Retail Marketing

Social selling – Consumer vs shopper – Who is the audience?

Marketing and selling have taken a rather drastic turn in recent years. While advertising online has existed in some shape or form since the 1990s, social media has turned it on its head. Social media serves as an incubator for relationships of all kinds. While initially started for the primary function of connecting with friends, successful businesses fully take advantage of the selling potential found within social media.

Known as social selling, the process develops a relationship between the buyer and seller. With so much effort directed towards social selling, how can a more traditional shopper marketing campaign survive? Very easily, to be honest. It just takes some careful planning and proper execution.

The difference between consumer and shopper

Retail marketing focuses on brick and mortar retail but is not limited to in-store marketing and takes into account that the shopper and the consumer may not be the same. If the wife buys the food on her way home from work and the husband cooks supper (or vice versa), clearly the shopper and the consumer are two different people. If a child wants a new collar for the dog but the parents are buying it, there is another split between roles. This affects how the consumer plans ahead and what the shopper actually buys.

During a “store pickup” customer journey, where an online consumer is also the shopper during the initial stages of shopping, and may have been converted through social selling, the shopper who actually picks up the products at the local store may be a different person. This is where traditional brick-and-mortar sales and marketing tactics can really shine.

Upselling to the shopper by introducing upgrades and cross-selling where the shopper adds additional products to the basket before proceeding to the final checkout are tactics that can make “store pickup” a very valuable strategy. Upselling and cross-selling are not limited to interactions with a salesperson, such as “would you like a belt with those trousers?”. Displays and packaging, category management, posters and store layout all play a role in increasing the value of each customer.

Social selling needs to be an integral part of the brick and mortar shopping experience. For shopper marketing, the social part will be more targeted towards the consumer who may or may not be the shopper, while the in-store experience is 100% focused on influencing the shopper. Social selling can help the consumer direct the shopper to your stores and may even help the consumer by providing a pre-made shopping list for the shopper.

Remember analytics

One of the beautiful aspects to the Internet is all the data it provides. Analytics can provide a lot of information about the interests of consumers and the buying habits of shoppers. Using this information can help you develop campaigns that convert both consumers and shoppers.

In the age of social selling, you don’t need to completely rely on Google and Facebook to market your storefront. All you need is to properly understand your demographic and design customer journeys that cater to consumers and shoppers alike.