How Changing Consumer Lifestyles are Reshaping Shopping Behavior
Paco Underhill (author of Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping, Call of the Mall: The Geography of Shopping, and What Women Want: The Global Marketplace Turns Female Friendly, and the founder of a market research company called Envirosell.) Underhill explores the ways in which our surroundings create a psychological environment that influences our behavior. As marketers, we want to create the psychological environment in the retail store that delivers a rewarding consumer shopping experience. Assessing the value of the purchase is a vital metric, but it is not the vital strategic and growth driver. To produce the best financial results, retailers are creating the environment that predisposes the consumer to positive feelings that lead not only to the action of buying, but the positive memory of an experience you want to repeat. The provision of products attractively arranged in counters, with attention-getting POS and professional service to facilitate the selection of products for purchase – those are activities that are done well by all successful retailers. Executing well on those fronts is no longer the competitive differentiator. The consumer now expects more, and the successful retailers of the future are delivering more – a mood, an atmosphere, an in-store shopping experience that thrills and delights and entertains the consumer.
Herb Sorenson (Author of Inside the Mind of the Shopper. Founder of ShopperScientist LLC). Sorensen is a PhD in biochemistry who focuses less on the environment and more on the relationship between the shopper, the product, the in-store messaging, and the navigational processes that a consumer follows from the first consumer touch-point or contact with a Brand, to the act of buying the product, to the formation of the relationship that we hope results in future purchases and store visits. Retailers are applying a highly scientific/biological methodology to the business of guiding and shaping the relationship through many stages of experience.
Both of these perspectives are reshaping the way retailing is done.
It was not too many years ago that there was a stigma about shopping at discount stores. Most of us would rather not admit that we shopped at a discount store. Now, shopping at Discounters is socially acceptable. Consumers even take pride in finding the best value, sharing their discoveries, and showing off their smart approach to finding the best quality at the lowest price. Discount stores will be an increasingly important channel. Discounters managed to transform their image from very un-cool to very cool. Granted, the consumer trend that takes pride in being a clever shopper may not have been engineered by the Discounters themselves. Regardless of what drives the trend, what can we do to make playing the Lottery be more fashionable and drive social network sharing and promotion? How might this consumer psychological shift inform our approach towards the promotion and brand messaging of Lottery?
Motivations to play the lottery are very different from the motivations to buy a lottery ticket. There is a big difference between shopping versus consumptive behavior, and between shoppers and consumers. Think about how we use handbags and purses. We need to put things in a bag for carrying them with us. The shopper satisfies that need. But the wants of a consumer can be satisfied in a wide variety of different ways. We need different bags for different occasions, and to express ourselves in different ways. The desire to have different bags creates a consumer-driven cycle causing others who see the different bags to want to have different bags, too. The purchase of an automobile has very little to do with the need to get from one place to another and much more to do with satisfying a variety of needs for self-expression and affiliation with values. How might Lottery tap into the broader range of motivations by marketing to create consumers as opposed to promoting to shoppers?
And the shopper, the one who buys the product, can be different from the consumer, the one who actually uses the product. Example: Who shops for men’s soap and shampoo? Men typically can’t even name the brand of soap or shampoo they use. So, the ads for men’s soap/shampoo target women, not men. That’s who the shopper is. Too, women don’t want men to use their products so they make sure the men have their own to use. McDonalds markets to children who don’t have any money because children are the ones who drive the adult behavior of buying McDonalds. Know who you are selling to and focus on influencing that specific target’s behavior and motivations.
Major trends towards building cross-functional teams are creating a fully informed holistic approach towards marketing strategy. First, resist the impulse to make everything perfect before launch. Design, Test, Launch, Repeat. How do we create behavioral change? Five very simple questions on how to use retail as a laboratory.
- What opportunities are there to drive consumption?
- How do we appeal to the true shopping behavior that drives consumption?
- How do we adapt our strategies to the physical constraints of the retail store environment?
- What can we do to influence and shape consumer behavior?
- What investment is needed to reinvent our relationship with the consumer?
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