Cameras mounted unobtrusively in the center store identified opportunities for retailers and manufacturers to increase sales, according to research from VideoMining Corporation. Though three-quarters of sales and 77% of profits are made from center store sales, the department still experiences "shopper leakage," a term for those shoppers who browse and think about a purchase but ultimately don't buy. The Center Store MegaStudy, which studied 2 million individual shopping trips from data collected by up to 150 cameras per store, found that many as a quarter of shoppers walk through the center store on a typical shopping trip, but don't buy anything. The study also identified the comparatively short time shoppers spend in the center store: of the 13 minutes spent in the store on a typical shopping trip, only 2 minutes are spent in the center store. Interestingly, there was little difference in the time spent by those who did buy and those who didn't buy.
By quantifying the amount of time a shopper spends in a category and comparing that to actual spending, this research brings a valuable perspective to how shoppers are spending their time in the center store. Marketers will be able to identify specific barriers to purchase and to address them with tactics precisely crafted to appeal to the shopper. It is especially intriguing that some categories underperform relative to others, which points to a need for better marketing and messaging in those category aisles. For example, the soup aisle is notoriously crowded with many brands, many varieties and many choices to make. In-store navigational cues, like "low sodium" tags, or useful signage with facts about moderating sodium intake could be useful to the shopper looking to eat more healthfully but doesn't know where to start.
"New Opportunities for Sales Growth in Grocery Center Store," CPG Matters, June 2012 www.cpgmatters.com/ShopperMarketing0612.html