Shopper marketing trends 2020


Darren Keen, CEO International Markets at The Mars Agency, runs through the seven key trends which will shape the shopper marketing landscape over the next 12 months.

  1. The in-store remote control

Over the past decade the world has witnessed a staggering evolution in mobile technology that has permeated all areas of life.

In most part, its ever-presence in commerce has been channelled towards finding ways to transact before or away from the store.

In 2020 there will be a surge of mobile-centric interaction to enhance the efficiency of bricks and mortar shopping missions. More shoppers will be detail-browsing; selecting, scanning, and paying for their purchases, easing the reliance on classic forms of hardware or human interaction at the point of sale.

  1. A new value equation

The ever-precarious nature of commerce has become a new constant, driving retailers and manufacturers to tack between the extremes of strong benefit-led innovation plays and deep-cut discounting strategies in the search of fine-line profitability.

In turn, this is facilitating a shift from the traditional basket mix of everyday essentials and occasional premium choices to shoppers redefining their everyday purchases into two tiers: ‘priced to me’ and ‘valuable to me’.

The former being regular, often branded items, that are aggressively priced to meet shoppers’ expectations and retained loyalty, with the latter premium-priced lifestyle solutions taking an increasingly regular share of shoppers’ wallets.

  1. Getting even more personal

The last 10 years saw the rise -and ability to provide personalisation for shoppers across a whole range of sectors. This trend is not on the wane with more technology, innovation and effort being focused on achieving increasingly unique product experiences.

In 2020 there will be a particular progression in the personalized shopping experience itself with intelligent tech driving individual shopper interplay ranging from facial and fingerprint recognition as well as advanced data algorithms delivering more anticipated selection predictability.

Additionally end-product personalization will continue to become more widespread in traditional store environments.

  1. Delivery sophistication

From the cumbersome, costly and complex 1.0 delivery systems to the ever-evolving and slick distribution industry of today, 2020 will see shoppers further rely on the increasing network of efficient delivery services.

As well as better efficiency in both the process and time-to-customer, more providers will be focusing on environmentally pleasing methods of distribution –with of course Amazon’s much anticipated drones to become a more-than-trial reality this year.

The big evolution will be from single-vendor-single delivery to one-time deliveries providing products from a number of merchants that have collaborated across key shopping moments and user-occasions.

  1. Wellbeing is a priority

Awareness and promotion of mental and physical wellness has never been more apparent among communities than it is today, and it will continue to be a fundamental foundation to shoppers’ lifestyles and their choices throughout 2020.

Brands and retailers will be sought out, verified and ultimately trusted by shoppers if they can prove to deliver a beneficial solution for better wellbeing in the areas of life important to shoppers and their families.

It is not only the product benefit itself that will be judged but the proactive and supportive actions of manufacturers and retailers of this important element within society.

  1. Thinking global. Acting local

Shoppers have never been more aware or connected to the global big picture, creating a sense of real appreciation for the issues that exist across the world.

Part driven by exposure to political and social realities in all regions but also by the escalating environmental challenges occurring elsewhere being felt locally, shoppers will increasingly consider home-grown products and services.

These will range from hyper-local options as a positive action to combat unnecessary process and distribution to more controversial nationalistic protectionism promoted by governments in response to world events.

  1. The packaging revolution

2020 will see further escalation on environmentally damaging packaging.

The dawning of a new decade will kick-start communities, brands and retailers into step-changing their behaviours and commitment to further developing and using sustainable packaging, manufacturing techniques and waste processes -all of which will become a more prominent part of the brand and product story.

Shoppers have patiently appreciated the journey realities that commerce has embarked on to take on this large-scale issue to date but will now demand faster action and actively support companies that make this issue a key priority.

To learn more, contact Darren at or on 020 3119 3200.