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  • Carrot Learning Team

An Introduction to shopper education

Updated: Aug 10, 2022

What is shopper Education?

‘Consumers know we’re selling them stuff, they know we know, so let’s drop the whole charade and have an engaging conversation.” It’s 2022 and advertising has come a long way from tins of soup and billboards, and as ad spends approach pre-pandemic levels (approximately $254 billion) by the end of 2022, is this a good opportunity to reassess the advertising practices of the past?

As industry bods we often spout that advertising connects people with products and services that will improve their lives. Nothing more, nothing less. Who wouldn’t want to be connected to great stuff and great experiences? So, everyone loves advertising right? Sadly the stats paint a different picture, with marketing coming in at best a minor annoyance and, at worst, a damaging presence in the lives of many. 72% of people think they encounter too much advertising on a daily basis and 89% of consumers cannot remember the brand comms they’ve seen when asked a short time later. ‘Aha!’ The marketeers are saying here, the evolution of sophisticated digital channels will make ads more and more relevant. It’s because those billboards and soup tins were not relevant enough to individuals. That’s why people disliked them.

But the drive to digital hasn’t solved the problem. With relevance comes intrusion. Techniques like retargeting can feel downright creepy and can easily rub people the wrong way when not done with care. The truth is, as humans, we don’t want to feel like our behaviour is being recorded and analysed, even if it is common practice these days. Again, the stats back this up. According to HubSpot Research, 91% of people think ads are more intrusive now compared to just two years ago, and 79% are convinced they’re being tracked by retargeted ads - especially when industry standards recommend retargeting between five and seven times for the best results. So, it’s really not hard to imagine why people are pretty ad-averse these days. No one likes to feel like they’re a pawn in someone’s shady corporate algorithm, another brick in the advertising wall. At Carrot, we stopped and thought, is there another way? A way in which we can genuinely connect people with the right product for them? Take this advertising lark back to basics. And to summarise, we think there is …

This is where ‘shopper education’ comes in. The idea is really pretty simple. Imagine if we stopped harassing consumers with re-targeting, stopped leveraging emotion and fear to sell products. Instead, we’ll just tell them what the product can do for them. Educate them on which product is right for them, and arm the consumer with the right info to make an informed decision. At Carrot we do this with a whole host of measures and each can be tailored to the specific business strategy. From increasing staff knowledge in-aisle to upsell with e-learning, or deploying how-to video content to minimise customer support calls, we’ve got the right tool for the right job.

But wait a minute, don’t consumers already do this you might ask? And of course the answer is yes! Research suggests that a whopping 81% of shoppers research their product before buying either online or in store. At Carrot we see brands as being uniquely positioned to guide and help consumers through this process.

So what’s stopping brands doing this? Well, not a lot, really. It might be that there’s some sort of untested hunch that the more consumers know about the product, the more they can pick fault with it. Sure, this might have a negative impact on one time purchases. But as soon as the consumer knows this product isn’t right for them, the relationship is broken regardless. Remember, consumers buy for their reasons, not ours.

With people now spending, on average, around 79 days of intermittent research before making a major purchase, its obvious brands that empower consumers and minimise this time drain have a better chance of not only making a sale, but turning one time purchases into loyal brand advocates. So really the question isn’t “how can we encourage this person to buy our product?” it’s “how can we educate and inform this person to see that our product is right for them?”.

At Carrot we do just that. We help brands navigate and leverage education to meet their specific business goals. From big brands to one man bands, we put learning first to unlock your brand’s potential. If you’re interested in hearing more about what this could mean for your business, get in touch to book a free demo of the Carrot suite with the learning team.

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