When does a consumer become a shopper or are we always shopping in today’s society?

Traditionally, brand marketers focus on the communication with the consumer (ATL) and shopper marketers focus on converting the shopper (BTL).  The two worlds have been defined purely by the environment i.e. in or out of the store with the metaphorical line being the retailer estate boundary, and the search for ultimate integration between the two messages has always been the ambition but never quite a reality. 


The reality is, of course, that these are not always two mutually exclusive audiences so considering them in silos should never be an option. In addition to this, shopper habits are ever evolving as are media capabilities meaning that the line between brand and shopper advertising has become ever more blurred.


With each of us making 26 grocery shopping missions a month and using multiple channels to do so, whether physical stores, mobile apps or websites, do we ever really stop being ‘a shopper’?

We each shop grocery more frequently than ever before – almost daily in fact, and even when we are not on one of those many missions there are many more opportunities for us to be in the shopper mindset.


The lion’s share of grocery sales still (90%) takes place in a physical store however 36% of shoppers say they regularly research FMCG products online before buying in store. Additionally, almost half (48%) of all Brits now say they do at least some of their grocery shopping online so although it only accounts for 10% of sales, online is a very credible forum to reach the shopper audience.


It is clear that the line between shopper and consumer can no longer be defined by the environment you are in i.e. whether you are in or out of a physical store as this cannot wholly determine the consumer vs shopper mindset. 


eCommerce today is both a brand engagement and a shopping environment; mobile a potential purchasing tool as well as a marketing channel. Stores themselves are a brand-building space, not just a sales-oriented one.