Driving the Path-to-Purchase When the Product / Service Ain’t Sexy

Grocery shopping might be one of the least sexy things that we do. Sure, many of us (including myself) are foodies and love to cook. Although the vast majority 83% of shoppers say they are satisfied with the store(s) where they usually shop for groceries, only slightly more than half 56% enjoy grocery-shopping, and 18% actively dislike grocery shopping (Packaged Facts: The Future of Food Retailing in the U.S.). Many consumers are utilizing social media and their smartphones to discover new foods and products, create lists in advance of going to the grocery store and have their phones out on the way to; and inside of the store. In fact, according to a PriceGrabber survey, 57% of Pinterest is made of food related content with 33% of Pinterest users saying they have purchased food or cooked items after seeing them on site.

What I think is interesting here, and why grocery is an important category to look at, is because much of what we see being discussed about social and digital media marketing campaigns are the sexy things that involve musicians and other celebrities or larger PR stunts. But marketing campaigns that tie-in the things we all want to hear about are often expensive for brands to execute. While they drive attention and awareness, do they really drive the path-to-purchase? Maybe I am a pessimistic consumer, but, I can think of many online campaigns I have thought are clever and have talked about with friends, but they have not driven me into a retail location or to make a purchase.

All of the above said, I am interested in how brands can truly drive people to retail and to make purchases; even if their product or services is not sexy.

According to Phil Lempert, a grocery industry expert and founder of Supermarketguru.com, grocery retailers are now even beginning to “pin.” “For example, one store’s registered dietitian may create an infographic that displays superfoods and their nutritional benefits. Store chefs will begin using Pinterest to show prepared food recipes more often. Amazon.com and other online retailers, such as Google Shopping Express, offer same day delivery and supply back-end technologies, which allow impulse purchasing and home delivery of all the ingredients for a particular recipe. The next evolution will be “click to buy” for consumers looking to purchase ingredients for a recipe on Pinterest or other social media platforms.”

New data out from JiWire shows 60% of people now use smartphones to compile shopping lists and 65% add items to those lists after seeing mobile ads. In addition, 69% have said mobile ads/content and notifications – like coupons, daily deals or recipe information – enhance their in-store experience. Taking it to the next level, location-based technology providers, such as LEMON (www.lemonllc.com) enable advertisers to target messaging to consumers as they near a grocery store or other location. Around the time people leave work; they might target a new recipe ad with a link to where to purchase the ingredients.

The product may not be sexy; but the millions in new revenue potential sure is.

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