Shopping missions

Shopping missions are often used to explain the difference between consumer and shopper marketing. While consumers have a reason to consume, shoppers have a reason to purchase. The reason to purchase is driven by the reason to consume. At the beginning, the concept of the shopping mission was a means to understand purchasing in brick-and-mortar stores. As a result, shopper marketing was focused on inside the store. As the sales channel landscape

Black box model of the relationship between needs and shopping missions Traditional view of shopper marketing focused on shopping missions

Figure 3.11 Black box model of the relationship between needs and shopping missions Traditional view of shopper marketing focused on shopping missions.

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has become more complex, the understanding of the purchase process between consumer marketing and sales and distribution has gained more focus. Today, in an omnichannel reality the focus of shopper marketing has moved out of the store to include what happens before and after the purchase. Moreover, with digital sales, the point of purchase is more than just the store. It is vital to understand the different touchpoints, and the key touchpoint is the point of conversion, the point of purchase, and the reason for selecting this point, i.e. the shopping mission.

Traditionally, shopper marketing focused much on shopping missions. Shopping missions were used to understand the reason to buy to folfill a need. What happened in between was a black box.

Modem approaches to shopper marketing include the touchpoints from consumption needs to shopping missions.

Shoppers and consumers are not only passively influenced through the different touchpoints; they actively seek information and interact with these touchpoints. Different touchpoints have different roles and importance in the decision process of the shopper.

More touchpoints make the shopper journey more complex. At the same time, it offers more possibilities to be in dialogue with the consumer and the shopper. One example is the airline industry. Most bookings are made online today and there are websites with price comparisons and destination information. The same applies to rental vehicles. This drives efficiencies and transparency, especially on prices. Another example is computers. With the evolution of the industry, as well as the possibility of information online, consumers and shoppers have become more knowledgeable. For retailers it is costly to hold large stocks of a wide range of products. In many cases, the personal computer business has developed into a click-and-collect business, i.e. the order is made online and then picked up in a brick-and-mortar store. With multiple touchpoints, omnichannel solutions, and a variety of points of purchase there are not only shopping missions to consider, but also touchpoint missions. Touchpoint missions describe why shoppers use different touchpoints, e.g. to be informed or share opinions. The challenge is to manage the different touchpoints and points of purchase to develop the route to purchase strategy.

The idea of shopping missions is that each mission will generate a different purchasing behavior and the need for a different activation strategy. The shopping mission details the solution the shopper will look for to satisfy the consumption need state. Further, depending on the shopping mission, the shopper will look for specific attributes of the point of purchase. The mix of attributes describing the point of purchase defines its role to the shopper. The consumption need state together with the shopping mission define the attributes in terms of types of products and sendees and points of purchase the shopper will target. With this understanding, as well as an understanding of the involvement and the level of planning, the offer and the activation can be aligned with shopper needs at each shopping situation.

Model connecting needs and shopping missions through touchpoints Touchpoints as a point of connection between needs and shopping missions

Figure 3.12 Model connecting needs and shopping missions through touchpoints Touchpoints as a point of connection between needs and shopping missions.

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Reach and importance of different touchpoints

Figure 3.13 Reach and importance of different touchpoints

Reach (dark grey) and importance (light grey) of different touchpoints of two different categories.

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In grocery shopping there are three main shopping missions often referred to: stock up, replenishment and urgency. In the stock-up mission, the shopper normally buys larger amounts, looks for lower prices and therefore usually browses for larger packages and special offers. The replenishment shopping mission is about purchases of specific products that need to be restocked before the next stock-up purchase. Urgent shopping missions describe situations where a specific product is needed almost immediately, e.g. an ingredient that is missing while preparing dinner or having guests. From stock-up to urgency, shopping missions are normally associated with more to less planning, and more proximity to the point of purchase, or speed of delivery, as well as less price sensitivity.

The concept of shopping missions was developed originally for the grocery category and modem trade. The concept is useful for other categories, but needs to be adapted to the reality of each category.

Both shopping and touchpoint missions need to be analyzed and understood to develop the optimal activation strategy along the shopper journey. By analyzing the drivers of the touchpoints and shopping missions, the activation strategy can be detailed and the competitive position assessed. For touchpoint missions looking for information, manufacturer and retailer websites or reviews are often used, while for giving and sharing opinions social media, as modem word of mouth (WOM), are more frequently used. Understanding the drivers of touchpoint and shopping missions helps to understand the priorities for the offering and activation at the touchpoints and points of purchase.

Shopping missions of different industries

Figure 3.14 Shopping missions of different industries

Examples of shopping missions for telecommunications, groceries and bank services.

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Attribute importance by shopping mission

Figure 3.15 Attribute importance by shopping mission

Importance of attributes by type of grocery shopping mission. Correlation for searched attributes of different missions measured in R2.

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The attributes associated with each mission, and the importance of the missions by point of purchase is the basis for defining the offering and activation strategy by group of points of purchase and sales channels.

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