Breaking Through ‘Autopilot’ Supermarket Shopping

Shoppers in supermarkets are ‘on autopilot’, buying less than one per cent of the products on the shelves. With supermarkets increasingly limiting options to brands in-store, there is a real need for FMCGs to find innovative but EFFECTIVE ways to generate cut-through, delivering their brand message, whilst at the same time driving purchase and supporting sales.

I like to think of a supermarket as an Aladdin’s cave; filled with delicious, tempting goods that consumers just can’t wait to try. The reality is, however, that shoppers feel quite differently.

The basket of the average UK shopper contains 10.5 items according to Kantar Worldpanel, while a large supermarket will stock approx. 60,000 different product items. No wonder, then, that Matt Hill, Kraft Heinz’s European president, recently claimed that supermarkets were turning into ‘libraries’ with shoppers on ‘autopilot’ as they go through the store (1); consequently, they are not being tempted into purchasing different or new products that Hill claims are the ‘life blood’ of his company. I’m sure Kraft Heinz are not alone.

So, how can brands rouse these shoppers from their reverie? As in-store opportunities dwindle, there is a significant need for brands to reach and engage with shoppers & consumers right along the path to purchase, predominantly out of store. The channel which carries the most potential to reach us is Mobile. As a society we are heavy mobile users; it is our primary screen / device for getting online and consuming information. The challenge is that we use our phones in lots of small “micro-moments” (150+ times a day) and often in a particular need state (according to Google). Therefore, it’s not easy for FMCG brands to capitalise on the mobile opportunity – until now.

Quotient’s product discovery app, Shopmium does exactly what it says on the tin: it is an app that sits on the smartphone of its users and introduces them to category-exclusive FMCG brands and products, sharing brand content, rich media and product usage & purchase ideas, then provides them with an exclusive offer to try the product along with the location of their nearest supermarket that stocks it.

Shopmium users go to store and add products to their basket that they wouldn’t ordinarily buy, while at the same time completing a first purchase cycle for that product. They then get the opportunity to provide a Rating & Review on that product for other users – and also for the benefit of the brand. Due to the nature of the media engagement through mobile and purchase cycle, 30% – 50% of those buyers go on to re-purchase the product at full value in 4 weeks. The beauty is, no touchpoint with the retailer is required.

Too good to be true? Brands such as Naked, Heineken, Bahlsen, Hipp & Hovis are already taking advantage of this. Download Shopmium yourself from the App stores. To find out how it could help you, don’t hesitate to get in touch:



Quotient Technology (formerly is a leading digital promotions and media platform that connects FMCG brands, retailers and consumers. We have recently launched Shopmium in the UK, a mobile-first proposition that enables FMCG brands to win on mobile. Give me a call on +44 (0) 208 865 1999 or send an email to

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About the author corporate portraits

Stuart Sankey

European Sales Director

Passionate about promotions. I have over 15 years’ experience of thinking up, selling in, creating and delivering promotional campaigns and strategies right across the world in multiple industries. Although my focus now is on the FMCG...Read more

+ 44 (0) 20 8 865 1999