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Shopper Marketing Expo and Beyond

by Adam
If you play any role as an in-store marketer, then you are likely familiar with the Shopper Marketing Expo at Chicago’s Navy Pier every October. Path to Purchase Institute, the media entity responsible for the show, has done a terrific job of combining in-depth content from leaders in the space with a trade show floor of in-store solutions from display to technology. The event is a two and half day deep dive into the science and art of shopper marketing, which Scanbuy has been participating in for the past four years.

Shopper Marketing Expo booth

This year we saw the number of technology exhibitors again increase, as marketers demand for improved consumer engagement continues to be the Holy Grail. And, that means on the mobile handset.  This week Deloitte published its 2013 Annual Holiday Survey reporting 68% of consumers will use their smart phones for shopping! That’s pretty significant. I’ve also seen stats that say 89% of grocery shoppers will use their smartphone to help them make decisions in store! Needless to say, the smartphone has become the go-to tool for shoppers. More than ever in-aisle activation is critical to conversion and overall success for brands. Of course this is the moment of truth, when the final decision is made as to what makes it into the shopping cart. Helping facilitate that process for shoppers by providing critical buying information can be the differentiator needed. The smartphone has become the primary tool for shoppers to obtain that information, and marketers can choose to help minimize the barrier to content or not. The Shopper Marketing Expo was filled with many technology solutions geared toward mobile shoppers including NFC, Image recognition and of course QR Codes. Each of these has a value of course unless you as a marketer are interested in reaching scale. To be clear, the ScanLife offering can support any of these triggers and more so I’m not prejudice per se, however, if scale is your goal there is no choice other than QR. Today there are hundreds of QR reading apps available in the app stores and hundreds of millions have already been downloaded or preloaded globally – See Q3 Mobile Barcode Trend Report. The experience for the consumer regardless of which app they use is the same (of course not always good, but that’s another story) as opposed to Image recognition, Augmented Reality, etc. where unique proprietary apps are needed, most with no more than 50,000 downloads. As technology continues to move at a rapid pace we will see more and more solutions for reaching consumers via their smartphone. Some will be naturally adopted while others will not, but you can be assured that the consumer controls the success or failure for sure.

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