The Science of Shopper Marketing

Faculty member Jean Marc Rejaud
Jean Marc Rejaud.

In the digital age, companies need to work harder than ever to cultivate buyers and keep them. These companies use a coherent strategy called shopper marketing to lure customers into stores and convince them to buy, both in person and online.

Jean Marc Rejaud, associate professor of Advertising and Marketing Communications, and Renée Azoulay, AMC adjunct instructor, wrote a textbook on this topic, Converting Shoppers to Buyers: The Power of Shopper Marketing and Promotions (Cognella Academic Publishing, 2019). This year, students are testing out the textbook before it goes on sale.

Rejaud also co-authored a paper, “Preparing for a Future in Global Business and Global Service” in the August 2018 edition of the International Journal of Business Management and Commerce.

We sat down with Rejaud to talk about these two publications, both about shopper marketing as the world moves further online, and business ethics as it becomes more insular.

What is shopper marketing?

It’s easier to understand shopper marketing in comparison with sales promotion, which is providing a targeted offer to a consumer to make a purchase—a 50 percent discount, perhaps. Shopper marketing is a comprehensive strategy to communicate with the shopper, touchpoint by touchpoint, to convince them to come into the store and make the purchase. Does the company contact you at the right time for the right price with the right offer? That’s good shopper marketing.

How can companies know their shoppers that precisely?

Before, these strategies were based on intuition. Now they have everyone’s purchase data. Everything you do online is tracked. The most successful companies are those that embrace data to get deep insight into their customers’ shopping preferences.

Let’s talk about the paper. What was it about?

We are facing a change in the economic order, a retreat into domestic economies. Globalism has created the most wealth in history; what is the impact of ending that? What should we communicate or change in the curriculum to enable graduates when there are barriers in the worldwide flow of goods and services? And what does it mean for the way business ethics should be taught?

What were the answers?

There is no answer! But here’s an example: Say you work for a corporation and are asked to grow business by 10 percent, but the flow of goods and services is going to drop by 50 percent because of tariffs. How do you handle that? It’s certainly going to disrupt supply chains. And when it becomes too expensive to trade with China and other manufacturing giants, companies will need to find alternatives. Some countries are already warming their hands, waiting for business.

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