Price is less important when you inspire shoppers

August 16, 2021
Rebecca Wine profile picture
Matt Whitby
  • In this interview Peter Kreilgaard, Chief Marketing Officer of explains why inspirational marketing can help convert browsing shoppers into buyers.
  • Learn about the way leverages the Coop brand and it’s CSR strategy to compete against digital giants like Amazon, and uses real time data to improve their creative approach to digital marketing.

Peter Kreilgaard is the CMO of The digital shopping platform for the leading Danish retailer Coop. is one of the most visited websites in the country, selling both food and non-food products.

Coop is a Danish cooperative with a history dating back to 1866. It’s a membership owned organisation. 1.9 million Danes are Coop members, and the combined Coop group is the biggest retailer in Denmark.

In this interview Peter underlines the importance of the Coop brand to their approach to digital marketing. He explains how their strong CSR profile is a competitive advantage against Amazon and global digital retailers. And how using inspiration in certain customer journeys can be of vital importance to attracting browsing shoppers.

Inspirational marketing can be a point of difference

In The Behavior of Online Shoppers Survey 2021, a majority of the 6,000 European shoppers (67%) said they want to be inspired when shopping online. But only 29% of shoppers say webshops are inspiring. Peter explains that for inspiration in marketing is something of vital importance for attracting and converting browsing shoppers. But not as important when shoppers know what to buy.

"Many people are on a shopping journey where they’re just looking for essentials and just want the right products at the right price. But for those journeys where shoppers don’t know what to buy, the website that can provide inspiration will get the order."

The more you can inspire your target customers, the less they're looking at exactly the price.”

“Coop is a member owned brand, and that is something we emphasize in our approach to marketing. But I feel we should use even more inspiration. We are still very product focused but we're moving in a direction where we want to create much more inspirational content. We want to talk much more about the CSR agenda, much more about what Coop stands for, because it is of importance for our shoppers, there's no doubt about that.”

Brand marketing the key to competing with Amazon

In The Behavior of Online Shoppers Survey a majority of shoppers (51%) stated that Amazon was the market leader for online inspiration. Followed by Google (37%). Only 29% of shoppers say that online stores are inspirational. And online stores are generally seen only as a destination for finding specific products.

But while Amazon is incredibly efficient at functional inspiration, it doesn’t appeal to emotions. It has a huge variety of products, fast delivery and competitive pricing. But retailers can compete with Amazon by focusing on emotional inspiration.

Coop was recognised as the most sustainable brand in Denmark for three years in a row from 2017-2020, and Peter says that brand communication gives an edge in the fierce competition with Amazon and other global digital retailers.

At Coop we don’t want to compete one to one with Amazon and the other big tech giants. If you compete one to one with them you will definitely lose.

"You will never have the largest assortment in the world, or beat them in technology or delivery speed. So the key thing here is competing where they are weak."

"So what we are doing at Coop is actually curating our different offerings to ensure we provide products with high CSR standards, and aim to benefit local producers. It’s extremely important for us because we know we will never beat Amazon, Alibaba and other big technology giants on assortment, because we don't have their resources, but we have something else. We have a very strong CSR profile, and we are owned by a huge number of Danes."

Shopper data is an asset, treat it respectfully benefits from owning a vast amount of shopper data in Denmark which enables them to personalize their digital marketing. By combining data with machine learning they can showcase shoppers the right products based on their behavior and buying persona, creating better online customer experiences. But owning shopper data has many challenges, says Peter.

“We are in a very fortunate position, because we are a very big operation, and people utilize both our brick and mortar shops, and our ecommerce site on a daily basis, we can gather a lot of information and data, but we have to use this data with respect from the actual people giving it to us. Being a trusted brand is extremely important, and is even more important when we're talking about data, because data is a currency that's very very important, and it's vital for any consumer. And of course, any brand, trying to sell to the consumer.” homepage with

Benefiting from in-house digital media has insourced their media agency department so they can take direct ownership of the performance of their digital marketing campaigns.

“At Coop we need people to look at the data showing how our campaigns are performing on a daily or even hourly basis. Because marketing channels provide cockpits and dashboards that are very accessible we have hired people from agencies and from Facebook ourselves to monitor them. So that our investments in social media and other digital marketing channels are utilized in the best manner.”

The more data you can take out from different dashboards and give it to the creative people, then you get a much better creative output from your campaigns. So you can look at the promotions that worked very well and make them even better tomorrow.”

At one of the biggest advantages of insourcing their digital media department is the ability to react to campaigns in real time. Peter explains that for example if the weather forecast changes from sun to rain, they won’t sell many swimming pools, and so the promotions need to change quickly.

“One of the greatest advantages of digital marketing is the flexibility. If we have planned to sell inflatable pools but the weather forecast now says that it will rain for the next three days, we can change our promotions within hours. We can do this because it's digital. We have our own graphics department, text department, and media department, and run the whole marketing value chain ourselves.”

The changing CMO role

Peter explains that the role of the CMO has changed from one of managing to delegating responsibility across a complex network of digital channels.

“The digital landscape has been evolving over the last couple of years. I think that the role of being in charge of a marketing department has changed a lot too. I have 34 people employed in the marketing department, and they know a lot more than I would ever know about the channels they’re responsible for.”

Peter says that his role as the CMO of is to create a framework for the team where they are free to operate.

Of course we look at the results, and of course we spar and we coach to be even better today than we were yesterday. No doubt about that. But the good old days, where everybody came into the CMO’s Monday morning meeting and said. What am I going to do this week? They're over.”

Thanks to Peter Kreilgaard for participating in this interview. Stay tuned to this channel for more in depth interviews from leaders in inspirational retail. Check out the iPaper Insights to learn more, where you can sign up for our newsletter to ensure you never miss the latest insights from retail marketing.

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