopping process, we should be incorporating and creating relevant technologies as part of our retail marketing plans.