Winning at the Moment of Choice. Connecting with Shoppers in an Evolving Retail Landscape.

V360°, in conjunction with ECR Ireland, ran the third of their 2018 Shopper Symposium Series ‘Preparing for the Future While Thriving in the Now’, at Airfield Estate in Dundrum, on Friday 24th August. The theme for the morning was ‘Winning at the Moment of Choice. Connecting with Shoppers in an Evolving Retail Landscape.’

Presentations on the morning were from Eoghan Phelan, joint MD at V360° and Daniel Ryan, eCommerce & New Revenue Streams Manager at Unilever Ireland. Eoghan’s talk focused on our inherent human behavioural biases that influence how we shop; outlining the role that effective shopper creative can play in nudging shoppers at the moment of choice.  Daniel’s talk explored the disruption of retail channels and how technology is acting as an enabler; outlining why brands must have a purpose in an era of changing consumer motivations and shopper missions.

Contents of the morning

Eoghan Phelan Presentation

The Shopper Evolution and the Mind of The Shopper

In order to understand shopper behaviour, and how to effectively engage shoppers across retail channels, new and old, it’s important to understand how human evolution has influenced our day-to-day lives and how we shop.

Our brain’s evolution has led to it operating in two vastly different modes as we go about our day-to-day lives. These modes were popularised by the Nobel prize-winning psychologist, Daniel Kahneman, as System 1 and System 2. System 1 processing is fast, unconscious, automatic, irrational and often unreliable. It is within System 1 that we find heuristics and biases such as rules of thumb, stereotypes and associations. System 2, on the other hand, is slower, conscious, effortful, rational processing. While we may think that we engage in System 2 processing most of the time, cognitive neuroscientists have estimated that only about 5-10% of our cognitive activities are conscious, with the remaining 90%+ unconscious.

There are many ways in which cognitive biases caused by our System 1 processing is open to influence when shopping, including:

Framing – How people react to a particular choice, depending on how it is presented or framed.

Anchoring – Where initial exposure to some information, often a number, serves as a reference point and influences subsequent judgements.

Priming – The psychological effect caused by the exposure to a stimulus that influences your response to a subsequent stimulus.

How we Shop

Shoppers spend much of their time scanning the environment with their peripheral vision, often at great speed. This behaviour creates many challenges when communicating to shoppers. Humans are not adept at reading with our peripheral vision, so messages must be clear and succinct. Imagery can often be more powerful than words and can be better at drawing shoppers’ attention. We are not hardwired to think in words and humans have been communicating in imagery for much longer.

What’s relevant to our interests, or our task at hand, will grab our attention. This means it’s important to understand shopper missions and decision trees to engage shoppers effectively. Shoppers are looking for solutions to get the job done, and quite often they are overwhelmed by a ‘wall of noise’ at the moment of choice

Effectively Engaging Shoppers

V360° have identified 4 key barriers or triggers, the 4 E’s, that most shopper challenges fall into.

EASE – Help me find what I’m looking for
ECONOMIC – Assure me that I’m getting the best deal
ENTICE – Inspire me to choose the best solution for my needs
EXPERIENCE – Take the chore out of shopping.

It’s important to consider shoppers’ mindset at each touchpoint on their decision journey and activate accordingly to best overcome these barriers or leverage these triggers, up to and including the moment of choice.

V360° follow three key principles to ensure effective creative execution at the moment of choice:

STOP – See Me
ENGAGE – Notice Me
LAND – Buy Me

There are many ways in which each of these principles can be activated with the most effective shopper creative activating all three principles.  To discuss the STOP ENGAGE LAND principles further, feel free to get in touch with the team at V360°.

Daniel Ryan Presentation

The Irish Shopper and Consumer Landscape

Consumer confidence in Ireland stands at 108, up from 103 in the last year and consumer spending is not at record levels surpassing the Celtic Tiger days. We are seeing growth across many categories but, in most cases, this is being driven by volume over value. Ireland also continues to see an influx of modern business flood to the city centres, creating a diverse culture. Innovation is accelerating, globally and on a national level, and we are seeing four key macro consumer trends:

  1. Entitlement & Disappointment
  2. Other is Better?
  3. Too Many Toxins, Health Tribes & the New Faithful
  4. Feverishly Connected V Step Off

Consumer interaction with brands and services has evolved with technology acting as an enabler. Consumption motivations are being impacted with consumers thinking globally and acting locally.

Retail Disruption

Established industries are being disrupted.  Irish shoppers are increasingly embracing online shopping and there is significant room for growth in the online grocery sector. The discounters are continuing their rise through further expansion and increasing shopper loyalty. G.O.D. (Grocery on Demand) is coming with the likes of Amazon Prime Now in 84 cities in 2018 and new market entrants such as Google Express gathering momentum. Subscribe and Save offerings are also disrupting shopping and impacting a range of categories while reducing basket size in-store. Creating positive and memorable in-store experiences is becoming more important than ever for retailers as shoppers have more choice than ever before.


What is required of organizations to flourish in the future?

  • Agility
  • Empowered Leadership
  • Purpose
  • Transparency
  • Connected Collaboration
  • Trust
  • Effective use of data

Unilever Ireland is embracing these implications of the changing landscape and putting emphasis on talent attraction and retention. The Unilever Foundry has increased collaboration, through a partnership with Dogpatch Labs, one of Ireland’s leading start-up hubs. Evidence of this new emphasis on collaboration, and new way of thinking and acting in the business, is provided by their work with, and their investment in Buymie, an Irish on-demand grocery delivery service.