B2B vs. B2C: Shopper Marketing & Operation Models

B2B vs. B2C: Shopper Marketing & Operation Models
May 10, 2017 Randy Higgins

In this installment of our blog series, I will discuss traditional shopper marketing, how retailers have digitized the process and the typical operational models needed to support.

Let’s start with some baseline of what traditional shopper marketing entails.  Retailers have invested significant dollars in data capture and insights regarding consumer behavior in their brick & mortar stores.  These insights drive store layouts, plan-o-grams, category mixes, signage, end caps, and promotional pricing.  These tactics are leveraged to prompt consumers to spend discretionary dollars, while they are in the retail location.

As more consumer spending has shifted online, retailers have developed models to digitize these tactics.  Some of these capabilities are easily translatable to a digital experience and other are even enhanced.  This is where top B2C websites excel at personalization, behavioral targeting and rich merchandising. Consider traditional promotions and their translation to online shopping: buy-one-get-one, buy 4 of these items, get one of these free, or even rebates. Cross-selling is extremely prevalent online, with both related products appearing on product-detail pages, but also on personalized home pages, or even throughout cart-to-checkout processes. Upselling takes a slightly different form online than it does with a traditional in-store sales person, but companies employing weighted search results and category pages have often floated preferred vendors or larger-margin SKUs matching customer’s needs to the top of these pages, rather than simply showing unfiltered results or alphabetical categories.

In order to excel at shopper marketing, branding manufacturers and retailer have invested heavily in organizations and promotions.  This has included dedicated merchandising teams, solely dedicated to robust, accurate product data and information, as well as understanding margin, cross-sell opportunity, and kitting & bundling for the entire product catalogs. These teams often work hand-in-hand with eCommerce teams internally to configure promotions, site search tuning, and other dynamic product displays across not only the eCommerce site, but through external advertising as well.

While there are certainly tactics form the shopper marketing model that apply to B2B and application selling (for instance, every eCommerce website needs great data), there’s also distinct differences. These revolve primarily around the reason these two different purchasers are on your site in the first place: shopping vs. buying. Stay tuned for next week’s blog installment as we dig deeper on B2B application and replenishment selling, and contrast some of the traditional retail shopping marketing tactics.

Agree? Disagree? Want to chat more? Stay tuned for the next blog posts, download our latest whitepaper, or shoot me a note on LinkedIn.

Want to dig deeper? Check out our latest whitepaper Why B2B and B2C Experiences are Not Converging: