May 29, 2019

Are Customers More Than Just The Product They Buy?

Brands need to focus on hyper-targeting their shoppers in-store - CLICKON Social Labs investigate how brands can ensure their customers are more than just a single product.

  • In a poll conducted by our CLICKON Social Labs, participants were asked, ‘When you go shopping for one item, which of the following best describes you?’ With only 29% of shoppers making more purchases than they originally needed.
  • A surprising 10% of participants will leave after only five minutes, if they cannot find the item they need, meaning it is up to brands to evaluate why the shopping experience they provide is not enticing customers to invest more time to find alternative products.

“People are inundated with different brands as they stroll through the streets, scan through their social media news feeds, and binge television. The average American is exposed to more than 4,000 ads every day.” Harvard Review

Traditional forms of sales focus on the product or service, however, in today’s market this is no longer sufficient. In fact, sales are less determined by the product or service, but instead focus lies more on the buying experience as a whole, including how the brand makes the customer feel about their purchases as well as them as an individual.

Shopper's habit

Appeal to a customer’s emotions:

The majority of a customer’s decisions are based on emotions, whether it’s towards the brand or their general shopping experience. Out of the participants questioned, 61% said they will leave a shop after they have found the product they were looking for. While their purchase is a positive outcome, brands must strive for more, they need to identify with that shopper personally to ensure they will return and make further purchases.

Every shopper will have an emotional factor that contributes to their purchasing decisions, and this is largely based on the fact that humans are driven by feelings. To convert a shopper’s single purchase into multiple purchases, they need an established connection to the brand. Emotion-based campaigns are noticeable in many industries - this concept is successful for marketers to hook their target audiences. For example:

  • Luxury items will focus on emotions of self-worth and status to appeal to the target audience.
  • Communication devices suggest feelings of happiness through the ability to connect to family, friends, and people worldwide.
  • Athletic brands ignite excitement through the promise of adventure and victories.

This demonstrates that the key to making a sale is not only through a focus on a product’s features, but also the lifestyle and emotions that a customer will gain after purchasing this product.

Offer ‘a better version of themselves’:

Brands cannot simply sell their products, they must engage with their customers by convincing them that through their purchases, they will become ‘a better version of themselves’. CLICKON Social Labs found that 10% of participants will leave a shop after 5 minutes if they cannot find the item they were looking for.

A smart brand will understand that in order to connect with a customer, they need to sell to the person as a whole, not just a single part. Meaning, if a customer is going to buy a product, it is not enough to sell them the features of the product, they must sell them the benefit this product or service will have for them. For example, when Steve Jobs invented the first iPod, the technology industry was left confused as this was not an original product, MP3 players had been on the market for quite a few years. However, the way Jobs advertised this product made a real impact:

“1,000 songs in your pocket.”

Other brands were selling their MP3s with statements like, “1GB storage for your MP3 player.” All this tells a potential customer are the features of this product, but Jobs told customers how this product would benefit them, and in turn how it will make them a better person.

Sell the whole shopping experience:

So, brands have appealed to a customer’s emotions and in turn, made them feel like a better person through purchasing their product. But, after this experience what makes the shopper continue the experience, or return on another occasion? Brands must provide a unique shopping experience that is tailored to each type of customer.

Out of the participants questioned, only 29% will buy more items than they need. This figure, although not worrying for brands, can definitely be improved. Customers are increasingly more focused on buying into an experience and how a brand makes them feel, if both of these aspects are viewed as positive in the customer’s eye, brand loyalty and consistently increased sales will be achieved.