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May 31, 2018

As many wise operators have said, “Retail is detail.” Thousands of details in a store combine to make a shopper’s trip either ordinary or extraordinary. The first step in getting those details right is understanding your audience.

Although incorrect, the words customer, consumer and shopper are often used interchangeably. A North America NACS Coca‑Cola Retailing Research Council member explains that a consumer is the person selecting a specific product. When the consumer completes a purchase, they become the customer. Most importantly, perhaps, is understanding that between those two actions, that person is the shopper. The shopper arrives in your store with a variety of needs and expectations, like wanting a quick reward during a busy day or taking care of family needs.

It’s crucial that retailers understand these different roles a person plays and the needs he or she experiences along the way. Only then can the operator meet those needs with relevant shopper marketing solutions.

Get in the Game is a playbook for convenience store success, developed a few years ago by the NACS/Coca‑Cola Retailing Research Council. The study examines steps operators can take to improve the in-store experience, including understanding the different roles of the consumer, customer and shopper. The study can be downloaded for free on the council website.