By TorchMedia

While the retail sector at large is still overcoming the low consumer-spending index of the past quarters for 2011, some leading brands and retailers are making the most of the recent lift in consumer sentiment.
A recent survey by the Westpac-Melbourne Institute released mid last month revealed a rise of 8.1 per cent in the Consumer Sentiment Index taking it to 96.9 after it had fallen to some of the lowest levels in almost 2 decades.
Australia’s $292 billion retail sector has welcomed this rise with hopes for a more prosperous end-of-year period to boost the retail sector figures for the year.
With an expected Christmas spending of around $23 billion by Australian shoppers this year, many brands, marketing agencies and retailers are investing in shopper marketing strategies in order to win a greater share of the massive end-of-year spend.
TorchMedia, one of the leading shopper marketing providers in the country has been experiencing substantial increases in demand from brand managers and retailers alike to design and implement powerful point-of-purchase shopper marketing programs in time for Christmas.
Kirsty Dollisson, general manager marketing and commercial at TorchMedia says: “Many retailers are planning to entice Christmas shoppers into spending from as early as October in order to beat their competitors for a greater slice of the expected Christmas retail pie.”
“Research tells us that Australians make a phenomenal 1.9 billion visits to shopping centres each year spending 50 per cent of their household income there. 64 per cent of these shoppers usually take a shopping list, with some 58 per cent of this group also making purchases that are not on their list. And, with another 29 per cent of these consumers always purchasing items that are not on their lists, it is obvious why shopper marketing initiatives are so powerful,” Dollisson says.
In the US, 45.3 per cent of the big retailers have employed shopper marketing over the past few years.  A survey conducted last year showed that 64.9 per cent of the big retailers are now allocating specific budgets toward shopper marketing, a massive jump from nearly zero only a decade ago.
With 70 per cent of brand decisions being made at the shelf, we can easily see that shopper marketing will undoubtedly transform the brand marketing landscape in Australia over the coming years.