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How do Shopper Activations work?

What do you get when you release a brand into the retail environment? The answer is simple: Shopper Marketing. It’s  Crowning jewel? Shopper Activations. But let’s see what hides behind them.


How do they work?

Brands have a wide range of strategies when it comes to tackling new clients and maintaining the old ones, but Shopper Marketing is the most effective of all. Approaching customers by using a combination of ‘Point of Sales Materials’ and promoters, enables companies to personally meet their consumers. But how can you stir their senses in such a way that they find themselves attracted to your brand?


Shopper Activations are the best way to engage shoppers and stimulate instant purchases through memorable events and experiential activities. Activations vary, from teams of promoters and interactive store installations to unique in-store marketing events using influencers. Generally, the most used means in activations are the following:


  • sampling – allows shoppers to try the products before purchasing and the brand to gain valuable exposure;
  • promotional flyers – an effective way to get messages across with the opportunity of making your message clear and easy to see;
  • mascots – attract attention to a certain brand and entertain shoppers with the use of fantasy;
  • audio announcements and music playlists – create a familiar environment for shoppers and give brands a centralized message;
  • event marketing – involves face-to-face contact between brands and their consumers, via concerts, fairs, and sporting events


Recent years have shown a trend in which shoppers have learned to choose between various messages. The multitude of alternatives has made them much more selective. Discount coupons or instant prizes are now being overshadowed by mobile apps and in-store activations based on technology and memorable experiences.


What is their purpose?

Basically, Shopper Marketing aims to analyze the process between the first thought of a consumer and the final decision to buy a certain product or service. On the one hand, it is a tool for brands to reach shoppers by gaining their trust. On the other, it is a way to simplify and influence the buying process for everyone.


Shopper Activations involve consumers in the marketing campaigns by extending the brand experience beyond the supermarket. The aim is to gather instant insights on shopper behavior, opinions, and actions, based on reactions to the experience conceived by the marketing strategy.


Before the shopper marketing-era, a shopper had to navigate between the aisles, seeking the best prices of chocolate, shampoo or pasta… Nowadays, they are more sensitive to the emotional connection with the brand. A proper activation team involves unique outfits, custom props and marketing materials that incentivize shoppers to join the story and make a purchase.