When it comes to reaching shoppers, in-store samples, package ads and coupons are influential, according to a recent survey.
The survey, “Marketing Communications Last Frontier: Reaching the Shopper at Retail,” by TNS Brand and Communications, found that in-store flyers, end aisle displays and display racks also ranked in the top quartile as having the most impact.
While 70% of purchase decisions are made at the shelf, retailers and manufacturers can use such tools in their arsenal to capture attention. End caps are especially useful, but the key is for retailers and manufacturers is to identify which locations have the highest exposure with key products, said James Sorensen, executive vice president of TNS Sorensen, which handles the retail and shopper insights division.
The survey, executed in February, focused on shoppers’ insights relating to the cereal category.
In-store sampling is another means of gaining attention, but not everyone is doing it because of the high cost.
“One real benefit of in-store sampling is it drives sales,” Sorensen said. “It also adds ambiance to the shopper experience.”
In-store coupons and flyers, too, are effective, however, retailers and manufacturers should focus on creativity to stand out from the crowd. For manufacturers, package ads are appealing because they offer a good amount of control and execution over other touch points, the survey said. They can be used to cross promote other purchases, such as pairing a box of cereal with a discount offer off milk.
Shelf ads, pallets, free-standing ads and in-store TV fell in the second quartile in terms of effectiveness, the survey said.
In-store TV has potential, if used correctly, Sorensen said. Retailers should keep screens as low as possible and make sure the content is relevant to adjacent categories, TNS recommended.
Other methods, such as ceiling ads, in-store audio and floor ads ranked as least influential, largely for their placement or intrusiveness. While floor ads may be visible, they appear to have issues about their appeal, Sorensen said.
Retailers and manufacturers should keep the following things in mind when reviewing their in-store strategy:
*The brand’s objective
*The appropriate mix of touch points
*The cost to implement the tactics
*Potential logistical challenges
*The target audience
TNS polled 522 shoppers online in February who do at least half of their grocery shopping for the household.