"Last mile" key to shopper strategies

03 June 2014

NEW YORK: Brands and retailers can enhance the power of their digital and shopper marketing by ensuring the "last mile" of the customer journey is characterised by engaging experiences, a new paper from Warc demonstrates.

What we know about shopper strategy and the path-to-purchase draws on insights from leading practitioners and academics, numerous case studies and the insights and experiences of senior client-side executives.

The old path to purchase may have been undermined by the rise of digital and mobile technologies, it proposes, but the need for choice, convenience and value remain. And marketers possess new ways to bring them to life.

"As consumers get thriftier and smarter, brand marketers and retailers need to ensure that the last mile of the consumer journey lives up to customer expectations," the paper states.

"And, in many instances, that may mean more than providing aisle after aisle of brightly colored product offerings."

One example of how to respond to the new reality comes from LG, the electronics manufacturer, and department-store chain Sears, which together created dedicated "LG Inspiration Zones".

These in-store education centres are based around a "life-like home environment", and thus give shoppers a far richer context to make decisions in.

Sports giant adidas also installed the adiVERSE Virtual Footwear Wall – a huge touchscreen offering the ability to browse its portfolio, rotate product images, view specifications, watch video, and so on – in many stores.

For its part, the Milk Processors Education Program aimed to encourage female consumers in America to make latte coffee at home through a truly integrated model.

Its pre-store activity mixed celebrity endorsement and Facebook ads. When consumers reached stores, they could scan QR codes to access how-to-video. Digital, PR, print and social media ads were then used post-shop.

"As shopper marketing budgets rise, coordinating in-store work with other marketing is becoming more important," the paper observes.

"Increasingly, clients want to integrate shopper and general marketing strategies, and make their communications much more closely aligned with their new understanding of the path to purchase."

Data sourced from Warc