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Shopper Marketing : The New Kid on the Block

Shopper marketing and Consumer marketing, are they really different? If yes, what is the difference between them?

Shopper marketing and Consumer marketing, are they really different? If yes, what is the difference between them?

So let us start by answering the most basic question- "What is the difference between shopper & consumer?". Consumer is typically the "user " of the product whereas shopper is the "buyer" simply put. Are they both same always? Maybe or maybe not. Kids might be consuming milk additives or milk food drinks but parents/mom is the one who typically buys it. Sometimes the consumer and the shopper could be the same person as well. Like in case of cigarettes where consumer and shopper are same. And who is important- whom do we need to understand? Both- because my perceptions and experiences as a user impact my purchases and vice a versa. Though different sides of the same coin both shopper and consumer are critical to ensuring success of a brand/product.

Now coming to the difference between Shopper Marketing & Consumer Marketing and need to cover both of them. Let us again start with the very basic.

Shopper marketing cares about what happens inside the store and anything that is immediately related to it. For e.g. reason for choosing a particular store, reasons for making a shopping trips or anything to do with what, how and why people spend their money on while buying.

Consumer marketing on the other hand is more focused  on brand/product experience no matter where it happens. It is more about understanding the needs and consumption of category and perceptions about different brand in the category.

Both have different applications - shopper marketing allows you to work in tandem with retailers and sales team to ensure that companies optimize their in-store spends whereas consumer marketing allows you to understand how to target and position your brand and optimize your advertising budgets.

Shopper marketing is closely tied with company's sales functions allowing you to improve your sales through optimization of SKU's and in-store activation. Companies are becoming increasingly aware about importance of influencing "consumers" while they are shopping. Consumer marketing in contrast is more closely linked with brand teams in an organization. It goes beyond purchase and looks at broader category and brand trends to have products and messaging aligned to consumer needs.

Shopper marketing focuses on "pushing" the products either through right placement or through right point of sales offers and messaging. It is tailored to understand how to please a shopper and get him to buy more or to get more shoppers within the store and to either get them to buy with more frequency. But on the other hand consumer marketing is more about creating a "pull" . The key goal would be to create an offering or messaging aimed to create consumer demand so that they go and ask for the brand/product in-store.

However what we as marketers need to realize is that both these functions do not work in silos but go hand in hand. Our experience as a consumer can define what we purchase and our experience as a shopper can influence what we consume. Understanding both in tandem can really help improving the product and shopping experience and thereby achieve organizational objectives.

We would love to help you with your marketing objectives. Let us talk.

Would love to hear your thoughts, suggestions or feedback.


Published On - November 30, 2021