It is widely accepted that the retail buying culture is changing. In our industry this is what differentiates the good and the great , whether it be the brands themselves, or the experts advising them.
What is so intriguing about our industry is the necessity to evolve.
When we started Impulse, the criteria for success was simpler. We could get away with relying on a good looking displays located well within the store, to achieve its intended ROI.
We are now in a world where most purchases are researched, and the main problem for brands is keep engagement of clients in store, to the point of purchase.
Consumers are now hit by multi-channel campaigns, as they enter a store – so brands have a harder time engaging and keeping interest to the point of purchase.
I think we, as a society, run the risk of over complicating the process, and regardless of the target market or cost of the product, just Keep it Simple!
Our businesses operate at both ends of the spectrum regarding product, and whereas the premium brands may inspire more exciting creative, employing a good mix of Digital and Physical assets in store, it is also as demanding and potentially rewarding to be given briefs for some of the more budget FMCG brands.
Our Shopper research still maintains that you must keep the message simple.
Its refreshing to see a shift in consumer loyalty – where the likes of Tesco were monopolising grocery, we have realised we can get better “value” by looking at alternatives.
A large extent of our volume work now goes into emerging budget stores, including The Range, B&M Stores and Poundland. It appears from our own research, that the buying process is more old fashioned here. Dwell times are longer in store, and due to out of town location, easy parking promotes visits to these stores being more of a planned outing rather than an impulse visit. So consumers will be expected to make the purchase in one visit – display mechanics are designed around this principle.
This “value” may not always be price driven – John Lewis have proven this, and although their mantra about price is accepted, I think we also accept that we will end up spending more in a JL store – and are happy to, based on the trust the brand exudes. This requires a different approach in store.
Using Nike as an example, the displays we supply adopt a different philosophy, assuming the fact the shopper, who is either in a store, or is online – is already engaged, and therefore more likely to make a purchase.
Therefore with deeper pockets its easier to use more digital, smart tech and innovative campaigns (check out these examples on Youtube – Adidas Neo Store:Germany and Verizon Destination Store:Bloomington)
My point in all of this – is that the best success still comes from keeping it simple.
By all means spend money on Shopper Marketing (its important to know your customers), and employ Multichannel resources but don’t lose sight of the fundamentals.
When screens were first use in store, a lot of the messaging was lost as you were completely swamped by digital content on entering a store.
We now run the risk of doing this in the newly evolved digital marketplace – and how this is used will determine the next generation of shopper.