The shopper is a key target to take into consideration in category management. Most of the time category manager will stick to its panel and market information in order to make decisions to improve its categories. It is an easy bet, with extensive data available. But let's not forget the key remains the customer, and at a higher extense the shopper.
Understanding the shopper habit is key in order to think out of the box, and to make right category management decision. It will allow the category to react to potential shopping habits.
I read a very interesting white book on the topic. It was writtent by UK experts Engage Consultants.
If you were to conduct such a research, I highly recommend you to read with close attention this document, as it gives you a clear step through.
Two points I wanted to highlight about the process:
You need to understand the shopper environment. And it encompasses its shopping activities, but also different aspect listed below.
Also, the checklist of things to verify if you have not forgotten to conduct your research.