How Do Today’s Shoppers Rate the New Tech Tools?
By Jack Grant
Today’s shoppers have plenty of Digital Shopper Marketing tools at their fingertips. But how many of them are useful enough to be deemed worthwhile? Surprisingly, most shoppers rate only a select handful of these tools as clear winners, says a new study.
“The rapid growth of DSM tools has forced brands and retailers to shift their focus and budgets along the path-to-purchase, away from above-the-line spending,” says Brian Cohen, Director of Digital Shopper Marketing at Catapult Action-Biased Marketing. “But while technology has changed shopper behaviors, it has yet to catch up with the wide array of shopper need states.”
Catapult recently conducted its third annual comprehensive study of Digital Shopper Marketing. For the research, designed to better understand consumer perceptions and behaviors around more than 30 DSM tools, Catapult partnered with research firm IPSOS-OTX, offering the most thorough assessment available of the current state of Digital Shopper Marketing.
Catapult’s online study of more than 1,200 consumers, which builds on its prior DSM studies in 2009 and 2010, resulted in five key findings:
- Many Media Darlings Not Proving Helpful Scanable QR codes, location-based check-ins, and other media-hyped tools have yet to provide a significant impact at retail, as shoppers do not find them helpful, and use them infrequently. “These tools are engaging and exciting on the surface, but they’re flunking the ultimate litmus test in being helpful for shoppers,” says Seth Diamond, Catapult’s Vice President of Insights.
- Social Media a Non-Factor for Shoppers Shoppers are not turning to Facebook, Twitter or other social media to help research, plan or influence their trips. “While these tools are assuming a more relevant place in many marketing budgets, social media hasn’t played an appreciable role in influencing shopper behavior,” Diamond explains. “Brands and retailers need to re-examine how social media fits within their overall shopper mix, and re-invent its place and desired usage.”
- Privacy Biggest Roadblock Three of four shopper surveyed (74%) have expressed concern about privacy when leveraging DSM tools, with nearly one-quarter of those limiting their use as a result. “As technology becomes more personal, it’s not surprising to find shoppers expressing unease with how much access and information they’re sharing,” explains Cohen. “This presents an opportunity for brands and retailers to capitalize on the heritage and trust they’ve established with shoppers to create new pathways for DSM adoption.”
- Technology Is Driving Behavioral Change A solid majority (68%) of consumers who have used digital technology have altered their shopping habits as a result, whether it’s more time spent shopping, faster decision making or interest in featured products. This is up from 58% in the 2010 study.
- DSM Is Clearly on the Shopper’s Radar More than three-quarters of the 34 tools surveyed topped 50% awareness among shoppers, while 58% who are using DSM technology experience “positive satisfaction.”
“This is an exciting time for shopper marketing,” notes Diamond. “There’s a steady stream of DSM innovation that continues to redefine the rules of engagement between shoppers, brands and retailers, providing an opportunity to deliver breakthrough experiences at each step along the path-to-purchase.”