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Indonesia 2016 | Thought Leadership | Empowering the social shopper

Adapting to the online-offline business of buying

Voon Tai, Channel Planning Director,
Samir Gupte, Managing Director, Geometry Global Indonesia
Everyone loves shopping, and marketers have long used shopper marketing to guide consumers towards their brands during the “last mile” of consideration before a deal is sealed. But the last mile has changed beyond all recognition; across many categories, the shopping process starts long before a person enters a store. People research online, discuss and suggest purchases. Most importantly, they influence and are influenced by the views of their friends, peers and people they trust.
Social media is a huge phenomenon in Indonesia, and it is transforming the social aspect of shopping and purchase decision-making that used to happen offline. Shopping is becoming even more of a social activity in the mobile era, and social media recommendations are having a significant impact on consumers’ propensity to consider a brand and ultimately make a purchase.
People trust what others say about brands or products, and not just when it’s people they already know. Mothers trust ‘mother bloggers’ and frequently seek information and product recommendations from them. Someone interested in home appliances will research products online, discuss it with friends, read online reviews, browse in a physical store, and then often go back online to actually make a purchase.
Shopping has become a highly social, non-linear and mobile-enabled activity, at the same time as the business of retailing has also changed: the modern trade is on the rise, and the shopping habits of Indonesians are evolving. People now look for and expect a seamless online-offline shopping experience.
Brands can no longer ignore the demands of these highly social online-offline shoppers. They need to think differently about the way they market to shoppers, focusing less on pushing out a brand message and thinking more about joining in conversations around shopping.
The digital, social revolution in Indonesia has created a new breed of shoppers, and they want more ...
MORE IDEAS: They seek inspiration from friends, family members and credible influencers on how to enhance their lifestyle.
MORE SAY: So that they can be more involved, make their voices heard by others and influence the direction of brands.
MORE POWER: So that their experiences can influence the perceptions of other shoppers.
There are two ways that brands can be part of the new, social aspect of online and offline shopping.
1. Socializing shoppers
We can turn traditional, one-to-one shopper marketing events and promotions into social interactions that become one-to-many. Online influencers can become a part of an offline event, expanding reach and attracting new audiences by amplifying news about products or offers.
In categories with high shopper consideration or significant barriers to purchase, we can help make it easier to arrive at a purchase decision by providing web-enabled merchandising and access to social content in-store via interactive displays.
With the rise in e-commerce, we can shorten the shopper’s purchase journey significantly, by making it easier to convert from an online ad to an online purchase in the moment, rather than nudging shoppers to buy from a physical store.
2. Shopifying Social
We know that people are influenced by other peoples’ buying experiences, reviews and complaints.
Brands can work to better understand the purchase decision journey and use social listening – when consumers are in ‘shopper mode’ to identify challenges and barriers to purchase.
Shoppers follow online influencers and desire content that inspires them. Developing the right influencer engagement program and building the right messaging through them can motivate shoppers online, guiding them to the point of purchase.
Make content more shoppable by leveraging purchase decision journey insights and motivations, turning connections into actions.
Brand marketers have grown used to deploying both social media and shopper marketing, but they have tended to use them separately. Together, they can be a formidable combination for brands, and a highly effective way to influence shoppers, whether they are online, offline or both. Indonesian shoppers are ready for this kind of integration; it’s time marketers got ready, too.