The importance of the in-store environment on purchase decisions has never been greater, according to Point of Purchase Advertising International's 2012 Shopper Engagement Study. The POPAI interviewed 2,400 shoppers both before and after shopping to understand how today's shopper is different from the past. In addition to learning that more shoppers are making their purchase decisions in-store, the study also found that the in-store displays are instrumental for 1 in 6 brand purchases, with toaster pastries, pickles/relish, dishwashing soap and pet supplies showing the greatest lift.
The study also explored how accurate shoppers are when it comes to predicting how much they will spend and found that on average shoppers are off by 35%. The majority spends more than planned with an interesting correlation found for shoppers who use debit/credit cards. Those who don't use cash are more susceptible to impulse decisions and make more decisions while in the store. They tend to spend more than they originally plan by buying larger quantities and making more unplanned purchases.
The importance of compelling creative to capture attention and spur purchase was also reinforced. More than half (56%) of shoppers said they remembered seeing in-store displays, with endcap and freestanding displays getting the most mentions. Also, two-thirds of in-store displays that captured shoppers' eye fixations (measured using EEG and eye-tracking technology) resulted in purchases.
"The findings from the study clearly tell us that as in-store and shopper marketing professionals we have some areas for opportunity and improvement," said Richard Winter, president (POPAI). "Even as other emerging mediums and technologies alter the path to purchase landscape, this study underscores the importance of planning the in-store experience to win over shoppers where it matters most – at the point of purchase."
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME?
The changes the retail landscape has gone through in the recent past have been radical, with, among other things, the expansion of the path-to-purchase to include out-of-store touchpoints (e.g., the explosion of ecommerce and the introduction of mobile shopping). In the wake of these many changes, it would be reasonable to question the role of the in-store experience on the purchase decision. The POPAI's findings mean that despite how things have changed, the brick-and-mortar retail environment cannot be discounted. As a marketer, you're not going to have the luxury of shifting your attention away from the traditional in-store efforts in order to get up to speed on the new ways of interacting with shoppers. You're going to have to be on your "A" game with both.
"Shoppers Make More Purchase Decisions In-Store: New Study," CPG Matters, June 2012 www.cpgmatters.com/In-StoreMarketing0612.html
I think it might be useful to also include Peter Breen's editorial from Shopper Marketing (July 2012 - page 4) as counterpoint. Your take away I believe is 100% proper - you need to master both traditional and new means of being part of the shoppers path to purchase. However, there is a enough evidence to suggest that the interpretation of the numbers quoted by POPAI may be a bit self serving - not "wrong" at all, just 'well spun'. In a Shopper Marketing article (July 2012, p 10) written based on the study release one finding is that "Almost half of surveyed shoppers used prestore media to plan their trip, while a "large majority" created a mental, handwritten, or digital shopping list." If I were them I would not report that number specifically but a large majority is well above 50% to this old MRD guy. One study by Acosta from August 2011 suggested 72% of shoppers made a "list" So, it IS abundantly clear that the pre-planing phase is very important and it follows that where the shopper makes their list (often at home) is a critical part of the path to purchase too. This "3 in 4" (76%) number reported is the "in store decision rate" which represents the sum of "generally planned"purchases , brand "substitution" purchases and "unplanned" purchases. Let's think about that - I write down Bread (rather than a brand) and therefore my purchase decision is counted every time as an "in-store decision" ... Yes, technically by this definition it is - but I think many people can agree that there is far more influencing that purchase than just what is in store. It also includes all that I carry in my perceptions as I enter the store which clearly plays a role in brand choice too. Picky, I know but ....
NET net - your takeaway that both "new ways" of interacting with shoppers as well as in store activities are both important. That remains a true statement I fully support. I just worry that reading only the headline "3 in 4" will somehow allow an interpretation in some old line industry folks to feel "see all this new stuff is not that important" and that would be the exact wrong conclusion to reach. Thanks for the opportunity to participate and comment. Larry Burns, CEO StartSampling, Inc.