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Increasing trips and growing baskets at Walmart


Walmart SVP of creative Andy Murray unveiled a new shopper marketing framework in which the retailer envisions a 17 point “retail moment of truth” customer journey at the Path to Purchase Institute’s annual Shopper Marketing Conference & Expo in Minneapolis.

The retail moment of truth, or RMOT, is a play on the first moment of truth concept pioneered by Procter & Gamble that referred to shopper decision-making at the shelf. Google took that concept a step further a few years back with its notion of the zero moment of truth, or ZMOT, that asserted the shoppers’ path to purchase begins with search.

According to Murray, Walmart looks at path to purchase through the lens of the retailer and identified 17 key touch points where the retailer and its trading partners have an opportunity to achieve a higher level of alignment to better engage shoppers to drive trips and build baskets. For example, Walmart’s RMOT path to purchase includes touch points such as preparing at home, driving to stores, crossing the parking lot, walking in entrance, walking around the racetrack, approaching the department and standing at the shelf.

Murray, who joined Walmart roughly a year ago after a distinguished career in the agency and entrepreneurial world, said Walmart is developing and executing strategies against each area. When it comes to entering stores, he indicated entrances to stores have a tendency to become cluttered with messaging which can be an issue because when everyone is talking, no one is listening. He said communications near store entrances need to be welcoming and direct and focused on the most common mission areas. When standing at the shelf, Murray said it should be easy for customers to distinguish among product offerings.

As Walmart looks to achieve its trip and transaction size goals, Murray said the company will do so with a shopper marketing framework based on five major principles. For example, he said customers need to believe they are getting the best price and value. That principle was a motivating factor behind the launch earlier this year of the Savings Catcher price comparison app since 80% of Walmart customers use mobile device in store. It is also a gap Murray said Walmart needs to work with suppliers to fill.

“Is there a way to make sure the value proposition on the display is clear,” Murray said in a challenge to the audience of several thousand people assembled for his keynote address.

Other principles mentioned by Murray included the fact that customers will budget their time, money and effort in total and by category. That means Walmart and its suppliers need to help customers find products fast and be sure to not exceed their frustration limits. Toward that end, he showed a recently launched commercial with the tag line “who knew” that is designed to showcase the breadth of possibilities that exist with Walmart’s extensive offering of products and services.

Customers also need to navigate stores quickly and easily, Murray said. A typical stock up trip at Walmart can take 45 minutes, 10 minutes of which may be spent navigating the store. Reductions in navigation time result in a corresponding increase in sales, he said.

Customers need inspiration to explore other areas of the store and customer emotions influence their buying decisions were other major principles Murray identified as influencing the retailers shopper marketing efforts.

“The art of retail is making all these principles work together,” Murray said.

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