The most important shopper marketing trends to watch

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Whether on our phones, tablets, or in-store, our fundamental shopping and buying needs, expectations, and behaviors have changed. Historically, digital marketing efforts to actively engage shopping and buying behavior have largely been focused on driving online sales or in-store traffic. However, there is an increasing opportunity to reach and engage shoppers while in-store to drive sales with digital shopper marketing.

What exactly is shopper marketing? Wikipedia defines it as "understanding how one's target consumers behave as shoppers, in different channels and formats, and leveraging this intelligence to the benefit of all stakeholders, defined as brands, consumers, retailers and shoppers."

The most important shopper marketing trends to watch

While shopping behavior increasingly starts online, it often still ends in the store. It is true that e-commerce has grown significantly over the past decade, but brick-and-mortar stores still rule. According to the National Retail Federation's, most shopping and buying still gets done at Walmart, Target, Macy's, supermarkets, and home improvement chain stores. The organization reports that online transactions account for less than 15 percent of total retail sales. However, our online experiences and interactions across devices have changed our fundamental expectations and shopping behavior. This includes how we shop and make purchase decisions in-store.

In order to realize the latest opportunities in shopper marketing, we must gain better insight into current digital shopper expectations, purchase influencers (reviews, pins, etc.), and behaviors such as swiping, tapping, and price comparisons. More importantly, we must understand how these elements connect with the in-store shopper and trigger buying behavior.

Consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers and retailers with brick-and-mortar locations are starting to plan, experiment, and test how to engage and activate the in-store shopper with digital shopper marketing programs, messaging, and engagement vehicles. Based on these experiments to date, let's take a look at the most promising trends you need to know.