What is shopper behaviour? Is it marketing, economics or psychology? In reality, it’s all of these and more!
In the broadest use of the term, shopper behaviour is the study of how shoppers’ make decisions in regards to how they select goods and services – including the emotional, behavioural and psychological factors that precede or follow a purchase. In the retail world, the study of shopper behaviour has been used to influence the marketing strategies of some of the largest retailers and brands to help increase sales of certain products or lines.
The process of developing an understanding of shopper behaviour is a multi-faceted one. There is no individual influence that causes a person to interact with a product in any given way – rather there are many that all come into play at different times throughout a shopper’s purchasing decision process. These influences include internal influences such as a shopper’s motivation or perception as well as external influences, such as culture or social class. This is of course, ignoring issues such as brand loyalty, risk factors and other consumer behaviour modifiers that may impact shoppers at any point throughout the decision making process.
Another layer is added if customers are interacting with an entirely new product. New products infer a much higher risk to purchasers and in cases such as these, the adopter group of the shopper in question needs to be factored in. Early adopters for example, often fit certain profiles that are related to their desire to invest in new technology sooner. Conversely, laggards, the last adoption group – will often put off buying certain products or concepts until they are nearly obsolete.
Despite its complexity, understanding shopper behaviour is vital in the world of retail. This knowledge helps brands develop effective advertising campaigns and retailers optimise the shopper experience through the development of shelving layout, pricing, special offers and other influential factors.
The best way to understand shopper behaviour within any given industry is to undertake market research and analysis, to best achieve an overview based on real people’s experiences, thoughts and processes. Some of the best research methods seek to bypass the fallible nature of the human brain, in which a purchaser may not fully understand their own actions or decisions. Techniques such as eye-tracking or film-based shopper research provide indispensable resources for marketers and give unparalleled insight into purchasing process. This information can then be used to make changes to a store layout or change a company’s marketing strategy in order to increase customer spend and reduce lost revenue.
While some companies undertake shopper behaviour research themselves, many work with specialist companies whose job it is to provide expert shopper research and insight services. These companies already have a deep understanding of what leads a shopper to buy goods and services and can provide customer insights that internal project management might not. Such a service can result in a measurable increase in sales for the client business as marketing strategies are tailored to suite the shopper’s decision making processes.
If you want to learn more about shopper behaviour, why not talk to the experts? Give SBXL a call on 01543 255 259 or email us at email@example.com.