Consumers Prefer to Shop Offline for CPG Products: Here’s How DOOH Can Help
Whether it's a coffee shop, the train station, or the grocery store, digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising effectively reaches consumers at key touchpoints during their offline journey.
While Amazon.com and direct-to-consumer brands have dramatically shaken up the retail industry over the last few years, brands and retailers should be wary of solely relying on e-commerce, as consumers making purchasing decisions in many categories, like consumer packaged goods (CPG), still largely prefer to shop in-store rather than online.
New research from Vistar Media and MFour shows that 91 percent of consumers prefer an in-store experience for CPG products as it provides them with an opportunity to bring their purchases home right away, save money, and see and touch products in person. An in-store experience lets the consumer smell a shampoo, see how a lipstick color looks on their skin, or sample a new snack — experiences which aren't possible when shopping online.
Research also shows that CPG consumers follow very consistent purchasing patterns, much of them focused around the in-store shopping experience. Seventy-five percent of consumers typically buy the same items on each trip to the grocery store, indicating they have a consistent idea of what they need in their household. Sixty-nine percent of shoppers make a list before heading to the store, uncovering the need to engage with consumers prior to shopping trips in order to influence their purchases.
Despite these consistent patterns, only 17 percent of CPG shoppers say they buy the same brand all the time. Given the propensity for consumers to switch brands on a dime, CPG brands should activate powerful campaigns to gain market share, grow loyalty, and influence purchasing decisions. For example, a Kraft macaroni and cheese lover may choose to try Annie’s macaroni and cheese for the first time. Advertising Annie’s to parents with kids when they're driving to and from school pickup, as well as in the store aisle, may help tip that choice. From there, Annie’s can launch further marketing strategies, whether it be a free sample or a discounted offer, to encourage repeat purchase and build loyalty.
Furthermore, only 52 percent identify as being loyal to two to three brands, 16 percent identify as frequently changing loyalty from one brand to another, and 14 percent identify as not being loyal to a specific brand. As such, marketers have a massive opportunity to leverage conquest targeting and point of interest-based strategies against competitive stores, brands and products.
So how should brands sway consumers that are open to trying new products?
Among those surveyed, out-of-home (OOH) and mobile ads were found to be highly effective in driving shopper behavior. Nearly one in three shoppers are directly influenced to try new products when exposed to these ads. This advertising medium is also the most preferred among consumers, with 67 percent of respondents ranking OOH or mobile as their top choice when it comes to the places where they prefer to see ads.
OOH is also the most trusted channel among CPG consumers, with half (50 percent) of all survey respondents sharing that they truly believe the messaging seen in OOH ads.
Interestingly, of all options surveyed, shoppers reported being least likely to be influenced by desktop ads (8 percent), preferred them the least (14 percent) and trusted them the least (24 percent), further illustrating that brands should focus more on the in-person experience while trying to reach potential customers.
OOH, particularly DOOH, is one of the only media channels that can reach shoppers during key touchpoints throughout the entire purchase funnel, while on their path to purchase, as well as when they're in-store. For example, PepsiCo can promote a new Quaker Oats oatmeal at the train station during morning commute hours knowing consumers are looking for breakfast, or Coca-Cola can advertise a new flavor of Powerade at gyms and on screens near fitness centers, knowing that exercisers look for that after-workout pick-me-up. No matter where CPG consumers spend their days, DOOH can reach them while they're in the shopping mind-set and ready to spend. In turn, this can lead to greater conversions and a chance to cultivate loyalty with CPG consumers.
Michael Provenzano is CEO and co-founder at Vistar Media, a programmatic digital out-of-home solutions provider turning movement data into actionable insights about consumer behavior.
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