The future of shopper marketing: The psychology of shopping

Christopher Gray
Saatchi & Saatchi X

Appealing to both the functional and emotional needs of shoppers in all purchase environments is essential if shopper marketers are to create communications that will cut through.

Wiggle your toes. Go ahead, try it. While you're wiggling, notice the physical sensations affecting your toes at this moment. Are they warm or cold? Can you feel the ground beneath them or the inside of your shoes?

Chances are that 20 seconds ago, you weren't thinking about your toes at all, and you weren't noticing the very same sensations you are now. They were there – your toes didn't suddenly become warm or cold – it's just that those particular sensations weren't relevant to you a few moments ago, so your brain automatically tuned them out to focus on more important activities, such as reading this article. This largely unconscious process called selective attention prevents us from being overloaded by the huge amount of stimuli in our environment. For those of us who are Shopper Marketers, this process of selective attention represents one of our biggest challenges as we attempt to connect with today's shoppers and influence the purchase decisions they make, whether in-store or online.