Tomorrow’s shopper

More than 60 companies attended the recent Insight Session held in Bord Bia around Tomorrow’s Shopper, a report into the evolution of the shopper in Ireland and the UK.

At the breakfast session, Bord Bia presented its latest research in this area, with two additional speakers – Ethan Sinick focussing on Tomorrow’s Retailer and Graham Merriman looking at how companies can respond to these digital changes.

In its report, four key drivers are identified as impacting the shoppers’ behaviour:

  • Continued economic pressures affecting how and where we shop.  Two thirds of shoppers now pre-plan their grocery visit, which in turn means brands need to work harder at point of sale to “interrupt” the shopper.
  • With increasing need for convenience, smaller format stores are on the rise with people shopping more at their convenience stores on their path to purchase.
  • The shopper increasingly wants greater transparency and to know where their food is coming from. Companies need to respond to this to build trust with the shopper.
  • The rise of digital technology will be a macro driver and enabler for how we will interact with brands in the future.  By 2015, 9 out of 10 of Irish people will own a smartphone and by the end of this year smartphones in the UK with outnumber PCs.  With the rise of 4G networks we will see greater upload and download speeds enabling better interactions with brands and shoppers.  Brands need to be aware of the various channels in which shoppers interact on their path to purchase and have a corresponding multi-channel digital strategy looking at online, mobile and social commerce.

In summary, companies need to consider the following when planning for Tomorrow’s Shopper:

  1. Continue to respond to challenge of own-label, by showing the value and the versatility of their brand to price sensitive shoppers
  2. Work with retailers to engage shoppers at point of purchase to encourage shoppers to move away from their planned purchases
  3. Have a transparent supply chain to offer reassurance and build trust
  4. Have proactive and comprehensive digital strategy, with multi-channel presence
  5. Effective data management capabilities to fully utilise information gained on shopping behaviour and to further personalise offers in the future.

To view the full report for Tomorrow’s Shopper click here.

By Paula Donoghue, Brand Manager, Bord Bia – Irish Food Board