A pilot scheme in the UK in which tapping bottles of Malibu with a smartphone will give shoppers access to exclusive content, prize draws and even a bar locator, indicates the direction brands may start to move in order to keep up with and anticipate changing shopper behaviour.

Malibu has been leveraging the UK’s burgeoning contactless payment culture by turning 40,000 of its bottles into media platforms. Shoppers are able to access exclusive content simply by tapping their smartphone on the bottle. Recent research from Mintel found that contactless card use in the UK has overtaken cheques for the first time. Cheques are now the least likely method by which we are likely to pay for goods, behind contactless debit cards and contactless credit cards. Malibu has said that its digital bottle initiative resulted from research showing people wanting to buy experiences rather than products.

Bridgethorne’s own shopper research has already shown that the emerging Millennial generation is a restless, moving target for both brands and retailers who need to find new ways to influence them, by better understanding their behaviour and fundamentally adapting their offering accordingly. It revealed that the emerging generation has a broader set of shopping missions and is clearly more disposed to e-commerce; is less likely to be influenced by ‘Loyalty’ mechanics; and is the least satisfied of all the demographic groups with their shopping and consumption experiences.

John Nevens, Joint Managing Director at Bridgethorne, says that as technological change gains pace, brands need to ensure that their activity keeps pace with the developing reality of their customers’ busy and connected lives.

“Only by understanding what is happening in the market and how shoppers are changing the way they want to interact with brands at the point of purchase (bricks and clicks) can retailers and suppliers develop the insights necessary to transform shopper and category strategies into effective and actionable plans.”

This, Nevens adds, means retailers and suppliers continually improving their understanding of what their shoppers are looking for and prioritising across all aspects of their lives.

“Bringing enhanced shopper understanding is the only way to ensure they are offering what shoppers want, when and where they want it. They need to know that they are sending the right messages to the right people at the right time and are delivering a product experience that will engage with them.”

Bridgethorne Shopper Research offers proprietary and actionable insight into understanding shopper attitudes and behaviours.