You could have been the boring front-bencher, the popular one or the one who lives by the phrase ‘It’s all Greek to me’. However, no matter what kind of a student you once were, you never stop being one, even when you grow up. It comes through in little ways and this is especially so, when you are out shopping.

You must have gone grocery shopping at one point of time in your life, so just reflect on what you do when you are inside a store. If you take a walk down a shopping aisle, you will read the back-panels, compare prices, talk to the staff and ask about promotions for that new brand that caught your eye.

You want to know more about this fantastic world of products that is spread out for you to choose from. You are educating yourself, gathering all the facts, so that you can make an informed decision. And that is what shoppers do and Grey and G2’s Eye on Asia – Retail study gives us a peek into what goes on in the minds of these shoppers.

Overall, Asian consumers like to test, taste and find out more about the various options available to them. They are in this fascinating world which they believe is an experiential journey. They look forward to trials and demonstrations – anything that will enable them to experience a product and take brand introduction one step ahead.

In fact, it is not just about the shopping experience but a journey of new learning. When in-store, shoppers are feeding their psychological need to feel smarter. They take their time to read the information provided by brands before deciding on what they want to buy.

An insight from Grey and G2’s Eye on Asia – Retail study shows that over 60% of Asian shoppers compare products before making a final purchase decision. They compare prices, product specifics, packaging and smile in satisfaction when they pick up the best product at the best price. And the reward is like a perfect score-card on their shopping list.

However, not all Asians are the same though. For instance, India is a youthful country where the young want to look good and that is why Indians tend to spend more time comparing and obtaining information about beauty products as the usage level in this category is high. On the other hand, Chinese shoppers dedicate shopping time to obtaining information about health supplements and medical products, a category which is important to them.

The famous philosopher Plato once said that ‘knowledge is food for the soul’ and he cannot have been more right when it comes to the Asian shopper. Asian consumers look for knowledge via demonstrations, posters or new products – they absorb anything that brands want to tell them.

In effect then, the store acts as the media channel for information. This then poses an opportunity for marketers to make information available to consumers who will use what they read to help them in their purchase decision. This is a flip from conventional above the line marketing where brands are trying to grab attention, whilst in-store, the consumers are willing to give brands all the attention they want.

So, no matter what kind of a student you are, if the subject was fascinating you would have wanted to study it. You would not have bunked the lecture, but instead you paid additional attention during class. The subject of brands is particularly fascinating to shoppers as they are more than happy to learn anything that brands want to tell them.

Hence, in summary, it is just up to retailers and brands to make the most of this given opportunity to ensure that their products end up in the shopper’s basket.

Contributed by Shweta Khosla, Planning Director, Grey India