'Changing shopper habits need marketing rethink'
Marketers must rethink their communication strategy, using digital platforms and point-of-purchase activities to influence customers' final purchasing decisions, according to marketing firm IPG Mediabrands."We used to believe that women are not tech enthusiasts, men are thoughtful and grab-and-go shoppers, straight men are uncomfortable asking for shopping assistance or that older people find it harder to change their purchasing pattern. Now they have changed their approaches to purchasing," Sora Kaitkanarat, managing director of Shopper Sciences Thailand, the customer insights research unit, said yesterday.
Its survey found that women aged 15-24 were also interested in buying digital gadgets, but they might spend more time on product research and decision-making than men. Online reviews, customer assistance at point of sale and in-store demonstrations are crucial factors influencing a purchase, similar to men.
Straight men aged 25-34 are also seeking grooming products, cosmetics or even makeup, though availability of such products was limited. Male shoppers search for information from online product reviews while advertising via traditional media such as TV, radio and print appears to be compelling. However, men tend to make a last-minute decision on a product when beauty assistance or product demonstration is available at the point of sale.
"So men shoppers are no longer on autopilot or grab-and-go," Sora said.
As society is ageing, the company also studied the purchasing patterns of those aged 60 and up, and found that this group does not strictly follow the same purchase pattern. Before buying a product, particularly digital devices, this group reads online product reviews and talks to their friends and their family. But the final choice can be swayed by product demonstrations and sales clerks at point of purchase.
Marketers or product owners should gain a better understanding of the changing approaches to purchases. For example, they should create well-designed physical stores along with the right virtual retail store to match customer lifestyles.
Shoppers Sciences was introduced here as a marketing and shopper insight consultant for IPG Media-brands' clients.
Wannee Ruttanaphon, chairman of IPG Mediabrands, said the company targeted at least 10-per-cent growth this year, in line with the industry.