The Shopper Economy by Liz Crawford - Book review

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Shopper Economy

The New Way to Achieve Marketplace Success by Turning Behavior into Currency

By: Liz Crawford

Published: March 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover, 288 pages
ISBN-10: 0071787178
ISBN-13: 978-0071787178
Publisher: McGraw-Hill

"Looking at how consumers were trading their time, attention, and behavior was a way of studying a new kind of economy: the shopper economy", writes analyst and contributing writer for the Path to Purchase Institute, Liz Crawford, in her groundbreaking and thought provoking book The Shopper Economy: The New Way to Achieve Marketplace Success by Turning Behavior into Currency. The author describes the transformation of the consumer into a shopper, trading in their new currency of behavior, forming the base of the new shopper economy.

Liz Crawford recognizes the power of technology in the shift from consumer to shopper. The access to readily available technology for price comparison removed the power from the advertising agencies, and even from the brands themselves. Along with the ability to compare price, shoppers became able to read peer reviews, and even discover levels of available inventory. With these technological advances, brands and marketers found the need to get timely messages to their customers. The result was shopper marketing, where buyers are treated as shoppers on a road to purchase, and became essential for the success of marketing and brands.

Liz Crawford (photo left) understands that shopper behavior has a real and tangible value in the shopper economy. The author points out that the behavior is indeed a currency, and that behavior even has an exchange rate. Shoppers expend time and energy, evaluated the value of the return on their time, and became part of the exchange process.

Liz Crawford describes four types behavior that form the basis of the exchange:

* Attention
* Participation
* Advocacy
* Loyalty

Each of these behaviors is a currency that earns digital currency that the author refers to as shopper currency. Any form of this digital currency that can redeemed for virtual or real world goods and services is described as virtual currency. The entire concept of shopper marketing provides a framework, for putting these behaviors to work for the brand, through an understanding the behavior of the shopper.

For me, the power of the book is how Liz Crawford provides a fresh paradigm of the shopper economy, based on the concept of shopper behavior. At the same time, the author also demonstrates that the behavior is also measurable as a form of currency. Liz Crawford points out as well, that far from being a problem for brands, the new shopper economy model provides brands with a powerful marketing opportunity. The newly informed and empowered customer does much of the marketing work on behalf of the brand, based on their active behavior.

Liz Crawford shows brand marketers how to assess and measure the activities of shoppers effectively through the use of real and virtual rewards. The result is better return on investment, and less wasted activity on the part of both the customer and the brand. Every action of the shopper becomes part of the ongoing pathway to a buying transaction.

I highly recommend the innovative and insightful book The Shopper Economy: The New Way to Achieve Marketplace Success by Turning Behavior into Currency by Liz Crawford, to any business decision makers, brand managers, marketers, and entrepreneurs who are seeking a description of the evolving marketplace and how to create opportunities through those changes. This book will change the way you think about brands, customers, and how the entire shopping experience takes place in the new shopper economy.

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