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What can shopper education do for your business ?

Updated: Aug 30, 2022

In our last article we talked about shopper education - what it is, and how it differs from traditional marketing. You may be thinking ‘that’s all well and good but how will it improve our bottom line?.’ So in this piece we’ll get granular and take a look at how shopper education can be deployed as an answer to a range of business needs.

Recap: what is shopper education?

Whilst traditional marketing tries to persuade and influence on an emotional level, tug at heartstrings and tap into people's personal aspirations, shopper education takes a simpler approach to selling products and services. Put simply, it aims to give shoppers all the relevant information they need to buy the right offering for them. Whether that's solving a specific problem, or achieving a certain goal it’s about helping them make the right choice.

It’s not always about explicitly telling customers that they should use your product for various reasons. It can be broader than that - such as imparting information which can improve the customer’s life in general in that area, whether it’s food brands giving out health tips for children or financial bodies giving out free advice on how to invest etc.

Increasing sales

As we’ve seen in the last article consumers are growing increasingly tired of disruptive marketing methods. The fact is, we just don’t like being told what we should buy, how much to spend and where to spend it. With many traditional marketing techniques being seen as increasingly intrusive, it’s more important than ever we recognise modern consumers like to feel in control of their purchase decisions.

If we scale back aggressive marketing methods like re-targeting, we minimise that feeling of being cajoled and pushed into a decision in the minds of consumers. Instead, if we prioritise re-assuring consumers, with the right educational content, that they’re making the correct decision for them, we also minimise purchase hesitation.

Through things like how-to videos and blogs, we can subtly create a desire in consumers for your brand by explaining the features and benefits of using your products or services. Although you might think it’s just indirect marketing, the key difference is the absence of blatant promotion.

So let’s say you’ve been researching different products. You feel like you’ve got all the relevant information to make the right choice. Would you mind if the brands involved help you get to that point quicker? Not only might you not mind, you might even see those brands as being helpful and see them in a more positive light. So not only can we help the consumer save time, we can shorten our sales cycle.

At Carrot we’ve seen this time and time again - If we shorten the sales cycle, and minimise purchase hesitation, we get an increase in revenue. Everybody wins. According to Conductor, 131% of shoppers are more likely to buy after going through educational content.

Building trust & loyalty

Educational marketing is customer-centric. It revolves around the pain points and needs of your customers, and strategically positions your products as their best option. If the consumer feels that their needs are genuinely being understood and catered to in the market, then something pretty interesting happens. Your product stops being just another item on the shelf, and instead becomes a solution to a problem. It makes your consumers' lives better and they trust you more. Now this is the holy grail for marketeers right? And a key way to get to this point is laying out in simple terms what your product can do for consumers. It’s about making it easy for people.

And why does this build trust? Well, it just seems more, honest. Consumers associate transparency with trust, the more people feel that you're willing to share how your products are made, how your services work, the more they’ll feel they can rely on your brand. And what is a brand at the end of the day but a mark of trust?

Reducing returns

Product returns cost retailers in the UK alone £60bn per year and since the pandemic many retailers face growing return rates of 50% and above. There’s even worrying reports of retailers like Amazon destroying products rather than face the processing costs of returning them to the sales stock. How do we address this problem?

Well we need to better educate consumers. We’ve all been there, it seemed perfect, in the store or on the website. But now we’ve got the product in our hands it’s not quite right and you want to send it back. This all too familiar situation can easily be solved: what if the consumer had the correct information about the product - everything they needed to adequately assess if it would do the job they intended. The knock on effect is not only a happy customer but one that’s more likely to advocate your offering to others. That brings us to our next point - reviews.

Minimising negative reviews

There’s a symbiotic relationship between returns and reviews. If consumers feel the product wasn’t what they expected, then it's now a quick scroll, to the review section.

Remember, people are six times more likely to leave a review (and we can probably assume negative review) if they’ve had a bad experience with a brand. It’s not just about educating customers though. Through an e-learning course hosted on a system like the Carrot LMS we equip support teams and sales personnel with training on customer queries and FAQs.

As a result, you will see a much more informed support team and smoother sales cycle and better experience for the consumer, again, minimising those negative reviews.

For more information about the benefits of customer education, feel free to reach out to the Carrot learning team at for a demo of the specific strategies we use to achieve a range of business outcomes.

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