Shopping behavior
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3 unexpected ways online reviews have upended shopper marketing - AGBeat

3 unexpected ways online reviews have upended shopper marketing - AGBeat | Shopping behavior |
Online reviews have made a tremendous impact on the business world, and some of these changes have been a surprise to many.

Via Jeff Domansky
Jeff Domansky's curator insight, April 1, 2015 11:22 PM

Word-of-mouth and online reviews present both challenges and opportunities for retailers.

Carlene Kelsey's curator insight, April 17, 2015 10:02 PM

Do you check online reviews too?

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'Influencer Marketing' on the Rise, Study Says

'Influencer Marketing' on the Rise, Study Says | Shopping behavior |
Brand managers can increase their success by finding and building relationships with passionate consumers, employees and other social-media rock stars.
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Moms as Food Shoppers: Grocery Store and Supercenter Market Report

Moms as Food Shoppers: Grocery Store and Supercenter Market Report | Shopping behavior |

Each year Moms have a hand in spending nearly $200 billion on food purchased for use at home, and of course food marketers and grocers have long targeted Moms as their essential consumer segment. Even so, marketers need to find new ways to engage today’s tech-immersed foodie Moms, who are at the epicenter of the new home-based food culture and in the vanguard of the movement toward healthy eating.


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Moms as Food Shoppers: Grocery Store and Supercenter Patterns and Trends delves deeply into the mindset of today’s Moms before their trip to the grocery store and analyzes their food shopping behavior in the store. The report provides actionable insights to help brand marketers and grocers understand what they can do to help today’s busy Moms achieve their goals of putting healthy and interesting home-cooked meals on the table while saving precious time and balancing their budgets.


Highlights of the Report

This completely new Packaged Facts report shows what marketers and grocers can expect from a new generation of Moms who turn to blogs for meal planning information before the store and use mobile apps to make sure they are getting the best deals in the store. Many of the report’s findings may challenge conventional thinking about Moms as food shoppers. For example, although marketers have traditionally appealed to the “pester power” of kids in the supermarket, the report reveals that on their most recent food shopping trip a majority (56%) of Moms were alone and blissfully free from the demands of their kids as they made their way up and down the aisles of the grocery store.

One of the major threads of the report is that Moms want grocery stores to step up to help them plan and prepare healthy family meals. Besides enhancing what they offer Moms on their websites, grocers can build relationships with Moms looking for interesting and innovative cooking tips by strengthening their in-store cooking and meal planner programs. Compared to food shoppers on average, Moms are 33% more likely to choose grocery stores offering cooking classes or cooking videos and 23% more likely to pick stores providing meal planner and recipe information.

The report also highlights broad societal trends that will have a significant impact on food marketers and grocers. For example, over the next few years the ongoing steady decline in the number of births in the United States will create headwinds for grocers and food marketers targeting Moms with kids at home. As Hispanic Moms with kids at home become an increasingly important segment of food shoppers, food marketers and grocers will need to shift their thinking to accommodate the perspectives of Latinas, who spend more money on items such as fresh fruits and vegetables on the perimeter of the grocery store and much less on frozen, canned and packaged foods in the center of the store.


Scope and Methodology

This report defines “Moms” as the 32 million women who are parents or guardians of children under the age of 18 who are living at home. The three sources of primary data in the report are as follows:

Spring 2012 Experian Simmons National NCS, which was fielded between June 2011 and June 2012. Trend data contained in the report are constructed from the Spring 2006 through Spring 2012 Experian Simmons National Consumer Studies. These studies were fielded during the 12-month period ending in June of each year. Packaged Facts March 2011 Food Shopper Insights (FSI) Survey, an online survey of 2,000 U.S. adults who had shopped for groceries within 24 hours of being surveyed. Respondents in aggregate were Census representative on the demographic measures of gender, age, race/ethnicity, geographic region, household income and presence of children in the household. Data generated by SymphonyIRI InfoScan Reviews, which track sales through U.S. supermarkets and grocery stores, drugstores, and mass merchandisers (including Target and Kmart but excluding Walmart) with annual sales of $2 million or more.

The report is also based upon data collected from a wide range of industry sources, including company websites, trade publications, business newspapers and magazines, consumer blogs and other releases from public companies.


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Grocery Shopping PowerPoint Template

Grocery Shopping PowerPoint Template | Shopping behavior |

Vivid PowerPoint template with various meal and food on the grocery store shelves on the background is an ideal choice for presentations on grocery store and grocery shopping.

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The Myth of Shopping the Perimeter of the Grocery Store | RDA-12 | How to Buy Healthy Food at the Supermarket

The Myth of Shopping the Perimeter of the Grocery Store | RDA-12 | How to Buy Healthy Food at the Supermarket | Shopping behavior |
Have you ever been told to shop the edges of the grocery store to help eat healthier? Sure, many whole foods are found in the perimeter, but so are unhealthy options. Here are some tips to for how to use the entire supermarket to your advantage.

Via Demarcio Washington
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20 Things Parents Forget at the Grocery Store

20 Things Parents Forget at the Grocery Store | Shopping behavior |

1. There’s no such thing as a “quick trip” to the grocery store. 2. A grocery cart with a race car frame is the fastest cart to give your kids the flu. 3. The free cookie in the bakery is a gateway drug that makes your kids think everything in the store is delicious and free. 4. Toddlers can miss their mouth with a chicken nugget four out of five times, but they can throw a sock in the lobster tank from 15 feet away on their first try. 5. Every aisle is the candy aisle to a toddler. 6. Frozen foods are like kids in Facebook photos: They look better than they really are. 7. Nobody under 10 years old can keep a promise not to run a grocery cart over your heel. 8. Strangers who stop to say your kids are cute didn’t see them knock over the store display. 9. Your first trip of the day to a grocery store is just a practice run for the return trip you’ll need to make later in the day. 10. Toddlers can figure out how to remove themselves from a shopping cart faster than Harry Houdini. 11. More than 90 percent of veggies bought with good intentions are scraped into sinks, trash cans and dogs’ mouths. 12. A free sample is still big enough to make you have to change your kids’ clothes when they inevitably spill it. 13. The freezer section isn’t as cold as the look your toddler will give you for not buying them ice cream. 14. Similar to how you want to check fruit for bruises, toddlers want to check the aerodynamics of glass jars. 15. Kids can’t taste the difference, but they can recognize the box of a generic brand and know how long a tantrum must last before you switch to the brand with popular cartoon characters. 16. If you are in a hurry, a toddler will make you take them to the bathroom, where they will decide that they don’t really have to go because the thought of hearing a public toilet flush is terrifying. 17. The express checkout is not a reward for your kids opening 10 items or less that you hadn’t bought yet. 18. You can buy a lottery ticket, but the bigger gamble is thinking the extra minute it takes to buy the ticket isn’t enough time for your kids to knock down another store display. 19. Toddlers only want to hold their parents’ hands in a grocery store parking lot with both of their feet kicking in the air. 20. Out of the $200 worth of groceries you ultimately get, milk was the only item you intended to buy. Like Us On Facebook | Follow Us On Twitter | Contact HuffPost Parents Also on HuffPost:

Via JoAnn Roselli
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USDA Grants $149,074 to Study Food Shopping Patterns with GPS

( - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded a  $149,074 grant to study food shopping patterns that may form the basis  of future shopping "interventions.”
The USDA award went to the  University of Kentucky in April for the study titled, “Adolescent and  Parent Food Activity Patterns as Drivers of Food Choice and Behaviors."
According  to the grant abstract, “There is limited research understanding how  adolescents and their parents move within their daily lives which may  influence their food choices and ultimately diet behavior."
The  project will examine the influences on food shopping patterns, or as the  proposal put it: "The overall goal of the proposed project is to  examine the drivers of food shopping patterns, behaviors and food  purchasing choices within the food activity space among adolescents and  their parents.”
Some of the families involved in the study will  be given GPS data recorders so researchers can conduct an "objective  measure of the food environment."
The study's primary director  Prof. Alison Gustafson tells, “A lot of the work is on  proximal deterrents -- things that are close to you that would bring you  to a store. For example, shopping venues that are in a person’s travel  pattern – in their daily route, they may pass certain types of food  establishments.
“The GPS will help us map out a travel pattern,  the geographic space and the number of food venues in this space. As  well as the type -- grocery stores, gas stations or super centers,”  Gustafson said.
The study also will examine the shopping habits of adolescents traveling with and without a parent.

“Are shopping habits different for an adolescent when they are with a parent or with a friend? My hypothesis is that there will be a difference,” Gustafson said.
“Although neighborhood-level efforts are paramount for food system sustainability, at the micro-level, where residents procure food, interventions are also needed,” the grant says.
“Such that examining behaviors and perceptions of the locations where families purchase food for consumption can aid in developing trainings and key materials that will most directly influence purchasing behavior. Lastly, the ultimate goal of the project is to develop and submit an integrated grant that will lead to improved diet quality among families.”
Gustafson explains, “The intervention that we will likely write another grant for, is so you change their shopping habits.  We will be working with food stores, adolescents and parents on how to change their choice to healthier snacks and foods.”
“In an ideal world everyone would always have access to healthy food, but since that’s not possible, we may say to parents, ‘You can’t change where you live but you could change how you shop.’”
For example, a change in one's daily travel routine could produce changes in shopping behavior:  “Maybe if someone drove a half mile the other way, there is a grocery store with healthier options than the food venues they routinely pass by,” Gustafson says.
Part of the study will focus on designing a food shopping curriculum:  “We’ll be working with stores and families in a 10-week session," Gustafson said.

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The secret science of shopping: Why we buy what we do

The secret science of shopping: Why we buy what we do | Shopping behavior |

Mind who you shop with: your friends and neighbors influence what you buy

As early as 8 years old, when we enter the so-called ‘tween’ period, our friends start influencing what we buy. One study from the Journal of Consumer Behavior found that when children hit their tween years (defined as 8-12 years old in this study), they start replacing their family’s opinions on purchases with what their friends think. They also start judging different brands around this age, and “make inferences about peers based on their consumption choices”.



Brian Yanish -'s insight:


Interesting article showing how our buying habits can be changed based on our environment including temperature, lighting, music and even the people beside us.


With this type of information stores and restaurants can change our buying habits, make a spend more, eat more, purchase a certain product or service, how fast or slow we shop, the list goes on.


The next time you're shopping be aware of your surroundings and see what a retailer or restaurant may be using to influence you.

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Why Shopper Marketing is Increasingly Important to Soft Drinks ...

The improvement of shopper marketing techniques has a particular relevance for the soft drinks industry. High value categories like carbonates and juice have been in a state of decline in the developed markets of North ...
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The Future of Shopper Marketing

Join Shopper Technology Institute Executive Director John Karolefski and executives from GfK as they explore the possibilities for combining technology, value and optimism across the Path to...
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Why Putting Yourself in the Customer’s Shoes Doesn’t Work | Marketing Hub

Why Putting Yourself in the Customer’s Shoes Doesn’t Work | Marketing Hub | Shopping behavior |

HBR: What kind of customer preferences did you focus on?


In one experiment we asked managers to develop a new car model and choose the features customers wanted. In another we had them decide on a new ad campaign for Rolex. In a third they were asked to set the price for a sandwich at a café. In every case, predictions about what customers wanted matched the managers’ personal preferences more closely when the managers had been primed to be more empathetic.


They were projecting?


Yes, even when the customers were totally different from themselves. In the sandwich experiment, for instance, the customers were students. Completely different people, but the managers still projected their own preferences onto them....

Via Jeff Domansky
Jeff Domansky's curator insight, March 6, 2015 3:24 AM

Fascinating marketing research study and cautionary tale.

Nedko Aldev's curator insight, March 7, 2015 3:25 AM


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How Reusable Shopping Bags Manipulate Your Mind Towards...

How Reusable Shopping Bags Manipulate Your Mind Towards... | Shopping behavior |
Bringing your own shopping bags to the grocery store increases your tendency to buy organic items—but also to treat yourself to ice cream and cookies, according to new research. 

Bringing your own shopping bags to the grocery store increases your tendency to buy organic items—but also to treat yourself to ice cream and cookies, according to new research by Uma R. Karmarkar and Bryan Bollinger.


There’s a classic cartoon plot device that represents a struggle with temptation. A tiny angel pops up on the conflicted character’s left shoulder, urging him to follow the path of righteousness. A tiny devil sits on his right shoulder, pressing him to give into his desires.

In real life, it turns out that an everyday item has the power to act as both angel and devil every time we go to the grocery store. It lurks in car trunks and pantries all over the world, waiting to guide us simultaneously down paths of virtue and vice. What is this surprising Svengali?

It’s a reusable shopping bag.

New experimental research shows that shoppers are more likely to buy virtuous organic items when they bring their own reusable bags to the store than when they opt for paper or plastic bags at the checkout counter. At the same time, those who bring their own bags are more likely to buy indulgent items like ice cream and cookies. Moreover, consumers tend to place a higher value on both organic products and decadent treats when they bring their own bags than when they don’t.

Researchers Uma R. Karmarkar and Bryan Bollinger report their preliminary findings in their working paper BYOB: How Bringing Your Own Shopping Bags Leads to Treating Yourself, and the Environment. (The collaborative effort addresses each of their particular interests. Karmarkar, an assistant professor and neuroscientist in the Marketing unit at Harvard Business School, studies factors that affect consumer choice. Bollinger, an assistant professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business, studies the marketing of sustainable products.)

“There are all these little things that we’re supposed to do to be better to the environment, like turning off the lights when we leave the room or recycling our bottles,” Karmarkar says. “Bringing bags is interesting in that it’s a difficult thing to remember to do, and actually requires a fairly big behavioral change on the part of the consumer. Our question was, when you succeed at this big behavioral change, does it change other elements of what you’re doing as well?”


As their working paper explains, the researchers combined empirical and experimental methods to test the purchasing effect of reusable bags.

Looking at loyalty card data from a large grocery chain in California, Karmarkar and Bollinger tracked and analyzed 936,232 purchases by 5,987 households across two years. To assess organic purchases, they looked for transactions in which the consumer could choose either an organic or a nonorganic option—a carton of milk, for example. In monitoring what they called “indulgent” purchases, the researchers looked at sugary items like ice cream and candy bars, as well as salty treats like potato chips.

The data showed a definite correlation: Shoppers who had brought their own bags bought decidedly more indulgences and chose more organic products than those who didn’t. But this wasn’t necessarily enough information to establish causality—that is, that both effects were specifically due to bringing their own bags. “There are a lot of things going on in a store and a lot of inputs,” Karmarkar says.

So she and Bollinger dug deeper with a series of experiments, enlisting participants for a number of online surveys.

In the first experiment, the researchers assigned participants to one of two conditions. The “with bags” participants were asked to imagine approaching a supermarket to do their grocery shopping with their own bags. The “without bags” group received nearly identical instructions, but nothing about bags was mentioned. All the participants looked at a floor map of the grocery store and listed 10 items they would most likely purchase on their hypothetical outing.

Regarding indulgent items, the results depended on whether the participants had children in their households. For those with dependents, there was no significant difference between the with-bags and the without-bags condition. For those without children, the with-bags participants were more likely to imagine buying ice cream and potato chips than the -without-bags- participants.

But the results couldn’t speak to organic items; while participants listed items such as milk and vegetables, they generally didn’t list whether their hypothetical choices were organic milk and vegetables.

“We could support some of the story but not all of it yet,” Karmarkar says.

And so she and Bollinger conducted a second experiment, in which participants reported how much they’d be willing to pay for each of nine specificproducts. These included both organic and indulgent items, as well as “baseline” items like canned soup. Again, the participants were divided into hypothetical conditions of “with bags” and “without bags.”

Consistent with the empirical data, the idea of bringing their own bags increased the likelihood that participants would buy both indulgent and organic items. Moreover, it increased the amount of money they’d be willing to pay for those items.

But the researchers had another question: Does it matter whether a reusable bag is the consumer’s choice? “We wanted to examine whether it was important that you made the decision to bring the bags as opposed to a store policy that requires it,” says Karmarkar, noting that some stores obligate customers to bring their own bags; others charge customers a fee for single-use carryout bags per a local government mandate.

In the next experiment, all the participants imagined bringing their own bags to the hypothetical grocery store. But while some were told to imagine bringing reusable bags of their own volition, others imagined that they had to bring bags due to a store policy.

Participants then rated their willingness to purchase organic, indulgent, and baseline items. In this case, the results showed no significant difference between the two groups with regard to organic items, which rated highly across the board. However, participants were more likely to buy indulgent foods if they imagined that bringing bags was their own choice.

“A simple way I think about those results is that if you do something good, you reward yourself,” Karmarkar says. “You did something good for the environment, so you can have a cookie.”


For retailers, the results suggest that store managers should reconsider where they display their organic items. In short, it may make sense to locate the kale near the Kit Kats.

“The research implies that the area near the checkout counter is a good place to display organic or environmentally positive items,” Karmarkar says. “That’s the place where shoppers’ attention is probably going to be most focused on this element, the bag, which seems to encourage them to buy these things.”

For consumers, she recommends that they just think about the findings as they stroll down the grocery store aisles.

“I’m of the mindset that it’s useful to know the kinds of things that influence your own behavior,” Karmarkar says. “If you’re trying to maintain a strict diet, maybe you can recognize the bag’s influence, and consciously fill the desire to treat yourself in another way that doesn’t interfere with your goals. Maybe you can treat yourself to an extra half hour of sleep.”

About the author

Carmen Nobel is senior editor of Harvard Business School Working Knowledge.

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Mary Kay Goes After Retailmenot For Promoting Mary Kay

I'm not a coupon person. I don't know why I'm not, but I don't find myself at the grocery store digging through a coupon wallet the way my mother did to ensure I get $.25 off on that discounted meat I like to buy for a little game I call "Will this kill me tonight?" When shopping online, however, it's a completely different story. Like many others, checking out of an online store isn't complete until I run the brand or retailer through a search engine to see if there are any online coupons I can use. One of the common sites that comes up is RetailMeNot, an aggregator of coupon codes. Sometimes the codes work, more often they don't, but it's all part of my buying process.

And you have to imagine that, for the most part, retailers love sites like this. Coupons, after all, are designed to get buyers to try out a store or a brand. Making those coupons more widely available should naturally result in more first-tries, more purchases when there might otherwise be less. It's a promotional tool, if nothing else, likely a free advertising source for these stores and brands. Mary Kay Cosmetics, in its never-ending wisdom, has decided to sue RetailMeNot for fraud and trademark infringement, litigating against the hand that feeds them.

Mary Kay Cosmetics is suing affiliate site Google Ventures-backed RetailMeNot in federal court for precisely for this reason. The company doesn’t sell directly to the public — though its corporate site makes it appear otherwise — and says it doesn’t offer deals or coupons. Therefore the company says that RetailMeNot’s presentation of Mary Kay coupons misleads consumers and harms the brand and its relationship with its sales reps (independent consultants) in several ways.

Okay, a couple of things to note from that pull quote. First, Mary Kay absolutely does sell direct to customers on its website. Not its entire catalog, perhaps. For that, you probably have to deal with one of the low-on-the-pyramid "sales reps" that hasn't figured out the Mary Kay business model yet. As for whether Mary Kay offers coupons or deals, they absolutely do that, too. You can get free gifts with certain purchase amounts or free shipping on certain amounts, for instance. I played along at the Mary Kay website to find out, so you can see the screenshot below.


Now, while these aren't the kinds of coupons that have a code, the kind that people will usually travel to a site like RetailMeNot to get, so what? RetailMeNot is a service for alerting consumers to sales, coupons, and deals. When there is no coupon code, the site drives traffic directly to the retailer's site for the deal instead. For instance:

The Mary Kay site is displayed and consumers are directed there for their needs. I have no idea where the fraud is here and, if it's trademark infringement, it's the kind of infringement most businesses should be begging for. Driving traffic of interested consumers directly to your website? That deserves a "thank you", not a lawsuit.

And, in truth, the higher ups at Mary Kay probably have no problem with any of this. Unfortunately, the Mary Kay business model means that consumers visiting the website really aren't Mary Kay's most important customers. It's lower level employees are. The folks at the bottom of the triangle have been complaining that their customers are referencing the deals on the Mary Kay site that RetailMeNot is pointing out and demanding the same deals from the local reps. And, because Mary Kay makes a fat percentage of its money directly from those reps, rather than from consumers, pissed off "Independant Beauty Consultants" are a problem. Hence the stupid lawsuit in which Mary Kay admits as much.

RMN’s listing of these “sales,” “deals,” and “coupons” harms Mary Kay and its relationship with its customers (the IBCs). Mary Kay has received various complaints from IBCs and others, who have been pressured by customers to accept and/or honor the false or unauthorized “coupons” posted on RMN’s website.

RetailMeNot's site is pointing back to Mary Kay's website. That's what makes all of this not only legal, but certainly not underhanded. Now, I still can't quite fathom why Mary Kay, even after admitting who its real customers are in a legal filing, can't immediately be disbanded as a pyramid scheme, but that's entirely besides the point. RMN is under no obligation to keep Mary Kay customers happy and driving traffic to a retailer's website isn't grounds for a lawsuit. And it appears the site is willing to fight, according to the statement it provided.

RetailMeNot, Inc. takes concerns related to third party intellectual property very seriously. RetailMeNot, Inc. continues to believe that it operates in compliance with law and in the best interests of consumers and its retail partners by aggregating information to help shoppers save money using its websites and mobile apps. RetailMeNot, Inc. believes the allegations in this lawsuit are without merit and intends to vigorously contest this matter.

Sigh. No good deed and all that....


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Shop at an Smaller Grocery Store to Avoid Overspending


Shopping at a grocery store should save you money since you won't be eating out as much. But if you tend to overspend at the grocery store, try shopping at a store with less choice.


Via George Cover
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Loyalty Program Members Say they Shop More, Spend More and Share More

Loyalty Program Members Say they Shop More, Spend More and Share More | Shopping behavior |
I have to go grocery shopping today and I have a choice of two store with loyalty programs. One is going to give me .20 a gallon off gas at

Via Thomas Faltin
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How Grocery Bags Manipulate Your Mind — HBS Working Knowledge

How Grocery Bags Manipulate Your Mind — HBS Working Knowledge | Shopping behavior |
People who bring personal shopping bags to the grocery store to help the environment are more likely to buy organic items—but also to treat themselves to ice cream and cookies, according to new research by Uma R. Karmarkar and Bryan Bollinger . What's the Quinoa-Häagen-Dazs connection?

Via Prof. Hankell
Prof. Hankell's curator insight, March 4, 2014 5:31 AM


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3 unexpected ways online reviews have upended shopper marketing - AGBeat

3 unexpected ways online reviews have upended shopper marketing - AGBeat | Shopping behavior |
Online reviews have made a tremendous impact on the business world, and some of these changes have been a surprise to many.

Via Jeff Domansky
Jeff Domansky's curator insight, April 1, 2015 11:22 PM

Word-of-mouth and online reviews present both challenges and opportunities for retailers.

Carlene Kelsey's curator insight, April 17, 2015 10:02 PM

Do you check online reviews too?