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Connecting the route to purchase with the route to market

The objective of activating shoppers at the point of purchase is to convert them into buyers. To activate the point of purchase, its role to the shopper in the shopping process needs to be understood. The role of the point of purchase is the result of the shopping missions and consumption need states it satisfies. Additionally, the different zones within the point of purchase fulfill different roles. Activation strategies need to be developed by clusters and zones of points of purchase.

Different activation strategies need to be developed for the different sales channels. In traditional charnels activation programs are based on the picture of success by point of purchase cluster and zone, as well as point of purchase development and loyalty programs. In modem trade, category management programs are designed as part of the efficient consumer response (ECR) process. By incorporating consumption need states, shopper journeys, retailer strategies and a more accentuated commitment to the collaboration between manufacturer and retailer, these programs are gradually becoming more shopper marketing oriented. In digital channels and e-commerce, the activation is a more interactive dialogue of personalized and contextual messages, with the possibility of focusing more on consumption need states beyond the confines of physical in-store product presentation. There is a strong analytical and interactive component to the activation, which includes search engine optimization (SEO), content management, banners, shopper engagement and, increasingly, social platforms, like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Algorithm-based tools, like Google Ads, are used to match publishers and advertisers. In cooperation with online retailers, the category management approach needs to be adapted, like the e-commerce category leadership (ECL) framework.

Anew competitive space centered around hyper-convenience is emerging. Manufacturers are entering into direct to consumer (D2C) solutions, retailers go online, and online retailers enter the brick-and-mortar world. Activation is becoming more recommendation driven, from search engines, ratings and reviews, to voice ordering, through, for example, Alexa. New technologies allow for checking in to stores instead of checking out, and the brick-and-mortar points of purchase become a seamless part of the shopper journey where the mobile device enables a continuous dialogue. The last yard moves from shopper to supplier responsibility and cost with a variety of new supply chain players, like CEPs (courier, express and parcel), and crowd supplier solutions facilitated by applications. With the tech giants (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple) and other new players an entirely new multi-stakeholder ecosystem, beyond the classical triangle of shoppers, manufacturers and retailers, is emerging. Companies will need to develop into ecosystem orchestrators in this new emerging shopper marketing reality.

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