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Shopper behavior: The most important indicator for a retail strategy

Nowadays, it’s a shopper-centric world. Unlike the 60s when customers didn’t have as many options, now, they can move from shop to shop, navigate online and purchase products from other countries. This means that retailers need to put the shopper at the center of their strategy if they want to stay on top of the competition. 

In this article, we are going to focus on shopper behavior and how this indication can influence the retail market. Let’s discover how shopping patterns can impact the whole strategy of a store or business and how retailers can keep track of ever-changing shopping trends. 

What does shopper behavior mean?

As you might expect, shopper behavior compiles all of the actions and emotional responses of buyers during the shopping process. There are a few aspects of shopper behavior that retailers should keep an eye on constantly: 

  • Top products that attract the attention of shoppers
  • The way shoppers navigate the store
  • When do shoppers prefer to buy (morning, afternoon, night)
  • The emotional responses of shoppers during the shopping experience

How is shopper behavior impacted over time?

It is important to understand that shopper behavior is changing over time. There are various factors, both internal and external, that can influence how shoppers select products, react to promotions, and make purchases. 

Usually, when trends are changing, so is the behavior of the shoppers. Also, important events, a crisis, and going from a demographic to another can change the way a shopper acts and buys. 

Let’s take the pandemic as an example. While a lot of people were shopping only in-store, during the pandemic we’ve seen a change in the way shoppers buy. We’ve seen a shift toward online shopping and this trend continues still, even after the COVID pandemic has lowered its impact. Of course, many people returned to the stores, but they are still shopping online for various products which they didn’t two years ago. 

Another interesting shift is happening right now. Inflation is a major issue and the retail sector is one of the most affected. When prices are rising, shoppers tend to continue to stick to what they are used to. Even if prices are higher, shoppers will pay the price. Now, we are seeing something different in their behavior: They are switching brands, replacing products they love in order to keep the bill at the same price. This will force retailers and brands to be even more competitive and lower prices or offer discounts to keep customers interested. 

How does shopper behavior impact the retail strategy?

Why is it important to understand and monitor shopper behavior? Because it has a major impact on the retail strategy. While trends keep changing so does the behavior of the shoppers and retailers need to be prepared and try to offer exactly what shoppers are looking for. If not, the competition will come in with a better offer, more sustainable products, and more affordable products. 

One shopping behavior or trend that has impacted the retail sector in the last two years has been sustainability. Conscious shoppers are looking for products that are more sustainable, made out of recycled materials, and with a low carbon footprint. Some retailers understood that customers are willing to pay more for sustainable products and that’s why they’ve created entire sustainability strategies to attract shoppers. 

Shopper behavior can make retailers change their store layout

If customers are entering your store and they get confused by the way you placed products on your aisles, then this means you need to make a change. However, keep in mind that customers hate it when you change the layout of your store if it is functional. Keep an eye on how your shoppers are navigating the store before you decide to replace the dairy aisle with the frozen goods aisle. 

More entertainment in-store

Another thing that has changed in the shopper's behavior is the need for entertainment in-store. A few years ago, customers went in-store, purchased the products they wanted, and then left. Now, they can get products everywhere they want, including ordering them online which is effortless for the consumer. This has impacted physical retailers because customers that come in-store want more than a simple purchase, they want an experience. 

This is why many retailers and brands rely on engaging technology like Tokinomo to attract the attention of shoppers and keep them engaged. We can tell you that shoppers are definitely surprised and entertained by campaigns implemented with Tokinomo. Just take a look:

 

Some products are in, others are out

Over time, customers start to appreciate other products. This means that retailers can’t make an accurate forecast if they rely only on trend analysis. Knowing how the perception of shoppers has changed in the last few years or even months is crucial for retailers. 

Shopper behavior analysis

It’s important to know what your shoppers buy, but it’s also essential to understand why shoppers make a purchase. There are various ways to analyze shopper behavior. However, it is harder to uncover shopper behavior in-store. 

One way to analyze shopper behavior inside a brick-and-mortar store is to rely on face detection and face analysis tools. These technologies can help retailers to:

  • Monitor foot traffic
  • Track the busiest times of day
  • Have a clear picture of the demographics (age and gender)
  • See the way shoppers navigate the store
  • Analyze customer’s emotion

Discover how and why your shoppers choose certain products and you will be able to put together a better, more performant retail strategy. Understand shopping patterns for more accurate forecasting. 

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