Thursday, November 13, 2014

Shopper Marketing Managers: How social commerce will change the way you market

Social commerce is changing the way consumers are shopping, yet shopper marketers are not keeping pace. As a soon to be graduate of Integrated Marketing and Communications Master’s program from Northwestern University’s Medill program, and with 7 years of CPG category management and marketing experience, I have been fortunate to have the ability to study and learn first-hand how shopping is changing in the digital age.
A great article by Rachel Serpa, 4 brands bridging the gap between digital and in-store, cites key statistics that illustrate why shopper marketing plans should include eCommerce and social channels. First, 45% of in-store customers turn to social platforms on their mobile phones to influence their buying decisions (Deloitte). Moreover, in the same Deloitte mobile influence study, they cite that the effect of smartphones on in-store sales will increase to $689 billion or 19% of in-store sales by 2016 (Deloitte).
Given Social media is the first stop for many customers looking for discounts or a product review, capturing them while “in-stream” could have significant ROI benefits. 4 Core Social Commerce trends in 2014 details how Starbucks leveraged Twitter and Stripe payment system, to allow consumers to "tweet a coffee" and automatically send a $5 gift card to a friend. Likewise, Nordstrom integrated Like2buy, which allows consumers to purchase items seen on Instagram.

1. Think Omnichannel- Social media plays in important role in the shopper decision journey; your shopper marketing strategy should consider this when driving in-store shopper marketing initiatives.

2. Embrace Mobile In-Store- Mobile phones are our new shopping companions which should be recognized with in-store wi-fi and social media offers/tie-ins. 

3. Capture purchases “in-stream”- New payment options such as Cardblanc, Applepay, and Stripe are being embraced by millennial shoppers and can be used to facilitate purchases via social media.

As the consumer journey evolves towards that of an omni-channel path, shopper marketing plans must also adjust to capture consumers at all touch-points via mobile, new payment systems, and relevant social commerce tactics. Ultimately, this will help capture the shopper “in-stream” and drive sales both in-store online. 

Stacy Klimkowski is a marketing and category management professional with over 7 years experience in the CPG industry. Her key areas of expertise reside in CPG,digital marketing, and technology. She is currently finishing her Master’s degree in Integrated Marketing at Northwestern University. 

Connect with her via Linkedin and Twitter @TheStaceMaster

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