Shopper Marketing Trends: How Mobile and Digital Keep Changing the Marketing Landscape

Digital and mobile are making the shopping cycle (research, discovery, awareness, and purchase) much shorter and faster than ever before. The growth of digital technology has given consumers access to copious amounts of product information—and they are accessing it. Subscription-based services centered around specific shopper data are delivering an engaging personalized experience, turning shoppers into repeat visitors.

Digital and mobile aren’t just changing the shopper experience. They’re changing the pattern of behavior shoppers exhibit before they purchase. Today, most consumers’ first impulse when contemplating a purchase includes digital research. According to a survey done by Kenshoo, 70% of shoppers use a mobile phone while in a retail store to read reviews. What’s more, 85% of prospective shoppers visit Google to research purchases before they buy. That’s followed by Amazon (72%) and eBay (38%).

What does all this mean for brands and their efforts to drive retail sales? It means they must adjust the way they communicate who they are, and how they say who they are to their audience. Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook states that for brands to grow in the new marketing landscape, “they must focus on three areas:

  • Focus on your brand mission
  • Building communities
  • Engaging those communities long-term

Building and engaging communities is something Amazon has done successfully given its position as the most important component in many consumers’ shopping journeys.

The world’s largest online retailer has now also become the second most used platform for search (behind Google) for product research. Amazon customers go even further with their research, as users also check for background information and alternatives, an important way to comparison shop with brick and mortar stores.

With the number of products Amazon carries and over 300 million active account holders, and now its reputation as a media platform where users and visitors come to research and compare products, the online retail giant is becoming a place where brands are turning for focused ad campaigns. Marketing directly to consumers through an e-commerce channel like Amazon gives you an already engaged and ready-to-buy audience.

There is a significant transformation taking place in the retail space, and digital and mobile are the prominent drivers in altering long-standing shopper behavior. With the rise of digital and the convenience of mobile, consumers shop everywhere and at any time. And that’s the sweet spot for Shopper Marketing.

The Changing Face of Online Ads

TPN’s Digital Marketing and Commerce team keep a constant eye on innovation to keep our agency and clients informed. Earlier this summer, we highlighted the latest news and trends surrounding online video ad content and viewing. In an ever-changing shopping landscape where consumers are making more and more purchases outside of the store, it is increasingly imperative to reach shoppers online. 64% of consumers say they are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video, making online video a key vehicle for targeting shoppers and making the buy happen right where they are.

Learn more about how the online video ad space is evolving and watch the TECH + DMC minute below.

TechDMC Report 17 July 2017 from TPN on Vimeo.

Winning with Shopper Media

In today’s ecosystem of commerce, traditional shopper marketing is no longer enough. There is no longer one clear path, and shopping is not a deliberate, compartmentalized act. Shopping is spontaneous, deconstructed and integrated into the flow of everyday life.

The new urgent reality for brands and retailers is how to capitalize on shoppers’ and consumers’ evolving behaviors and preferences. The so-called “funnel” is gone; and consumers expect faster, easier and intuitive shopping that is personally relevant to where they are in life, on the devices and apps they use, and on demand. TPN calls this “Shopping in the Flow,” and conducted extensive research to understand how shopping is now a fluid activity woven within the daily lives of consumers.

Your target is “Shopping In the Flow” as they go through their day, from their phones, couches, desks and cars. It’s our job at TPN to reach and engage your target wherever they are and deliver connected, frictionless experiences at the speed of dynamic commerce. Our mission is simple: to Make the Buy Happen. We combine curated technology, art and human insight to create connected experiences that build brand commitment.

In the below presentation we explore a topic that we see as a key response to shopping behavior evolutions – Shopper Media – which we believe is radically changing the world of Shopper Marketing as we know it.

TPN Shopper Safari: Back-to-School

In the latest TPN Shopper Safari Trek Report, TPN highlights four key themes for the Back-to-School 2017 Shopping Season.

TPN’s Shopper Safari encourages immersion in retail and commerce by leveraging our employee network. This effort helps foster continuous analysis and conversation of the retail landscape.


Back-to-School Shoppers Plan to Purchase

As the new school year kicks into high gear for most of the country, parents and students will find a changing shopping landscape. No longer are they racing to retail stores without a plan for braving the crowd days before the school year starts. Digitally-driven brick and mortar purchases are changing the way consumers shop.

Shopping at brick-and-mortar retail stores without being prepared is less popular with back-to-school shoppers. Digitally driven shopping now guides the shopping habits of consumers looking to grab better deals and avoid long lines. Digital is also helping them plan their back-to-school shopping strategy throughout the calendar year. Consumers are using apps to research products on their mobile phones. The statistics help explain the behavior shift:

  • According to Deloitte, last year nearly half of every dollar spent on apparel in brick-and-mortar stores was digitally-influenced, a number that jumped to 62 cents of every dollar in the electronics category.
  • Nearly 4 in 10 of surveyed parents shopping for children in grades K-12 said the back to school shopping season is less important to their families because they replenish school supplies throughout the year and feel less need to stock up.
  • And 31% of consumers complete their shopping after the school year begins.



As part of our back-to-school Shopper Safari retail audit, we saw four key themes: 1) Battle for the best prices, 2) Impactful point-of-sale displays, 3) Charitable and caused-based program overlays, and 4) Selling solutions. Click here to view our Shopper Safari recap.





Retailers should be targeting a window larger than the traditional back-to-school shopping period for their marketing efforts. Back-to-school shopping is now a year round endeavor, so opportunities exist for brands and retailers to capitalize on that. By focusing on consumers and their reliance on digital, retailers can drive in-store purchases more successfully. Digitally fluent shoppers have a plan before they walk through the doors, and in-store purchases of items like apparel are easily planned for. According to Bazaar Voice, 61% of back-to-school shoppers research online before purchasing in-store.

As consumers continue to look for more convenient shopping experiences for their students, digital allows them opportunities to plan and to purchase when it’s convenient for them. As retailers look to future shopping seasons such as Black Friday and the Christmas shopping season, the goal should be to stay on top of this shift in consumer behavior and take advantage of the digital movement to boost their in-store sales.

Pinterest: What’s New?

TPN’s Digital Marketing and Commerce team keeps a constant eye on innovation to keep our agency and clients informed. In the latest installment, we dove into new functionalities of Pinterest and how these have helped the platform stay relevant. Watch the TECH DMC minute below.

TechDMC Report 28 August 2017 from TPN on Vimeo.