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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Shopper Insight

In Retailwire,  IBM/DemandTec sponsors an interesting paper: Shopper Insights: Actionable or Academic?  An overview of a survey on the topic.   Our innovation centers were established in part to fine-tune an understanding of the shopper from a number of different resources.  From our own experimentation, from the knowledge of our consumer researchers, and from leading edge research done by internal and external vendors. DemandTec was an early visitor,  where we talked about the effectiveness of planning promotion and assortment, using analytic methods.    The paper suggests, as we saw early on:

" ... Shopper insights are here to stay, according to RetailWire’s recently conducted study of industry  professionals and practitioners, and are quickly becoming a “must-have” feature of decision-making relative to category management, merchandising, marketing and in-store activities.In particular, shopper insights derived from specific retail accounts are seen as beneficial for fostering strong collaboration between supplier and merchant. Said one respondent: “It is the new currency to drive retailer/manufacturer collaboration to work jointly to improve the business/category.” ... " 

So we clearly saw the early need for learning that was more than academic.  And produced results that could be applied early to our own mix of products and could take our understanding of the consumer, for new products and new initiatives, and combine that with operational retail knowledge.

This paper studies insights from a survey in late 2010:  " ... The study sampled information and opinion from 593 executives and managers.  Supermarket/grocery retail and manufacturer companies were most strongly represented  in the sampling, and nearly half of respondents are in upper management positions. ..." 

Worth reading for its results.  As an excerpt I always like to look at future actions, since my role was always of a futurist and technologist, and this was interesting:

" ... both retailers and suppliers expect that manufacturers will partner relative to shopper insights with more than the number one retailer in a particular market. Indeed, only 2.5 percent of the  total number of survey respondents say that a supplier should only partner with the market leader and  go no further. From the supplier viewpoint, 20 percent answer that going beyond the market leader  should be done to enhance more retail relationships, while 69 percent say that working with more than one retailer in a particular market should certainly be done for relationships, but also for gaining  additional knowledge for HQ planning.... " 

I am incorporating some of this data in a study I am doing.  Please send me any further insights you have.

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