Inmar Inc. | June 4, 2013

Last month, in this space, Bob Carter cited findings from the Inmar Analytics 2013 Shopper Behavior Survey highlighting the growing demand among shoppers for more targeted offers. With the majority of shoppers surveyed (65 percent) indicating they want easily accessible coupons for products they normally buy, it's critical that retailers and brands focus on improving offer relevance. And, in making that commitment to enhanced shopper engagement, recognize that the data and directional signals for matching offers with shoppers are readily available.

Shoppers are leaving "clues to follow" -- with their in-store activity, purchase history, basket size and trip frequency making an easy trail for marketers to follow when trying to build offers that meet demonstrated wants and needs. For instance, less frequent shoppers tend to buy more during their visits and are, arguably, more receptive to those offers with greater purchase requirements. But, opportunities could be missed if those same offers carry a too-brief redemption period.

Expressions of product preferences and demonstrations of purchase priorities by shoppers are equally available and measurable online. As retail has become an omni-channel undertaking with shoppers "experiencing the brand, not the channel" by actively researching products, regularly visiting retailer and brand websites and "living" in the social space where they share, comment and commiserate with unceasing candor, trading partners have many more opportunities to effectively understand customers and develop coordinated strategies for engaging them. The information needed to create relevant offers is all right there — and the shoppers, themselves, are providing it.

Offer relevance will be rewarded. Of those shoppers in our survey who indicated they increased their coupon usage compared to last year, 65 percent said they did so because they're finding more coupons for products that they want. On top of that, survey data shows that shoppers who find coupons for the products that they want to buy, shop more frequently.

Bob's piece also included the survey statistic that 70 percent of shoppers feel that when they receive coupons, the sender is trying to find them offers on brands they like to buy. While that's a very positive majority perception, it points to another 30 percent of the market who aren't receiving relevant offers. That's a sizeable gap. But, it's also a huge opportunity.