Consumer Decision Tree

Clarifying Terms

These terms are used by Category Managers; Purchase Decision Hierarchy/Shopper Decision Tree/Consumer Decision Tree/Customer Road Map, but what do they mean?

Picture of a cartoon supermarket till

How to get 100% orange juice

Image courtesy of our cartoonist friend Mike Flanagan

An orange by any other name, might not be an orange after all!

What are they? 

They are all terms for understanding how the shopper shops the category. We choose to call it the ‘Shopper’s Map’ because we find that using simpler language in Category Management is more effective.

The Consumer Decision Tree?

You need to know because if you understand how a shopper shops your category, you can offer a better choice, promote with less cannibalisation and manage availability better, by understanding how the shopper shops.

Why is it important?

By matching how your shopper shops the category with what you offer on-shelf, you can make it easier for the shopper to buy from your category and ultimately manoeuvre them into buying more of what you would like them to buy, e.g. trading customers up.

What example do you have?

Fruit is traditionally thought of as oranges, bananas, strawberries, melons, and so on. Therefore the buying structure, availability structure, and supply structure is set-up accordingly.

What if the customer bought fruit more like…

Venn diagram - buying structure, availability structure, and supply structure, Consumer Decision Tree

The Venn diagram says the sweet spot is between everyday fruit, treat fruit, and strange fruit

What does this mean?

Firstly we would use customer terms, rather than our own, from industry terms such as ‘top fruit’ meaning apples & pears, to customer terms like Everyday fruit’ – How would this change our approach to this category?  Secondly we would not promote SKUs that sat in the same circle,  i.e. Not apples and pears promoted together, but instead promotions of a pear SKU (Everyday), a melon SKU (Treat), and pawpaw (Strange) – How might our promotional plan change? Thirdly, how would we restructure our people, our data, our offer in-store?

What terms do you use that we could help explain to others? Please share your view by commenting at the end of this article.

Would you like to know more?

For further tips and information, you can take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Category Management and our Category Management YouTube Channel. Also, check out our award-winning blog to see more Category Management tips and articles.

Our full Category Management Training or our e learning Category Management courses can help you to see your category more through the shopper’s eyes, which will, in turn, lead to you being a more effective Category Manager and your business getting ahead of the ‘supplier pack’.

Slideshare – Purchase Decision Hierarchy/Shopper Decision Tree/Consumer Choice Index/Customer Road Map

– What do they mean?

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