Shopper insights

Hershey releases fresh report for retailers struggling to win over valuable shoppers

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

Pic: The Hershey Company
Pic: The Hershey Company
Confectionery giant’s deep dive into discovering and mastering the keys to shopper decision making comes at a timely moment with the retail landscape in a constant state of flux.

Today’s shopper has many choices. From the physical shops around the corner to 24/7 shopping in their pockets, capturing and retaining their attention is a challenge for any retailer.

That challenge is made more difficult by the speed at which the landscape shifts. With technological changes, evolving retail services, fresh fulfillment models and unique product offerings, some retailers feel as if they’re headed toward an uncertain future, a new report form The Hershey Company claims.

Hershey shoppers screengrab 750

Following Hershey’s second ‘In a Shopper’s World,’ retail report last year, the confectionery company has announced an update for 2019 – ‘Creating Value in a Shopper’s World’.

This year’s report by Hershey’s Retail Snacking Experience Team (ReSET) provides the company’s retail partners with a guide to create a better shopper experience and win over valuable shoppers.

Every retailer, big and small, is experimenting with new strategies to drive store trips, build shopper baskets and create long-term loyalty. As I spend time with Hershey’s retail partners, in all classes of trade, I’m seeing everyone double down on using shopper data to inform growth-oriented strategies. Everyone is asking, ‘What is it that our shoppers expect from us now, next and in the future?​’,” said Phil Stanley, chief customer officer at The Hershey Company.

Value equation

In a deep and comprehensive report, Hershey reveals a simple shopper value equation that will allow its retail partners to unlock their snacks retail potential.

According to Hershey, shoppers frequent the online and physical locations that most consistently provide value. Its research shows that, on average, shoppers visit 17 retailers (either physically or online) each month, but only 12% of shoppers consider alternative retailers for each individual trip.

The reason, says Hershey, is that over time, shoppers build loyalties toward retailers for specific shopping trips.

Earning loyalty takes more than a good deal, Stanley told Confectionery News. “Hershey shopper research shows that three key criteria converge to create the value equation shoppers use for determining retailer selection: spend, time and experience. Optimizing all three, and putting the most emphasis on experience, enables retailers to build baskets, drive trips and unlock growth​.”

Shopper value equation starts with a holistic approach, said Stanley. Blending online and brick-and-mortar in ways that stay a step ahead of consumers’ evolving needs and expectations. In a world where one in three store purchases now start online and one in four online purchases start in store, retailers have no alternative.

Hershey shoppers screengrab2 750

As part of this holistic approach, Hershey's thought leadership piece offers three keys to unlocking growth:

1. Findability: Make it easy for shoppers to find what they want

Whether a shopper is in the store or on their tablet, they want to find what they are looking for – quickly, effortlessly – which means understanding how the customer searches is key to winning the sale.

With 87% of product searches starting online, creating seamless navigation between the digital and physical worlds is an essential step toward making searching – and finding – easier. People appreciate consistent organization and optimized navigation from the aisle to the online shelf, right on through to the checkout experience. Finding what they need, they are then content to browse and add to their basket.

Optimizing the check-out experience enhances their sense of accomplishment, which reinforces their sense of loyalty. The shopper surveys show only price and location outrank pay point experience in importance.

2. Engagement: Make each trip something special

While almost 50% of shoppers give retailers high marks for “Makes me feel like I’m getting a good deal,” only 24% award high marks for “Retailer, I look forward to shopping.”

Retailers create value and build shopper anticipation by consistently delivering engaging experiences that also fulfill shopping needs. In store, eye-catching displays that engage shoppers and make it simple to shop grow shopper loyalty.

Whether online or in store, engagement is all about making each shopper visit interesting, memorable and shareable, the Hershey report concludes.

Personalization: Make the right offer at the right time

Hershey’s research shows 80% of people are likely to purchase with a company if it offers personalized experience. From targeted ads and personalized recommendations, to optimizing convenience across all channels and fulfillment models, successful retailers are those wholly committed to fitting seamlessly into shoppers’ busy and complex lives.

Data is essential to each of these fundamentals. The ubiquity of available data means we now know more about shoppers than ever before. That knowledge is empowering: Responsibly collecting, analyzing and implementing it will enable retailers to better blend their in-store and online offering, more effectively optimize the shopper’s time and experience, and fully deliver the value shoppers desire.

As a 125-year-old consumer goods company, our long-standing relationships are built on trust. We share a deep understanding of how, why and where people snack and a unique, category-first approach to joint business planning​,” said Stanley.

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