Shopper Experience: From the Path to Purchase to the Story Telling of the Shopper

The Path to Purchase is the structure being used by several companies that have begun to develop their Shopper Marketing areas.

In this way they manage to identify the different stages that the Shopper follows before arriving at the “moment of truth” where he goes through the checkout and chooses a certain brand.

Photo: Liverani

The strategy would be in the conversion of the Shopper in each one of these stages, achieving in a scientific way to establish a quantifiable conversion tool.

It would be the base of the Shopper Marketing. Jean Mark Ziegler, from The Retail Factory consulting firm, expert in the subject, defines Shopper Marketing: “Capturing the Shoppertunity by maximizing the conversion throughout the purchase process, optimizing the value offer, the purchase experience, the distribution and the management of Touchpoints, based on relevant insight of Shopper and Channels through a coherent management of the functions involved” (Ziegler, 2016)

One of the most complete and comprehensive definitions of Shopper Marketing we have found in the literature available today.

However, the Shopper’s last name: “Marketing”, triggers us to the need of understanding how to build a Shopper oriented communication strategy. Should it be the same as the consumer oriented one? How do we integrate the Consumer Marketing communication to the Shopper Marketing one? Should the slogan and the Call to action be the same? How do we activate a Touch Point?

The Shopper-Latam Agency, with more than 20 years of experience in consulting and execution presents a work model that integrates the Shopper’s World with one of the most used communication techniques today: Story Telling.

“From the Path to Purchase to the Story Telling of the Shopper” is our model of activation of brands and products in the path that the Shopper takes in the decision making to reach the purchase. It is a model of how to interrupt the Shopper to generate conversion in the different stages, taking it permanently from the attitude of the brand to the purchase behavior”.

A theoretical and practical communication model that recognizes the Shopper as a “mammal/multisensory” that must encode messages coming from the conventional media and from a new medium: “The Point of Sale, a medium that besides communicating multi-sensory is where the sale is closed, is a “portal” that conditions the way we move, look, smell and of course buy”. A medium that requires identifying opportunities for spaces, supports and messages, explains Pablo Beas, founding partner of the Shopper-Latam agency.

Story Telling has become one of the best techniques to seduce a “Consumer”. This is how the Netflix platform has managed to identify in a scientific way how long it takes the audience to follow a series or discard it. At such a level that today it is rumored that some scripts are manipulated to keep the audience”

But as Ziegler says “… the times when an army of aggressive salesmen ensured the sale and when everything that was put on TV was sold no longer exist” it is fundamental to develop Shopper strategies, which include a communication strategy.

Claudio Seguel, expert in Story Telling, with different publications and courses explains “telling ideas is important, but telling stories is fundamental” (Seguel, 2014) What the Shopper needs in his shopping trip is much more than a price offer, it is a story in which the brand’s attitudes must be combined with the Path to Purchase stage where each Touch Point plays a conversion role so it must be activated correctly.

For years we have found many brands that despite having an excellent TOP of mind complain about their low Share. We have seen how the sales area begins to develop actions to promote sales to the Shopper but usually in the last line or in the destination area when the decision is practically made. “Today many people believe that a communication strategy of Shopper is to repeat a brand image in the different stages of the Path to purchase, changing supports and formats added to a slogan and a price bubble, without a doubt it is a big mistake, adds Beas”.

The travel time from when the “Spark” (the spark that ignites the purchase process) is generated until the Shopper arrives at the Checkout (Moment of Truth) varies according to a series of factors. However, it is much longer than the 30 seconds of a TV commercial. It is imperative to have a comprehensive communication model that not only allows us to tell the story but also to integrate brand arguments such as a slogan translated into a call to action.

From Path to Purchase to Story Telling is a model, which seeks to be a tool to convert the Shopper in each of the stages of his journey, using the arguments of the brands as triggers of buying behaviors supporting brand attributes and developing the sale.

The model does not end with the “Moment of Truth”. Since every purchase of a product entails a consumption, therefore a “consumption occasion” that must be an integral part of the “Story Telling” giving an emotional value to this process between attitude and behavior. The communication strategy must have a central axis or concept that can use different communication supports, from the public thoroughfare, pop, an exhibitor or a promoter but that must be integrated to the same story.

Author: America Retail