In the Mood: Understanding the Shopper

There’s endless discussion about the changing shopper, emerging demographics and even the increase of men in the aisles of supermarkets. But no matter who is actually doing the shopping, the factors driving them remain the same — feeding the household on a budget.

The World According to Shoppers, http://ccrrc.org/studies/the-world-according-to-shoppers/ a study from the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America, took a deep look into shopper motivations and outlined nine different moods or need states that seem to be reflected in all trips. Those need states range from big stock-up trips to quick grab-and-go visits.

What retailers might find most interesting is the similar motivations, yet vastly different mindsets on seemingly comparable trips. That’s because shoppers love, while others dislike the supermarket visit.

Understanding these motivations can help a store better meet the needs of shoppers and, in the process, improve loyalty and sales.

 

Michael Sansolo

Research Director

Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America

http://www.MichaelSansolo.com

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Help Desk for The Playbook for Success

Want to grow your business but not sure how to get started? Answers may be found in the NACS/CCRRC Playbook for Success – http://bit.ly/18FUtUp. Recommendations are based on solid shopper research, as well as the positive experiences of large and small convenience retailers.

And, to support you on your road to improvement, our new help desk is available to offer guidance. Simply contact me at bill.bishop@brickmeetsclick.com to schedule a 30-minute call — at no cost or obligation to you. During our conversation, we can:

  • Talk about how the Playbook is applicable to your business.
  • Discuss how to tackle suggested actionable steps.
  • Review successes experienced by operators in the Playbook’s case studies.

I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Bill Bishop

Research Director

NACS/Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council

Founder, Willard Bishop LLC and Chief Architect BrickMeetsClick

http://www.brickmeetsclick.com

bill.bishop@brickmeetsclick.com

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Holiday Successful with “Fresh Value Fast” Growth Platform

Holiday OneAre you among the convenience retailers ready to focus on new growth platforms, such as ones designed to attract different shoppers and address a variety of shopping occasions? If so, you’ll want to know that “Fresh Value Fast” is getting a lot of attention today and that’s the direction Holiday is headed for their growth program.

Holiday had a traditional convenience food service offering, yet wanted to broaden the appeal of its stores by adding a line of fresh, healthier products. The organization worked with a local food service provider to develop a line of salads and other fresh items.

After launching the initiative in the spring of 2013, with sampling and an attractively signed display, it wasn’t long before sales began to climb. The products attracted not only new customers to Holiday outlets, but traditional shoppers as well.

Need more inspiration? The Playbook for Success focuses on three other growth platforms: Family Time, My Time and Female Friendly http://bit.ly/18FUtUp.

If you’re ready to try something new, the growth platforms in The Playbook for Success present ideas that will appeal to your customers and help you grow your business.

Bill Bishop

Research Director

NACS/Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council

Founder, Willard Bishop LLC and Chief Architect BrickMeetsClick

http://www.brickmeetsclick.com

bill.bishop@brickmeetsclick.com

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Retailers Wanted: Share Your Story About Growing Your Business

All the shopper research done by the NACS/CCRRC found that our customers are seeing what most convenience retailers already know; i.e. there’s a lot more stores competing for their convenience business and some of the new ones are doing a pretty good job.  And if that’s not enough, the research also shows that the convenience retail channel has enough negative images in the shoppers’ minds to cause some to not even consider convenience retailers as an option.

These are big challenges that must be faced head on if we’re going to find ways to grow sales.

One place to look for help is the Playbook for Success:  A Three Step Guide to Growing C-Store Business, recently completed by the Council.  It provides research-based guidance that convenience retailers can use to build a stronger base for growth by finding ways to better align their efforts with the needs of their shoppers.  There is guidance for retailers who are still working on getting all the basics in place and for those looking for ideas to fine tune their “grab and go” business.  Lastly, there are also new growth platforms for retailers who are ready to meet entirely new types of shopper needs.

The Playbook contains a short set of questions retailers can use to survey their own customers and the results will point to where they can make immediate changes, including:

  •          Putting all the basics in place to meet minimum shopper expectations.
  •          Defending “their turf” in order to be the best choice for “grab and go”.
  •          Identifying and building new areas to generate sales.

This guidance was developed by retailers on the Council and for the remainder of 2013, we’re collecting the experiences of those who are beginning to use this guidance in their businesses to develop case studies, large and small, to help others see how they can benefit from this work.

Carol Jensen, chairperson of the NACS/Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council and Wawa’s chief marketing officer and brand officer commented:

“The Council encourages retailers to participate by providing information and case studies about their experiences to help other retailers.  Our industry has a strong entrepreneurial foundation, and each member company has an opportunity to learn from each other.  There’s clearly an opportunity for more retailers to jump start their own sales growth by being part of this “doing and learning” phase of our work.  Take action now!”

If this sounds interesting to you, just pull down a copy of the Playbook by going to www.ccrrc.org to see if this looks like something that you could use.

If it does, email me at Bill.bishop@willardbishop.com and I’ll provide more information.

This is an opportunity for you to learn along with some of the best retailers in the business and there’s no cost to be part of it and no obligation to learn more.

Bill Bishop
Research Director
NACS/Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council
Founder, Willard Bishop Consulting and Chief Architect
Brick Meets Click http://www.brickmeetsclick.com

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Harnessing the Power of Specific Messages

There’s a common problem in communication of any kind, including the social web. Ask a vague question and you’ll likely get a vague response. But ask about something specific and the chances are the response is more passionate and detailed.

That’s an important rule to follow whether asking your child about their day in school or asking customers to interact on the social web. In Part 6 of Untangling the Social Web, the new study from the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America, we demonstrate this exact point.

In an example about understanding metrics we see the incredible range of reactions to a series of videos. Two videos—one on table manners and one making a sandwich—draw tepid response. However, a video evoking the emotional power of Mother’s Day soars.

Businesses need to keep that in mind when creating messages for the social web. Find topics that are special—seasonal, emotional and specific—and you might see traffic spike. Tips like these along with exercises and discussion of wide ranging tactics for the social web can all be found in Part 6 of the study. Download it for free at http://bit.ly/UntanglingtheSocialWeb.

Michael Sansolo

Research Director

Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America

www.MichaelSansolo.com

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Success Begins with Knowledge

Any retailer—in fact, any business—only succeeds by knowing its customers. Especially in today’s data rich world, knowing what your customers like and dislike can help you gear your offerings to what they want to see and buy.

The same holds true for your social connections. The information you need is out there so get it and use it.

Part 6 of Untangling the Social Web, the newest study from the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America, examines many of the key steps companies need take to have a successful approach to external communication on the social web.  A big piece of that comes from knowing the activity of your followers.

For instance: examine the demographics of your social web connections and compare those to your overall shopper base. Also, look at the demographics of your active followers in contrast to the inactive. The insights might help you better gear messages as well as which networks you use. Keep in mind that many social networking websites provide easy access to such information. You might have staffers who can help you through this process or you can find vendors to take on this task.

Exercises on issues like this can be found throughout Part 6 of the study. Download it for free at http://bit.ly/UntanglingtheSocialWeb.

 

Michael Sansolo

Research Director

Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America

www.MichaelSansolo.com

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Who are you: Building Your Social Web Identity

Are you trying CCRRC Pt 6 Title Pgto figure out how to build your company’s profile on the social web?  Here are a couple of useful exercises for you and your team:

1.      Create a list of adjectives that describe your company. Are you helpful, easy, healthy, inexpensive…whatever? Certainly your shoppers and associates understand your identity and you need to capture that spirit.

2.     Imagine your company was entering the dating scene and you were using an on-line dating site. List those key attributes that describe you (likes, dislikes, etc.) and remember, honestly is important.

3.    Think in terms of images, as you must on Pinterest. What pictures demonstrate your company’s personality? Build a collage that captures you.

4.    Use music to build that description as you might on Spotify. What songs capture your company’s spirit and essence?

Keep in mind that the social web puts a premium on authenticity. Present yourself well and shoppers will agree. Exaggerate and you might run into trouble.

Exercises like this can help you build a useful profile on the social web. Find this and more in Untangling the Social Web, the newest study from the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America. The study examines a variety of key issues about the social web. How to build your profile is found in Part 6, which you can find at http://bit.ly/UntanglingtheSocialWeb.

Michael Sansolo

Research Director

Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America

www.MichaelSansolo.com

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Finding ROI on the Social Web

Years ago a retail executive famously quipped that only half the money he spent on advertising was really worthwhile. The problem was that he couldn’t possibly identify which half it was.

Not surprisingly, the same question comes up about the social web. Certainly it is home to an immense amount of traffic. It’s estimated that more than 500 million Facebook users sign on and more than 300 million tweets are sent on Twitter daily. But does any of that traffic matter?

Figuring out how to gauge success—and evolve to improve in the future—is an important part for any company on the social web. In some ways, the process is clearer than other forms of communication as it’s relatively easy to find out if people are talking about you, passing along your messages and even reacting to what you have to say.

The measures might be somewhat unconventional, but as the social web is such a new and powerful media it demands that your company get involved and get experimenting quickly.

To help fellow business leaders understand the challenges and make better choices, the executives on the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council set out a bold goal: to produce a report explaining the scope of the social web and offering detailed advice on how to build successful plans.

The entire report, Untangling the Social Web, can now be downloaded at http://bit.ly/UntanglingtheSocialWeb. The first five parts help outline the realities of this new environment. The three newest parts, 6, 7 and a joint executive summary, help describe the steps companies need take.

It’s a roadmap that any company can find useful and relatively easy to follow to take productive steps and better understand what actually constitutes success.

Michael Sansolo

Research Director

Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America

www.MichaelSansolo.com

 

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Learning to Speak “Social”

In so many ways the social web simply requires using common sense in a new way. After all, the Facebook didn’t invent the idea of community. It simply supercharged it through the use of technology.

Likewise think of a regular conversation. If you were discussing a business topic on the job you might use phrases and jargon that are well understood inside your company or your industry. But having that same discussion with your family at night would require a switch to plain language to give you any chance of them paying attention.

The same holds true for the social web. As you think about how you and your company are going to engage on the many networks of the web, you need to think about how you communicate. If you come on too strong and speak like an advertisement, you’re likely to turn off your audience who with then tune you out.

In addition, the information gathering power of the Internet raises the importance of transparency and authenticity in your conversation. If you present yourself as something you aren’t, your readers will figure it out and likely will point that out to the world.

The communication skills—especially listening—required by the social web are a vital step you need master to build any measure of success. Fortunately, the newest report from the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America can offer you a wealth of tips on how to succeed.

Parts 6 and 7, and a brief executive summary of both, are now available for download at http://bit.ly/UntanglingtheSocialWeb. Visit the site to find Untangling the Social Web and use the reports to help you successfully engage. Part 6 focuses on external communication (mostly customers) and Part 7 on internal (associates).

Detailed examples, exercises and action plans are included in both.

 

Michael Sansolo

Research Director

Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America

www.MichaelSansolo.com

 

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Going Social Matters to Managers Too

The challenges and benefits social media brings to marketers are mirrored in the issues facing managers and leaders at all levels of any organization. Consider the many ways:

  • Just as with customers, associates can and will use the social web to compare experiences freely, much as they have always done. But now, powered by the new technology, those conversations take place faster and broader than ever. Today even prospective employees can easily garner a strong sense of a company’s (and a manager’s) strengths and weaknesses.
  • Engaging on the social web is as essential for associates as it is for customers. Just as customers look for websites and social presence on places they shop, associates look to see how their companies use the web for information sharing, education and job opportunities.
  • Likewise, the key to interacting on the social web starts with listening to and understanding the comments and chatter. By engaging in a pro-active way, companies and even individual managers can use the social web as a tool to produce productive ideas and additional buy-in among associates.

Of course, understanding successful strategies to using the social web requires new skills that will only grow in importance with greater use of the social web in years to come. Luckily, rising leaders have two great tools to help them in this journey.

First, Untangling the Social Web http://bit.ly/UntanglingtheSocialWeb, the on-going study from the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council provides a wealth of information and ideas. Parts 6 and 7 of the study focus specifically on the challenges facing companies and managers in building successful practices in the world of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more.

Secondly, the council will make a special presentation on the social web to open Future Connect, the FMI conference for future leaders. The presentation will feature council member Mark Irby, vice president of marketing for Publix, and Tim Massa, who heads up talent acquisition for Kroger. The special presentation will take place on Monday, April 29 at 4 pm.

For current and future leaders the social web is an increasingly important tool, which makes the report and this special workshop so vital.

Michael Sansolo

Research Director

Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America

www.MichaelSansolo.com

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