Blog: adm attend POPAI’s Shopper Seminar

adm’s Insights and Innovation team recently attended POPAI’s Shopper Seminar, a quarterly forum of retail marketing professionals. The seminar showcased shopper-centric best practice and explored recent retail marketing campaigns, with reports presented by Retail Channel Marketing Manager for Camelot, Stores Editor for Retail Week and Senior Vice President from GDR Creative Intelligence. Key themes included the importance of brand purpose, slowing down shoppers in-store and the not-so-distant future of retail.

The importance of brand purpose

Paul Philips from Camelot (operators of the UK National Lottery) stressed the importance of brand purpose to create a story that employees and consumers alike can support. Donating £30 million a week to initiatives such as Haircuts4Homeless and the Liverpool Homeless Football Club, the ways in which the National Lottery changes lives is clearly highlighted in their campaigns. Notably, an emphasis on this being #ThanksToYou (the consumer) helps to win over existing and potential customers and shoppers. Emphasising the need for brands to improve, innovate and truly understand how shoppers shop, Paul also stressed that partnering with independent store owners helps Camelot to develop new ideas and activation plans based on their insight. Such a valuable forum also allows store owners to discuss issues and challenges they face, offering a two-way conversation and a true partnership.

Slowing down shoppers in-store

In his talk on the key trends of in-store retail, John Ryan explored how curating stores where speed, technology and screens are not the main objective enables shoppers to relax, unwind and view products through a different lens. Transforming stores into exhibition-like spaces or by offering in-store dining, brands can enhance the shopper’s journey and ultimately increase sales. For example, H&M’s Pleat Café offers shoppers a stylish and relaxing space to eat, surrounded by hanging plants, homeware products, and an eye-catching neon sign that reads ‘yoga for your tummy’. Similarly innovative, Adidas’ ‘Running Exhibition’ presented products as artwork worthy of deep consideration. In-store personalisation is an additional way to slow down the pace of consumers. Indeed, Levi’s Taylor Shop and Nike Expert Studio offer shoppers the opportunity to design and witness the making of their very own personalised jeans or trainers.

The not-so-distant future of retail

James Mullan’s enlightened exploration into the future of retail outlined the shopping habits of millennials and Gen Y and highlighted the ways in which their relationship with technology has impacted the shopper landscape. Having entered an age of ‘come-to-me retail’, it is no doubt the norm for products and services to be instantly delivered whenever and wherever customers want them (think Amazon, Uber and Deliveroo). As we draw closer to the reality of driverless vehicles, the potential for on-demand access to products looks to be limitless.

Thinking both holistically and globally about the concept of future mobility, Ikea have designed a driverless ‘Space on Wheels’. With 24-hour on-the-move convenience stores or cafés now an entirely plausible possibility, such forward-thinking research will help to re-imagine retail and have significant implications for fast-moving consumer goods brands. As homes become smarter and the replenishment economy grows, products such as washing powder or milk will be automatically reordered by artificial intelligence (like Alexa) and arrive imminently.Re-evaluating the ways in which they can reach the consumer, PepsiCo’s e-commerce brand Drinkfinity, offers pod-based drinks that can be delivered and mixed at home. Containing 65% less plastic than a normal bottle, their pioneering product is both more sustainable and more convenient for consumers.

Overall, POPAI’s Shopper Seminar provided an in-depth insight into an ever-evolving retail landscape – an exciting space to watch!