Tapping into shoppers' emotions
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By Geny Caloisi
30 May 2012
The Imperative Group gave a presentation on customer engagement at Screenmedia Expo 2012
The world of retail is changing rapidly. In part it is thanks to the inclusion of new technologies, such as interactivity and mobile devices. There is also new societal behaviour sparked by social networking – a subject being talked about by ad agencies, media owners and technology companies.
Shoppers have multiple channels through which they find information, advice and the chance to buy just by clicking a mouse or touching a mobile phone screen. So how can out-of-home media help retailers lure precious customers into stores, retain them for longer and encourage them to purchase? More technology? Maybe, but there needs to be a lot of psychology in play too. It's all about providing a tailored retail experience.
We have talked about the Customer Journey previously, and the need for understanding how the shopper makes its decisions and interacts with brands was apparent at several seminars I attended at Screenmedia Expo and at POPAI's Shopper Summit last week.
At Screenmedia Expo, the Imperative Group's Chris Heap said that retailers need to tap into the shopper's emotional side. At the Shopper Summit, retail and marketing experts agreed that appealing to the shopper's emotions is the way forward. But emotions are irrational, so how can one predict them in order to achieve the desired result? This is where behavioural economics come into play.
The Holy Grail of behavioural economics is knowing how to engage with customers, how to make them stay for longer in stores and how to use all means of communication available to not only produce sales, but also create loyalty. Brands need to be consistent in their messages and provide the client with an experience, rather than just a shopping trip.
At the Shopper Summit, Trevor Harvey from Saatchi and Saatchi X explained that by understanding behavioural economics retailers can assist shoppers in making their decisions or even encourage changes of habit – that is, to buy a different brand or a similar product.
In order to influence shoppers, they also need to be in the right frame of mind, pointed out Wendy Lanchin from The Marketing Store. The company studied the different moods that people experience when shopping and explained that the rules of engagement have changed. Lanchin advised retailers to 'give people breathing space when they come into stores so that they can leave their emotional environment behind and start their shopping from a neutral starting point'. So where retailers place their screens and point-of-sale advertising is key.
Danielle Pinnington from research company Shoppercentric brought online and in-store together. "Digital screens bring stores to life," she said. "They provide them with the tools to make the shopping experiential. They also allow brands to continue the conversation that started online, in-store. But above all technology has to be an integral part of the shopping experience helping with in-store navigation, information and advice. It can help in flexing the touch points in the customer's journey and remove the barriers to purchases, but it has to be shopper-centric in order to work."
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