“It is not in numbers, but in unity, that our great strength lies.”
Thomas Paine’s quote rings especially true for the Independent retail business. Yes, part of our success is driven by Nationwide Marketing Group representing YOU; the largest and most successful collection of Independent retailers in the industry. Numbers matter when it comes to our ability to negotiate with manufacturers and service providers to curate the best deals and offers for you. Over the years, our Members have seen real success and growth when we leverage our size and scale to drive value. But our real strength comes from the unity between manufactures, service providers, and our Members.
Unity exists when a collective of entities bands together as one. To have unity, that community must find and work towards a common goal.
For Nationwide and our partners, our common goal is driving more customers into your stores and onto your websites to purchase the products and brands you sell. We accomplish this through a deep understanding of shopper behavior. How do we win the hearts and minds of shoppers during the moments which are most influential to their ultimate purchase decision? The collective moments make up what marketers refer to as the “Shopper Decision Journey.”
The unity and focus on the shopper journey was on display at our last PrimeTime in Nashville. Our mainstage presentation featured some of the best brands, marketers and companies in the industry. Representatives from Google, GE Appliances, Tempur-Sealy, Traeger Grills, Synchrony and Nationwide discussed how we are all dedicated to working together to serve the right message to the right shopper at the right time in order to draw more customers to your business.
Consumers arrive at your store (or website) each and every day. But how did they get there? How did they interact and experience you and your brand along the way? Every single touchpoint across this journey — website, TV, radio, social, word of mouth, reviews, etc. — are all vital steps shoppers take to get from “I have a need” to “I made a purchase.” This is the shopper journey, and understanding how to navigate this journey is critical to your success.
During that mainstage presentation, Tom Murray, CMO of TSI, said “I would argue, being able to effectively understand the shopper journey and its constant evolution is the most important factor for success.”
Breaking Down the Shopper Journey
The Shopper Journey is the foundation of how marketers and businesses need to think about their interactions with customers. Every customer interaction along this journey should be designed to help move the shopper from a less desirable before state to a more desirable after state. You can accomplish this by providing the right information to help guide them towards rational decision making, driving positive emotions, and creating memorable experiences.
The Shopper Journey is typically broken down into a few stages: Consideration (when a shopper starts considering products), Evaluation (when they are evaluating and comparing options) and Conversion (when they finally purchase something).
While these are the key parts to the decision journey, we don’t want to lose site of the full journey. We have to show up long before shoppers have a need and make sure we are taking care of them well after the sale.
When you add in these important steps you get to a more complete view of the Shopper Journey:
- Awareness: Spreading general information about your brand, your products and your services. Are shoppers aware of your brand? Do they know what you stand for?
- Initial Consideration: Consumers consider an initial set of brands based on brand perceptions and exposures to recent touch points (generally initiated by historic purchases or Awareness tactics).
- Active Evaluation: Consumers add or subtract brands as they evaluate what they want.
- Moment of Purchase: Ultimately, the consumer selects a brand and product at the moment of purchase.
- Loyalty: If you have shown up for the shopper throughout their journey, provided the needed information, driven positive emotions and created memorable experiences, shoppers will reward you by skipping the journey the next time around and come back to you for their next need.
At Nationwide, our promise is to continue to help you compete tougher in your local market by partnering with the best brands and service providers to keep your shopper’s needs at the center of our marketing efforts. We’re working to provide you the tools you need to be successful throughout each point of the Shopper Journey, because when your shoppers win, everyone wins!
Rob White is Vice President of NMG Brand & Strategy.