3 Ways Retailers Can Improve Their In-Store Marketing
In today's e-commerce world, getting consumers to shop at brick-and-mortar locations can be very difficult. However, with effective in-store marketing techniques, retailers can easily stay ahead of the game and ensure that their profits stay on point. Here are some ways you can help to improve your in-store marketing efforts:
1. Rethink your shelving. People often think that eye-level shelving is the optimal location for product placement. However, this doesn't hold true across the board. For example, InContext Solutions recently completed two case studies to analyze how much eye-level positioning matters in the cheese and yogurt aisles. For the cheese aisle, viewing began at eye-level but a subtle change in placement had a big impact on viewing patterns and provided better opportunities for products that were ignored initially. In the yogurt aisle, the results of our study directly contradicted the eye-level myth as the brand with the most views was placed on the bottom shelf.
In other words, when it comes to shelf placement, you really can't assume what's best simply by relying on common sense or common knowledge. You have to investigate to find out what's going to work best for your store or your product, and that may mean trying a few different shelf locations or working with research companies to find out what's really going on in your customers’ minds.
2. Don't overwhelm shoppers with options. Numerous studies have found that too many options can overwhelm consumers and actually render them incapable of making a decision. For example, a shopper overwhelmed by an in-store display of several jars of jelly might not decide on a jar at all, while a shopper confronted with a small, concise and approachable display might have an easier time picking a flavor they will enjoy. The key is to keep your store shelves highly curated and accessible so that shoppers feel they have options without feeling stressed or worried about making the "wrong" decision.
3. Collect data and apply it effectively. When it comes to retail stores, three common in-store marketing challenges come to mind; packaging, shelf layout and in-store communications. Testing the products, layouts or practices can be a costly and time-consuming process that many retailers don't have the capacity for. With optimization reports, retailers have the ability to accurately test new concepts in a virtual store simulation. Optimization reports use virtual methodologies to produce a standard output from which you can derive insights. The result is a fast, cost-effective solution for testing multiple concepts when a complex custom-designed study isn't required or doesn't fit your budget.
Ultimately, in-store marketing is a crucial part of a healthy, growing business, and it's important for retailers to regularly check in with their customers and monitor in-store shopping behavior to see how their efforts are faring. Be curious and challenge what you think you know about your customers and shopper research. You might be surprised by what you learn.
Rich Scamehorn co-founded InContext Solutions, a technology and market research firm, in 2009. He has served as the company's chief research officer since its inception.