CHICAGO – Modern technology has changed how consumers shop. They're increasingly shopping from their couches instead of visiting their local retailer. What is driving brick-and-mortar shoppers to remain this type of shopper? How do retailers introduce new items, in-store and online? How do retailers meet customer needs for personalization and convenience?
These are the lingering questions throughout the industry, said Tom McDonald, chairman of the advisory board and best practices team leader for the Category Management Association (CMA), Bloomington, Minn., during the webinar The Changing World of Category Management and Shopper Insights.
“It’s no longer about commercial ads or campaigns, but about your social footprint and how you get people to use your products,” McDonald said. “It’s important to provide the tools people need to become efficient in pricing, promotion and everyday shelving.”
Here are three ways retailers can use shopper insights to bolster their business, according to the CMA …
1. Create a solid organizational structure
Building a strong organizational structure is the biggest factor when gaining shopper insights, said Leslie Warshaw, president of the Shopper Insights Management Association (SIMA), a division of the CMA. She said having everyone from senior management to sales teams learn the company’s tools will make a difference.
“In today’s world, you need a collaborative, cross-functional team,” she said. “You need everyone in on everything.”
2. Consider how data is used
Adding data into company decision-making and putting that data into context to gain insights can create competitive advantages for retailers, McDonald said. Questions retailers should ask themselves before launching their data program include why they’re investing in data, how they should store the data and how they plan on bringing insights to life through the data.
Warshaw also said informing retailers of the many data sources they can use is essential.
3. Prepare for the future
Channeling shopper insights will become more important as the future approaches, said McDonald. He said hiring team members with backgrounds in shopper insights, e-commerce and plan-o-gram generation will be beneficial for retailers down the road.
“The ability to produce thousands of plan-o-grams in days at a time compared to years ago is amazing,” he said. “This allows you to focus your resources on shopper insight generation and invest your tools in prioritized areas. Having people who do this will bring up the skill level of the whole group.”