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Retailers Woo the 'Mission Shoppers'

Retailers go high tech to get Web-savvy “mission shoppers” to spend

Americans don’t shop the way they used to. It’s not only that they’re going to the mall less often. Consumers in this post-recession era are also less likely to stick around and browse after they walk into a store. Marketing pros say that shoppers tend to come armed with oodles of Web research on brands and prices. They buy, then leave. No browsing. No impulse buys.

The industry calls them “mission shoppers.” Such consumers visit fewer stores per trip—three, vs. five before the recession, according to research firm ShopperTrak. That means retailers need to “get more out of every person that walks through the door,” says David Maddocks, a former chief marketing officer for Nike’s Converse brand who now runs a consulting firm.