One Blog |October 13, 2010 | POS Tracking Software

Marketing at-Retail - What’s Next? Smarter Consumers?

Mark Fullerton

Smarter Consumers - That’s What’s Next.

The results of a recent very large scale retail consumer study are in. The IBM Institute for Business Value recently released the results of a survey of over 30,000 people in three growth markets to discover what consumers will want from retailers in the future.

IBM’s 2010 study, Meeting the Demands of the Smarter Consumer, begins by noting, “The rules of the retail marketplace are changing dramatically.”

New technologies - and perhaps more importantly new demographic and economic trends - are reshaping the retail marketplace. Retail customers are getting more diverse, wealthier and smarter.

Here’s what we know right now: our population is projected to grow nearly 13% by 2020. More people already live in cities than in rural areas, and, if anything, this trend is accelerating.  In the “emerging world” over 50% of the world’s population, for the first time ever, is considered to be “middle-class.”

These facts, coupled with rapidly rising universal Internet access, widely available “smart” mobility devices, and rapidly spreading retail technologies, such as in-store kiosks, mean many consumers already have virtually instantaneous access to product information at the point-of-sale.  According to the Institute for Business Value, these changes are creating a new pool of shoppers with an estimated $5.4 trillion to spend.  Yes, that’s right -Trillions.

Imagine, too, the retail customer poised to buy and armed with information - downloaded to a smart phone less than a minute ago - who still wants more input before making a decision.  The consumer can simply send a short tweet out to everyone in his or her social network, asking “what was the name of that [beer, wine or other beverage] we drank last Saturday at Polly’s party?” The point is: buying decisions are still being made practically at the moment (and at the place) of purchase, but in new and previously unimagined ways.

Smarter Consumers

The following is a summary of the Institute’s survey of over 30,000 consumers - your ultimate customers.

Consumers think that “at-Retail” should focus, in order of importance, on:

  1. Better point-of-sale promotions
  2. More attractive pricing
  3. Improved products, and
  4. More variety.

The results of this survey - notably that consumers appreciate and want better (and more) Marketing at-Retail initiatives - should come as no surprise, if you’ve been following our blog here at  However, what may really get your attention is that almost two-thirds of the participants in this survey said they would spend more money, if the improvements they suggested were adopted.

True Marketing at-Retail mavens rejoice.  You have yet another data point confirming the power of point-of-sale marketing in retaining and growing your market share. But even so, the faithful should remind themselves “it remains a shopper’s market.”

Smarter Point-of-Sale Marketing

Smarter consumers want “smarter” Marketing at-Retail promotions. Suppliers, distributors and retailers alike must provide the promotions, pricing and products customers prefer. In addition, they should use managed programs and tools to develop controlled and measured at-retail campaigns these ever-smarter consumers demand.

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