Morrisons’ sale slump shows brands and retailers must better understand shopper needs, says Bridgethorne

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The financial performance of supermarket chain Morrisons, which announced a sharp fall in sales yesterday, reflects a need among brands and retailers to better address changing shopper habits and understand what motivates shoppers on the path to purchase.

That ‘s the view of category and shopper management specialist, Bridgethorne, after Morrisons reported like-for-like sales falling by 7.1%, excluding fuel, in the 13 weeks to 4 May.

“Across the grocery retail space we are seeing the results of a steady and sustained power shift away from major brands and retailers to the shopper,” said Bridgethorne co-founder John Nevens.

“Part of this has been due to shoppers fundamentally changing their shopping habits over the past few years and in response many brands and retailers are not yet influencing shoppers as effectively as they might be before they even step inside a store or log on to do their shopping. Better insight into the factors at play along the shopper’s journey to the point of purchase will help.”

Suppliers and retailers have to better influence their shopper’s journey through the point of purchase Interface, says Nevens – the place where the shopper and the product meet – and to create a strategic role for the shopper in their planning alongside the consumer. So, if shoppers are now in control and have different missions and requirements to consumers, suppliers and retailers have to address their needs.

“Organisations which fail to fully integrate their shoppers into their organisation’s existing strategy, planning and activation processes will find that their commercial investment is less effective. This is about ensuring you are giving the right messages to the right people in the right place at the right time, and too many are still not doing so effectively,” he said.