Channel planning: Don‘t stop at the door of the store

Sarah Ivey

Initiative Worldwide

With so many ways to purchase, channel planning needs to engage the consumer from initial awareness of product or service need through to transaction completion

Marketers estimate that, on average, 70% of purchase decisions are made in-store. Recent studies of post-recessionary behaviour tell us that one-third of shoppers will continue to compare prices, and one-fifth intend to trade down to cheaper brands. So the question is, why do communication plans continue to stop at the door of the store?

Communication plans are designed to imprint top-of-mind awareness before the shopper enters the store or clicks online – and hope that no diversions happen along the way. However, the odds are that most shoppers will get diverted as they go beyond the reach of paid media.

Shopper insight, meanwhile, has grown in stature as an important discipline to map what happens inside the store. Better named shopper research, it now encompasses segmentation, analytics, behavioural science and ethnography – these are critical learnings to shape the brand experience. However, shopper research rarely maps in-store to what happens before the shopper walks in.