Shopper Insights: Moving beyond what to understand why

The real value of shopper insights is answering the 'whys'

We’ve all heard stories from around the world about how retailers are utilizing their loyalty data.

Some are inventive: targeting shoppers that drink lots of milk and eat lots of red meat for car insurance, while excluding those who eat lots of pasta and rice, fill up their fuel at night, and drink spirits. Others seemingly invasive, such as the story about the father learning about his daughter’s pregnancy from a retailer’s targeted direct mailing.

The real value of shopper insights however, is moving beyond the ‘what’ and into the ‘why’.

Today, it is no longer acceptable to speak with retailers and vendors discussing only ‘what’ happened. Are dollar sales up? Are units down? What is my sales per item per store?

The ‘why’ explains what is driving your sales up. We may think we know ‘why’, however are you operating on assumptions? Can you say without a doubt you truly know ‘why’?

Is it increased customer penetration? Are existing shoppers buying more frequently or are they purchasing more each transaction? Did your recent innovation cannibalize existing sales or do shoppers consider it complimentary to your existing range? Or possibly your competitors?

There is also another ‘why’ to be considered. This is the justification ‘why’.

Why should I range your product? Why should I not de-list your brand vs. your competitors? Why should I implement your proposed price strategy? Is there a gap in the demographic spectrum that can be exploited? Does your existing range fill a unique demographic profile with high value shoppers that are loyal to the retailer? Does your brand have a high percentage of exclusive buyers with very low duplication to competitors?

Did your previous price promotion drive new shoppers into the category? If so, did they remain in the category or were they purely bargain hunting? Did you up-trade your existing shoppers to your large packs or premium range?

By fully understanding your shoppers and your competitors, you can justify these and many more ‘why's'. You will have the ammunition you need to make it impossible for them to say no to your proposals.

Don’t we all want to begin every meeting in that position?

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