Mother’s day supermarketing, from Tesco!

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Mother’s day supermarketing, from Tesco!

Last month, grocery retailer’s failed to persuade the majority of shoppers to engage with their Valentine’s Day gifts (CSI). This is not surprising because gift purchasing isn’t high on the agenda of the typical grocery shopper in a supermarket. When it comes to the occasionally shopped categories, shoppers need clearer and emotionally engaging reminders in-store, particularly about any upcoming occasions. And when it comes to Mother’s day, Tesco have delivered precisely that!

In February 2015, only 32% of shoppers bought Valentines items from grocery stores, however, mainstream Supermarket shoppers were more likely to purchase Valentine’s Day items than Discounter shoppers. Mainstream Supermarkets have the ability to use effective communication methods in-store in order to prompt occasions related to gift-giving, whereas Discounters may be at a disadvantage when it comes to Special Occasions, simply because they aren’t perceived as being ‘Special’.

Thinking about Mother’s Day, let’s look at the Tesco approach…

burton on trent Tesco
Tesco Mother’s Day range

As soon as shoppers enter a Tesco store they’re immediately reminded about Mother’s Day by a Front of Store display (front of store = front of mind). Prominent displays are also situated around the store, providing gifts suitable for a variety of ages and personalities of mum: DVDs, flowers, ornaments, tea lights, chocolates, wine, teddy bears etc.  In one store, there was a large imposing Mother’s Day card display on the mezzanine level at the top of the travellator (but still visible to those entering the store).

The science: Occasion themed displays interrupt shoppers ‘grocery shopping coma’, then make the process of buying gifts convenient and stress free. By sub-categorising Mother’s Day cards (“traditional”, “humour”, “cute” etc.) shoppers can easily find a card suitable to meet their perceived relationship with their mother. “Aah, mum will love this”, or “That’s ideal for my mother”.

Tesco continue to prompt Mother’s Day throughout the store, with “Happy Mother’s Day” signs on clothing and accessories. Keeping the occasion at front-of-mind, Tesco are basically giving shoppers every opportunity to buy and not to forget!

Aldi and Lidl
Mother’s Day range in Discounters (L-Aldi, R-Lidl)

Discounters on the other hand, may have put themselves at risk of shoppers dismissing their Mother’s Day range.  As most shoppers are in-store to buy groceries instead of gifts, it’s vital that the area captures shoppers’ attention; if the area does not stand out, it will be missed.

So when it comes to Mother’s Day, it looks like Tesco are clearly differentiating themselves from the discounters; they are tapping into shopper emotions using an occasion to do so. After all, whose mother would appreciate a cheap Mothers Day card/gift? Price is only the determining factor in the absence of value!

In order for Discounter retailers to get gift-giving front of the minds of shoppers. Perhaps they should follow Tesco:

1, prompt the occasion.  Although Discounters have attempted to prompt the occasion with the use of ceiling signs, this method of communication is often unsuccessful as shoppers don’t tend to look up during their shopping journey; meaning the message is often missed.

2, provide a range that’s suitable for a variety of Mothers. Valentine’s Day we saw that older shoppers were unlikely to buy gifts from grocery retailers; is the range suitable for all needs? Is it clear?

3, reduce intimidation. Gift-giving can be onerous for some shoppers so it is important that retailers reassure shoppers that they have the right range. Tell shoppers what they need to buy.