Asda has predicted that up to 75% of its customers are likely to shop across stores and online channels this Christmas. The retailer’s own figures suggest multichannel rising from 57% of shoppers in Christmas 2012 and 29% in 2011.

This points to – and we believe correctly – that there is a steady and sustained move towards multichannel shopping. This, however, reinforces the importance for FMCG suppliers to better understand shopper behaviour before, at and after arrival at the point of purchase, wherever that may be.

There are clear implications in this trend that suppliers need to better understand the journey shoppers take to get to the point of purchase. That journey will be different, with different motivations and different priorities, whether it finishes in-store with a click-and-collect purchase or simply made from the comfort of their own laptop.

It may also be different whether it’s at a convenience store, a supermarket or a hypermarket. Suppliers are not yet doing enough to understand and influence the factors the impact on a shopper’s decision to buy at the point where their products meet potential shoppers.

The emergence of different demographic groups – older shoppers, single household shoppers etc – as well as those driven by convenience or economic imperatives as well as the different channel formats, suppliers and retailers need to structure their marketing activation activity as well as their new product development around insights in to actual shopper behaviour rather than perceived consumer demands.

In practise, this means using insights on real shopper behaviour to inform a supplier’s shopper marketing strategy online and in-store. This will include identifying the right mechanics that are going to resonate with those shoppers as part of your activation plan. Understanding the point of purchase interface is critical to success for suppliers and retailers alike.