Mike Anthony @ engage consultants

Mike Anthony on Shopper Marketing

Breaking Shopper Habits = Missed Opportunities

with one comment


I’m reading “Habit” by Dr Neale Martin – enjoying massively and will blog more later. His big idea is that much of human behavior is habitual — and as marketers we often forget this. It’s true and we talk in our workshops of disrupting shopper behavior as one of the goals of shopper marketing. We know that there is nothing more disruptive than out of stocks.  And so when they happen we need to act fast.

Things happen. Things go wrong. Often things that are out of our control. Last year Thailand was hit by devastating floods which wreaked havoc on manufacturing and supply chains across the country. Months afterwards, the disruption is still being felt. In a small Tesco supermarket in Bangkok this week, many aisles (beverage, toothpaste (see picture) tissues and towels especially) were still very badly stocked.

It has been a tough time for business here, with many people affected. But several months on, I do find myself looking at a shelf like this and wondering what opportunities are being missed. No matter how bad it is, there is as Hurts might say, a Silver Lining .

Shopping is often planned, habit driven and we know that often the challenge of a shopper marketer is to disrupt that behavior to create change. Here we have a situation where many shoppers are forcibly having their habits broken – surely there must be an opportunity in that?

I don’t know enough about the situation for these particular manufacturers but I do know one client who is 30% up because they reacted to a difficulty a competitor was having and moved fast. As to what Colgate (or their fully stocked competitors) should do – that depends on their individual situation. However I do know that other stores are well stocked (and even promoting!) There must be an opportunity for additional communication to create some form of intercept using people or signage to pick up disappointed shoppers. It just seems such a waste of space. If not the manufacturers, you would expect Tesco to utilize this space for something appropriate. Perhaps signage to promote another part of the portfolio? Something to drive (highly stocked) proximate products such as toothbrushes or soaps?)

Crises happen, they are terrible. But he who reacts, wins. Look for the silver lining!


Written by Mike Anthony

March 20, 2012 at 7:13 am

One Response

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  1. […] happen there it doesn’t happen. Perhaps if someone had visited the Tesco store I blogged on a couple of weeks ago   something might have been done, and one company could have […]

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