A jar of mayonnaise or a package of tea is a straightforward product. But if manufacturers market those products in the U.K. the same way they do in the U.S., they are probably making a mistake. Nielsen has compiled the following “shopper truths” from around the world to help consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers successfully navigate consumer shopping behavior:
- Same category, different market: often requires a different shopper strategy — While some universal truths exist within categories across borders, success of activation strategies relate to a variety of factors such as local culture, evolving retailer dynamics, pre-store/in-store decision-making, historical promotion strategy, etc. Nielsen’s cross market and cross-category Shopper Modality studies reveal significant differences in levels of category involvement, experimentation and choice drivers.
- In-store is usually not the best place to start selling — A huge amount of shopper decision-making is made on auto-pilot. Nielsen DeltaQualTM tells us that shoppers don’t evaluate all products in-store to make the “perfect” choice-they accept the acceptable, according to sub-conscious choice rules which become ingrained over time to form habitual shopping behavior.
- The best shopper activation strategy is to meet consumer needs — Success is more about meeting consumer needs rather than hitting price points. Ensure an appropriate consumer fit for pack size/count/variety/range through understanding occasionality and/or needs-and as those needs change overtime, build in flexibility to adapt.
- Too many promotions are detrimental to brand and category health in the longer term — Scale and frequency of promotions will set up shopper expectations and create a behavior in shoppers which encourages deal-seeking. Empirical data shows that the more shoppers get used to the deals offered by sales and promotions, the more resistant they are to paying full price.
- Siting matters as much as depth of discount for in-store promotions — On average, feature and display alone provides 66% of sales uplift regardless of discounts offered. Focus investments on securing site rather than diluting price point, and shift the discussion and quantify the opportunity with a discount versus no discount.
- Shopper perceptions do not always equal reality — It’s not always about reality, but what consumers believe. Align in-store execution with consumer perceptions-or address the root cause of perceptions: deeply-held beliefs can be hard to overcome.
These and other shopper truths will be explored in greater detail in the April edition of Consumer Insight.