grocery shopper

What Shoppers' Grocery Carts Can Tell Us About Them

Shop and Learn | You Don't Really Know a Shopper Until You've Shopped With Them

Next time you're in the grocery store, take a peak into your fellow shoppers' grocery carts. It's fun to see what ends up in shoppers' carts, especially if it is your brand, or in my case, a client's product. By the way, whenever I do spot a client's product in someone's shopping cart, I almost always strike up a quick conversation with them. I usually carry coupons from my clients and offer them a few as a way to thank them for their loyalty. It's a nice touch point that often goes a very long way.

My perspective is you don't really know a shopper until you've shopped with them. That’s one of the premises that makes Green Purse PR unique and why shopper research is fundamental to all the public relations and social communications work we do. Being successful in your consumer marketing starts with understanding the consumer – identifying how they learn about products, how your products are likely to fit into their lifestyle and how to better serve their needs in order to create and maintain a connection (or relationship, if you’re lucky) with those shoppers. 

You don’t really know a shopper until you’ve shopped with them.
— - Lisa Mabe, CEO, Green Purse PR

What can you tell about the shopper from this look inside her shopping cart?


Maybe she is gathering ingredients to make a special meal. Perhaps it's for a weekend celebration, a dinner party, or maybe it's a work-week meal for her family. Whatever the case, it looks like she has kids, or a lot of cats, because that's a lot of whole, organic milk in there. 

I frequently conduct shopper research, shop-alongs, with women all around the world. Each time I shop with someone, I take into consideration every single product that gets in her cart. Taking into account what products #GetInHerCart, is one of the ways our shop-along research helps us uncover insights that later help us intelligently build successful consumer PR programs.

Some of the insights we learn from shop-alongs include:

  • What products catch her eyes, and what does not.
  • What other products (besides yours) she is buying and how those may even be used together.
  • Why she buys particular products over others.
  • What third party certifications, verifications or ratings she may be looking for.
  • How she connects, or does not connect, with brands and retailers.
  • How your product fits into her lifestyle.
  • How best to build and foster a relationship with consumers like her.

The list goes on and on.

Do you think it sounds smart to plan and implement a consumer marketing program or campaign without first bothering to do a little research on the very people who are hopefully going to buy your product?  No; that's not smart at all, but that's exactly what a lot of companies do.

Be the savvy company that DOES invest in understanding its target shoppers, and gets things right the first time. When you do, the insights you learn and connections you start, will deliver value both in the short and for a long time to come.


- Lisa Mabe-Konstantopoulos, Founder, Green Purse PR

Want Green Purse PR to shop with your consumers and garner insights to help you better connect with health-conscious women?