— Big chains going small
— Car companies going off road
— Redoing retro
— The intel in store.
— Big chains going small
— Car companies going off road
— Redoing retro
— The intel in store.
Whole Foods recently announced a partnership with Imperfect Produce to test-run sales of 'ugly' produce in a few of its Northern California stores, which is set to begin next month. This announcement comes after increasing consumer demands for the food industry and retailers to help eliminate food waste—a petition on change.org specifically called out Whole Foods, as well as Walmart, to take steps towards becoming more inclusive with their produce selections by including more imperfect fruits and vegetables. Giant Eagle has also announced this month that the grocery chain will incorporate 'ugly' produce in 5 Pittsburgh store locations as part of a "Produce with Personality" pilot program.
I often find myself living in two shopping worlds. One that is entirely mass and mainstream–grocery shopping at King Soopers, hitting up Target, Nordstrom Rack and Starbucks or the occasional Friday's in the airport. The other is more niche, local in nature–consisting of finding the best new restaurant, cool boutique, pop up flea market and more.
I feel I am not alone in this as local has evolved and spread its reach, more shoppers are spanning two shopping worlds and shopping mindsets. Having been to my fair share of crowded flea markets, 1-hour-minimum wait restaurants and high priced bars, it seems as though local is an everyday occurrence now. Has it gone to the masses.
Valentine’s Day has come and gone, and all things pink-and-red-hearted have gone on deep clearance until next year. But in the wake of the season of love, it seems like a good moment to reflect on what brands can learn from people in terms of attraction, relationship building and even love.
So many fish in the sea
The first lesson is that there are a lot of people out there who are single and ready to mingle. 50% of US adults are not married. Single person households are the fastest-growing household composition. 40 million Americans use an online dating service.
The same holds true for brands. Most consumers keep their options open. Just 25% of shoppers say that brands influence their purchase decisions. Shoppers across categories are highly promiscuous. And unattached shoppers are fair game. Datable. Ready to fall in love.
If you don't know Generation Z you should start learning about them. They are a dynamic group born between 1997 to 2010 and are trying to buck the Millennial stereotypes, claiming they don’t apply to them. They make up a quarter of the U.S. population and by 2020 will account for 40% of all consumers. Understanding this group will be critical to companies wanting to succeed in the next decade and beyond as they become more powerful shoppers.
Below is a list of traits that apply to this group:
Visual communication is becoming a larger and larger part of our cultural vocabulary. In fact, there are some indicators that visual communication is eclipsing the written word. Instagram rises as Twitter declines. A surprisingly comprehensive range of emotions, reactions and assertions can be expressed through custom avatars with Bitmoji. And in November, the Oxford English Dictionary declared the word of the year was an emojii.
While marketers have been practicing the art of visual communication since the dawn of advertising, the difference is that now shoppers are fluent in this language as well. So as we mine for insight and solicit feedback, we should take advantage of visual fluency. Trolling Instagram and Pinterest to understand what’s on our audience’s minds. Using image-based research techniques to get at underlying feelings and emotions. Listening with our eyes can be a way to learn new things about what people want and need.
Photo source: author's Bitmoji
The Checkout started in 2009 not only to understand shopping behaviors of the moment, but with the specific intention of tracking these behaviors over time. This issue is an extensive first look at current vs. historic data from 2009 until today.
The Five-Year Shopper Evolution Checkout study investigates shopping trends over the past five years regarding some broad behaviors and attitudes in the arenas of store choice, private label vs. name brand, and savings methods.
One interesting finding was the influence of social pressure. In fact, shoppers today feel more social pressure than they did five years ago.
Want to find out more about how shopping behavior has evolved? Click here to download the Five-Year Shopper Evolution Checkout.
More and more shoppers are opting to use their laptop, tablet or mobile to do their grocery shopping these days. While it is convenient, it takes a bit of prep and knowledge about what you, which leaves little room for browsing or impulse. This does not bode well for many brands trying to constantly capture sales from today's shoppers who are at best "promiscuous loyals," according to Byron Sharp's book, How Brands Grow.
The current online grocery shopping environment omits many of the real store experiences that many shoppers rely on. Or it did until now. The introduction of virtual reality devices like Oculus Rift and companies like Retale are making it possible for shoppers to stay on the couch and still shop the aisle.
This past year Integer Pulse covered many macro trends from their Insightings work that not only illuminated the many shopper marketing trends that have persisted over the past decade but also outlined the unique examples of how it manifests itself in today's world.
The final 2015 Integer Pulse issue discusses Shoptimization. Shoptimization is about borrowing from what shoppers enjoy doing on their computers — and even more so on their mobile devices — and then leveraging it in the retail environment. From integrating augmented reality (AR) into displays to make them more engaging, to reconfiguring packaging so that it interacts with individuals’ devices to offering ways for stores to stay “always open,” here are a few examples of how shoptimization is everywhere today.
Good design is continuing its quiet invasion of the mainstream. From Warby Parker’s affordable and stylish eye wear to Snowe’s home goods to Everlane’s progressive take on fashion, the access to design-forward products without a hefty luxury price tag is unprecedented.
This has at least two implications for marketers. 1) Bad design stands out more, and in the often snarky and reactionary digital world of instant feedback, that can mean significant backlash for missteps. 2) The bar is higher for good design -- it has to be even more notable to stand out.
Mobile today seems to be where social media was 5 years ago in that if you aren't doing it, you're "way behind" but in reality, it's still maturing and evolving. It seems as though there are new habits, features and functions popping up everyday. Some driven by users and others driven by brands. Though mobile experiences are popping up, using mobile to push rewards and coupons is still a huge play for marketers.
Just recently, Krispie Kreme went mobile launching the Krispie Kreme Rewards mobile app to deliver information and savings to loyal customers. They also made a scannable bar code out of delicious drizzling glaze that shoppers can snap (via YouTube) to receive a BOGO coupon valid on 12/12 - simply tasty! This type of app and program seems to suit the needs of the Krispie Kreme shopper, allowing them to be in the know of doughnut making, crush their craving where ever they are, and get incentivized to keep up the habit. But apps are not ideal for all brands.
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, even though it's only mid November. But that has not stopped retailers or shoppers in the past. In fact, according to the new holiday issue of The Checkout, 41% of shoppers report doing most of their shopping in the month of November.
It seems that most shoppers have a prime time when they do most of their holiday shopping. This year's Holiday Checkout digs into three types of holiday shoppers to understand who's shopping when and how spending, retailer selection and motivations change over the holiday shopping season.
Do you think you know who the Early Bird shoppers are? The ones that get most all shopping done before Thanksgiving? Click here to download this year's issue of The Holiday Checkout to find out as well as learn about the stat of Black Friday shopping and mobile's influence on holiday shopper today.
Pumpkin carving and pumpkin pie have been Fall staples since I can remember. But then pumpkin spice changed everything and shoppers' love for it has only grown over time. To the extent that Fall now seems to be the season of pumpkin spice. A time when you can get anything and everything infused with this unofficial taste of Fall.
There are the classics like the Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks, pumpkin spice scented candles and air fresheners and of course the ever classic pumpkin spice cake. But many other products are adopting this flavor and retailers are embracing this trend in store. Has it gone too far?
We want to hear from you, the readers! Click here to weigh in on the pumpkin spice craze.
To fuel your thinking, here are some recent happenings on the pumpkin spice front.
The surge to save is not going away. But it isn’t just about dollars—it’s also about saving energy, saving time … even saving the world. Shoppers are rethinking their buying behavior to include more than cost. Convenience, quality and most recently, simplicity, are all tipping points to purchase. The recession may have started it but the shift to thrift behavior has stuck around. Partly because it’s never been easier to shop and compare options.
This month's issue of The Integer Pulse explores this macrotrend and two shopper marketing examples of how this trend is impacting your future.
Click to download the most recent issue of The Checkout, which examines back-to-school shopping habits and attitudes