consumer insights versus shopper insights

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Defining Consumer Insights versus Shopper Insights comes down to who is the focus of the research being done? Are you analyzing the person making the purchase decision, the shopper, or are you assessing the person using the product, the consumer? Both Insight teams within a market research organization or company don’t have to be separated, their skill set can crossover and complement each other. What are the issues to consider to do both correctly?

Sales versus Marketing (Push versus Pull)

Numerator.com says that shopper insights teams “leverage data related to the distribution, retailer dynamics, promotional activity and in-store experiences to influence the sales and marketing efforts where shoppers buy. Consumer Insights teams work more closely with brand health and perception data, consumer preferences, category trends and other research that can influence marketing.”  Good analysis of shopper behavior pushes the shopper in their buying decisions by focusing on assortment, placement and promotions. Consumer analysis tries to work with brand teams to create products and messaging that align with the consumer’s attitudes, beliefs and behaviors relative to their purchasing decision.

Questions are Important

Asking the right questions for both consumer and shopper insights is critical. For a coffee brand ExploreResearch.com diagrammed how consumer insights would examine the lids ease of opening, if the packaging size was easy for storage and if the shape made for ease of handling. Shopper Insights would focus on questions of improving recognition through the use of color, shape and other branding. So, consumer insights focuses on consumer needs both through benefits, differences and relevancy. Shopper Insights wants to assess how shopping is planned. Is it focused on certain retailers in the store or online, how does the shopper navigate those sites and what messaging and offers impact their purchase decisions?

How They Work Together

There is long-term value in understanding the product from the shopper and the consumer viewpoint. Optimizing both the shopper and consumer experience helps brands grow. Consumer insights helps brand and marketing teams understand the consumer’s drivers to choose a brand while shopper insights recommends to the sales team what information to communicate in-store to drive shoppers to their brand. Joining these efforts together and not turning your organization into a consumer insights versus shopper insights battle will benefit your brands if you are a company or benefit your services if you are a vendor.

Interested in a Market Research career? Contact Smith Hanley Associates’ Market Research Executive Recruiter, Lindsey Bartlett at lbartlett@smithhanley.com.


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