The 2015 Shopper Marketing Conference & Expo was recently held in Minneapolis, MN, and Vision Creative Group was there! The conference is the largest shopper marketing event in the U.S. and was organized and facilitated by the Path to Purchase Institute, a leader in shopper marketing.

The Institute provides the tools, the knowledge and the community necessary to integrate and execute against today’s shopper marketing demands.  The event was hosted and sponsored by industry leaders such as Coca-Cola, Heineken, Oracle, Kellogg’s and many more and showcased the latest in technology and the most recent advances in the path to purchase and shopper marketing.

During the 3 day event, VCG attended symposiums and seminars that included a wide range of exciting topics around the shopper marketing experience, the path to purchase, best practices in displays, the future of circulars, shopper trends and research. It was a great learning experience, and we cannot wait to share this valuable information with the rest of the VCG team and our clients. We look forward to increasing our involvement with this event and future opportunities with the Path to Purchase Institute!

While there were many exciting discussions, we found several particularly relevant and interesting, one of which was the future of circulars. Data shows that 61% of consumers always read the circular they receive and of those 61%, 87% read and use the entire circular from front to back. Circular shoppers are valuable, spending more per store visit than their fellow shoppers who do not receive the circular.

That said, the overall take away was that while printed circulars are not “going away” anytime soon, there are definitely opportunities around delivering this information in a digital format that consumers are thirsty for. Research finds that the way Baby Boomers would like to receive the information delivered to them differs from that of Gen-X or Millennials, and the concept of “personalized” or custom circulars is not a too distant reality. So all in all, there was great data around circular loyalty, digital circular opportunities and info suggesting that print circs are here for a while!

Another discussion of high interest for us was the data surrounding social shoppers, their behaviors, tendencies and patterns. A couple of great statistics that we learned were: Whom do social shoppers trust for recommendations? 21% trust brand messaging, 20% trust retailer messaging while 54% trust friends, family and co-workers. And, add to that the fact that 1/3 of social shoppers check their social networks while they are shopping! There are so many opportunities in this social shopper activation space!

All in all a great experience, one that we look forward to doing more of! We encourage you to visit to gain more information about this exciting organization.