Shopper Marketing

The right customer experience


Customers are seeking more than a purchase when entering your grocery store. 

Are you offering them an experience? 

While eCommerce platforms are taking the spotlight often brick and mortar stores are not paying attention to what really matters: their customers. 

Back in the 80s, shopper marketing was not a thing, as customers would see shopping as a simple chore. However, nowadays, customers see shopping as a type of entertainment - Retailtainment

Just like going to the movies, going to a brick and mortar store is all about the experience. Walking down the long aisles, discovering new products, observing the scent of freshly-baked bread, touching the products. The shopping experience is about more than just purchasing and it needs to combine all senses. 

Some grocery shops tend to forget about the importance of customer experience and they only focus on bringing in products and selling as much as possible. While having your stocks full is essential, caring about your customers and offering them much more than products is a must! 

This is where shopper marketing steps in. Some confuse shopper marketing with trade marketing. However, shopper marketing revolves around the customer, not the product! It is about putting the customer first, understanding his or her needs, and doing as much as possible to meet those demands. 

While customers are turning to their browser for research, 53% of them prefer to head to the brick and mortar shop for the actual purchase. Also, in physical stores, impulse buy increases by 10%!

Yes, you have the advantage, but only if you stand out from the crowd. 

In 2019, in the USA, there were 442,597 brick and mortar stores

This means that customers have a lot of options and, if you don’t entertain them, they will take their money elsewhere. 

How can you attract, understand, and offer them the best to your customers? With Shopper marketing!

Table of content

  1. What is shopper marketing 
  2. Why is shopper marketing important 
  3. Shopper touchpoints in an omnichannel world
  4. Consumer behavior and triggers 
  5. Shopper marketing tactics
  6. Shopper marketing solution
  7. Shopper marketing campaigns


1. What is shopper marketing?

Shopper marketing is the sum of marketing tactics that focus on persuading customers to make a purchase. While most types of marketing focus on promoting a product or service, shopper marketing made the shift from the product to the consumer. 

In shopper marketing, the star of the show is the shopper. It doesn’t mean that you should stop trying to show the best parts of your product, but you should show how those parts fix the needs of your shopper. 

Making the shift from promoting the product to caring for the shopper and creating an engaging experience in-store (and on other channels) is a challenge for many retailers and brands. 

That’s why we want to shed light on why shopper marketing is the strategy of the future and how it can be implemented in-store. 

2. Why is shopper marketing important?

Shopper marketing is seeing a growing trend. The main reason? Customers are demanding a better, more personalized experience, both in-store and online. Shoppers are tired of seeing the same cardboard POP displays and annoying ads that don’t show how products solve their pain. 

Focusing on the shopper is an important challenge for retailers and brands, especially considering that brand loyalty is up for grabs. Since the Pandemic hit, customers are trying out new shopping habits and they won’t hesitate to switch retailers or brands if they relate more to other products or marketing campaigns. 

Shopper marketing is important for retailers and for brands because: 

1. It’s much more engaging

Customers want to be entertained when they go shopping. Plus, they want to find products that will help them solve their needs. Shopper marketing tactics are much more engaging because they focus on what the shopper wants, needs, and likes, instead of just promoting a product. 

2. It encourages word-of-mouth marketing

If your shoppers like a message, a campaign, or a POP display, be sure that they will share it with their friends and family. Maybe, some of them will even post it on social media. What does that mean for your brand? A lot! 

Word-of-mouth marketing is known to be the oldest and most effective form of marketing. People trust their friends and family when it comes to product recommendations. 

3. It increases brand loyalty and customer satisfaction

A successful shopper marketing campaign will make your brand more relatable and people love relatable brands. They want to feel a connection with brands. Actually, 64% of consumers want brands to connect with them. Since social media offers brands the possibility to interact with consumers in real-time, it’s important for brands that sell in-store to do the same with the help of shopper marketing campaigns. 

This will lead to satisfied customers who want to purchase more and more products from your brands. Nowadays, brand loyalty is much more important than before.

4. It increases sales 

For every campaign, the ultimate goal is to increase sales. Shopper marketing campaigns are performing better, compared to traditional trade promotions which are known for their low level of performance. 

Knowing now the main benefits of focusing on a shopper marketing strategy, let’s talk about the omnichannel world our shoppers live in. 

3. Shopper touchpoints in an omnichannel world

Implementing an omnichannel strategy is an amazing opportunity and a great challenge at the same time. 

However, when it comes to your shopper's experience, you need to take into account all of the touchpoints. While having only a physical store might leave only a few touchpoints in the journey of the customer, having an omnichannel presence creates multiple touchpoints. 

Their journey might start on a social media platform (touchpoint 1), then continue on your website (touchpoint 2), searching for product availability (touchpoint 3) and then in-store (touchpoint 4) where they decided to purchase one product (touchpoint 5).

 This is a simple and smooth process. However, most of the time, shoppers don’t have an end-to-end frictionless experience.

Considering the ever-changing landscape of retail, you need to be prepared to offer a unified brand experience on ALL channels and touchpoints. 

Understanding that your customers interact with your brand from moment 1 makes it easier for you to plan and implement shopper marketing campaigns that are aligned on all channels. 

Before planning a shopper marketing campaign answer the following questions:

  • What channels do my customers use?
  • What are their preferred channels (website, physical store, social media platform, etc.)
  • When do they shop? (time of day and busiest days of the week)
  • What are the most purchased products?

By responding to these questions, you will be able to create a roadmap of your customers’ journey which will help you better understand them and their needs. 

4. Consumer behavior and triggers

Emotions impact what customers purchase. Actually, Harvard Business School professor, Gerald Zaltman says that 95 percent of our purchase decision-making takes place in the subconscious mind.

This shows, once again, that shoppers can be influenced by marketing campaigns if the campaigns focus on the needs of the customers. For example, a commercial for a luxury perfume that targets the customers’ need for self-worth and status. The same thing needs to happen on all channels, from the beginning of the customer’s journey until the final touchpoint. 

Taking this into account, there are a few triggers you should consider using: 

Use proximity-based notifications:

One of the best ways to bring customers into your store is to use proximity-based notifications. If customers have your app installed on their phones, they will receive notifications once they are near one of your stores or when they are at a certain aisle. This is your opportunity to offer them personalized offers and coupons. 

Implement loyalty programs:

Loyalty programs are great triggers for shoppers. People want to feel like they fit in. Plus, most of us are really competitive, and filling out a loyalty card with stamps is just another challenge. Think about what your customers would love to receive and implement a loyalty program that is engaging. 

Organize events in-store:

Events and product demonstrations are great ways to attract the attention of customers and keep them engaged right at the point of purchase. Depending on the type of store you own, you would find entertaining events for your shoppers. 

Create urgency:

If you want to increase sales for a short period of time, you should also consider creating a sense of urgency. FOMO marketing works like a charm from time to time. Offer customers a gift with purchase for a short period of time or select some products and create in-store promotions for them. 

Purchasing objective in-store: 

Don’t forget about the holidays! Holiday marketing is an important piece of the puzzle and people love to shop for the holiday season. Plus, they tend to spend more during those periods. 

Innovate at the point of purchase:

To attract the attention of shoppers, you should also innovate at the point of purchase. Instead of using cardboard displays to promote products, you should use a robotic POSM to better engage shoppers. 

5. Shopper marketing tactics


The ambiance is the one that can make it or break it when it comes to shopper marketing. The scent, the music, the perfectly aligned products. All of these offer customers a certain feeling. 

Just think about walking into a grocery store during the Holidays: The smell of freshly baked sweetbread, the cinnamon scent, the jingle you hear all over the store, the employees wearing Santa hats. These simple things can change your whole mood. 


There are different types of displays that can capture the attention of your customers. One of the most cost-efficient types of POP display is free-standing displays. They offer you the possibility to grab attention towards a certain product without a lot of resources. 

Other types of displays you should try to use are shelf talkers and dump bins (no, they are not actual dump bins), 

Demos and samplings

Demos and samplings are great ways of involving your customers and engaging with them directly. Showing how a product works or simply offering people free samples of your product will make them want to come back for more. Also, who doesn’t love free food? 

But what if we’ve told you that there is another shopper marketing solution that can offer the mood provided by the ambiance, the information provided by demos, and the promotion provided by displays? 

Storytelling at the point of sale

If you want to increase customer engagement, then you need to integrate storytelling in retail. People love stories and they want to buy products from brands they are connected with. By focusing on storytelling and making your product the star of the show, you have the possibility to delight your shoppers at the point of sale. 

6. Tokinomo - The shopper marketing solution that helps you increase customer engagement! 

Tokinomo, an in-store marketing robot that combines sound, motion, and light technology, can promote your products while engaging with customers and offering them unforgettable moments. 

Your products will be brought to life by Tokinomo in an instant, and you will be able to see how customers respond. 

Did you know that the average sales lift when using traditional displays is about 20%? 

With Tokinomo you get 10X more! 

An average campaign with Tokinomo results in 200% sales lift! 

All of these without forgetting what really matters: happy, satisfied, and engaged customers. And without rebates, price cuts, discounts, or price promotions- whatever you want to call them that are slowly eroding your profits and brand equity.

Just take a look at how customers react when they see Tokinomo in action: 


Why you need Tokinomo for your shopper marketing strategy

 1. It’s much more engaging than any other type of shopper marketing tactic

Customers stop, stare, laugh, and respond to products that are brought to life by Tokinomo. Simple shelf talkers (that don’t actually talk) won’t engage with your customers, they will distract them for a brief moment and maybe inform them of your latest promotion. Shoppers record Tokinomo campaigns with their mobile phones and post videos on Tiktok, create Insta stories, and Tweet them.

2. It’s the most performing in-store marketing solution 

Unlike other POP displays, Tokinomo increases sales by up to 200% and you won’t even have to lower the price! 

3. It offers real-time data

Displays, music, and other in-store tools can’t offer you enough (if any) insights about your customers and their buying pattern. Tokinomo can and will offer you relevant data, in real-time, on the cloud-based platform. 

4. It helps you innovate 

Customers love new, innovative devices and Tokinomo is one for sure! You will show your shoppers that you keep up with trends and tech. 

5. It encourages word-of-mouth marketing

When something new happens to you what is the first thing that you do? Share it with others!

When customers enter your grocery store and they see that a flour bag is talking with them, you better believe that they will take their phone out and film everything. 

Don’t forget that 92% of people trust their friends and family’s recommendations over any other type of branded advertising. 

Ready to increase customer engagement? Let’s take a look at some of the best shopper marketing campaigns. 

7. Inspiring shopper marketing campaigns

1. Coca-Cola’s Share a Coke with campaign


Inspiring shopper marketing campaigns - Coca Cola share a Coke


Everybody has heard about Coca-Cola’s Share a Coke campaign. Who decided to put names of bottles of Coke was an inspired individual. After the company saw how much people loved the campaign, they decided to take it a step further. Coca-Cola teamed up with Dollar General to honor the military troops in the US and they created new designs for the cans of Coke.

Shoppers can now salute the troops and share a Coke with an Airman, a Veteran, or a Sailor. An inspired and thoughtful campaign that attracted the attention of shoppers.  

2. Target's Augmented reality Experiment

Inspiring shopper marketing campaigns - Target's Augmented Reality Experiment


Not only FMCG brands can surprise their customers, so can retailers. Target experimented with augmented reality to show customers how pieces of furniture would look in their houses. Ordering furniture online is a challenging activity because it’s hard to figure out exactly how it’s going to fit and look. 

With Target’s experiment, shoppers were able to place virtual pieces of furniture directly on their living rooms or bedrooms. Simple idea, yet impactful! 

3. Maggi’s Singing pot 

Another great shopper marketing campaign that amazed shoppers in-store was the one from Maggi. In Bolivian stores, Nestle wanted to promote their Maggi packaged soups. However, they wanted something special to delight their customers. What started out as a simple conversation about magic, turned into a magical campaign. 

Tokinomo held a big pot of soup and moved its lid up and down while simultaneously singing Italian opera. Customers loved the idea and were curious to find out more about the products, as well. That’s amore!


Transform products into storytellers

When it comes to choosing a product, customers don’t rely on just facts but their feelings. Tokinomo’s light, sound and motion capabilities allow brands to better make emotional connections with shoppers. Show off your brand’s values and personality in ways that go beyond static displays and product packaging. With Tokinomo, you can transform your product into a storyteller for your brand.

Ready to amaze your customers? Let's talk!

Clients that trusted us
NoPath - Copy@2x
NoPath - Copy (3)@2x
NoPath - Copy (4)@2x
NoPath - Copy@2x