Shopper Marketing

At Sense we understand the intricacies of the discipline, exploring strategies, trends, and best practices to help businesses thrive in the dynamic retail landscape.

Our view

  1. Shopper touchpoints and media have evolved significantly in recent years, and while cardboard is still a critical activation lever that delivers scale, modern shopper marketing encompasses many innovative, dynamic and  digital media touchpoints.
  2. Whilst it is fair to say that compliance for in-store, retailed-owned media will rarely be 100%, you can take steps to mitigate for this and offset any issues by balancing in-store media with digital media where it is easier to support compliance.
  3. With a shared objective of increasing ROS, shopper marketeers have adopted a collaborative approach to campaign planning; building a clear understanding of each target retailers’ agenda, ambitions and target audience to ensure the right activations are deployed in the right channel and customer.
  4. Shopper media can be evaluated more robustly than most traditional media elements, in part due to its close proximity to the point of purchase.

cosmetics retail marketing

Shopper marketing in the UK

Increasingly, FMCG brands in the UK are making their shopper marketing work harder by following  these principles:

  1. More closely aligning ATL and shopper marketing
  2. Analysing the barriers to purchase and providing triggers in communication that will convert
  3. With cost of living still a driving restraint, value framing their product benefits
  4. Recognising that shoppers engage with different mindsets across the path to purchase
  5. Setting consistent objectives and evaluating results on a long-term basis

Factors driving changes in shopper marketing

Shopping habits

  1. Up to 25 grocery shopping missions per month in multiple channels vs traditional big weekly shops
  2. 1/3 of shoppers research FMCG products online before buying in store
  3. More than ½ of shoppers do a part of their grocery shopping online

Brands must adapt in order to engage with shoppers wherever they are in shopping mode: at home, at work, commuting, in car parks and indeed in store.

Shifting retailer mindsets

  1. Grocers are having to compete with the discounters for share, as well as online pure-plays and of course, Amazon.
  2. Retailers are focusing even more on their corporate comms as they battle it out with competitors to demonstrate their USP.
  3. Margins in FMCG are slim and the growth of online is putting pressure on profitability. This leads to an increasing focus on the bottom line.

Evolution of media capabilities

  1. Where shopper marketers once had limited choice of channels, there is now a plethora to utilise when building effective shopper marketing campaigns.
  2. Data capabilities are continuing to grow, with brands now able to utilise 1st and 3rd party data (audience, loyalty and location) to build enhanced targeting programmes.
  3. Rather than relying on retailers to provide post campaign analysis, brands are now able to independently measure campaign performance to re-direct spend to high-performing channels.

For any help with your shopper marketing, be it path-to-purchase communications, key visual creation, category strategy or prize promotions, please email

Shopper marketing best practices

Integrating shopper marketing into the overall communication planning processes from Day 1.

Arming sales teams with the tools to talk to the retailer about best-in-class plans and leverage them to drive commercial gain.

Evaluating media against a clear set of KPIs that measure the effectiveness of the spend .


5th Floor Century House
100 Oxford Street

New York

243 E 14th St,
#2, New York,
NY, 10003

Discover our latest guides to help brighten your brand experience strategy or amplify your shopper marketing moves. Get them here at The Futures Lab.


5th Floor Century House
100 Oxford Street

New York

243 E 14th
#2 C/O SQ
New York
NY 10003


Discover our latest guides to help brighten your brand experience strategy here at The Future Lab

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Sampling is all too often perceived as an unsophisticated, somewhat ‘blunt’ marketing tool. Over the last 16 years Sense has pioneered a set of strategic principles which underpin our unique approach to sampling and which are highly measurable from both an ROI and consumer behaviour change perspective. We will happily guide brands through the myriad of sampling channels and products available so whether it’s mass face to face sampling, in offices, digitally, at home or just a strategic framework that you are after, we can provide a blend of tactics to fulfil both brand and sales objectives.


With many clients now focused on activating in channels more closely associated with a sale, our heavyweight retail experience closes the loop on a typical shopper journey by encompassing the moment of truth in store. Be it prize promotions, shopper toolkits, key visual creation, path-to-purchase communications, category strategy, B2B campaigns or Amazon optimisation, our goal is to create forward-thinking retail experiences that deliver demonstrable brand value. We aim to make ‘retail fail’ a thing of the past for ambitious brands looking to thrive is an ever-competitive landscape and believe our streamlined team is perfectly placed to do this.


Knowing what will keep a brand bright, exciting, and vital means we need to keep one step ahead of the curve. Our thought leadership hub, The Futures Lab, helps us to understand the marketing trends of tomorrow. It’s also the origin of strategies and methodologies which have created over 65 award-winning campaigns. 


Creativity is nothing without results. And we know that commissioning bold concepts, capable of changing minds, requires reassurance that it’s the right thing to do. 

Data, insights, and research precedes every campaign we do, and our proprietary measurement tool, EMR, gives us a decade of campaign performance metrics. Which is why we’re proud to have been recognised as industry-leading by brands like The Economist, Coca-Cola, and Molson Coors. 


We believe brand experience is inherently more varied than other forms of marketing. No formula, no template, no cookie-cutter approach – and often no precedent. 

That’s why, Sense places trust at the heart of its business – grounded in teamwork between our people and yours. Our processes are efficient, our senior team stay involved and our partnership mentality had helped us sustain powerful client relationships, some lasting over 10 years.