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In-Store Marketing for Maximum Effect

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In-store marketing and merchandising can have a direct impact on sales. With online retailers making some very exciting and engaging presentations to potential buyers, physical stores need to step up to the plate. With four out of five purchases still made in the store, retailers need to focus on merchandising, kiosks and displays, which can serve as real attention-getting devices that draw customers in and tell a story.

A SymphonyIRI study found that by combining displays with product marketing, 84% of product categories saw at least 100% increase in sales, compared to only 49% for feature-only and 1% for price-only.

Shoppers that get a taste of innovative product and brand displays now shudder when having to stroll down long aisles of product after product jammed next to each other. In fact, not only do shoppers dread entering long aisles, in their hurry to get through them they often scurry past products they might otherwise be interested in purchasing.

Making aisles shorter, less linear and more inviting removes that overwhelmed feeling and may create an environment where shoppers can navigate a store without feeling intimidated, to browse and shop.

Brian Wansink, author of “Marketing Nutrition,” suggests that even if a product’s price isn’t changed, end-aisle displays increase sales by 30 percent simply because the items are more visible.

When introducing a new product, making an interactive display or creating a story with signage, videos, or demonstrations can lure the customer in. Price alone does not sell the product. 86% of consumers will pay up to 25% more for a better customer experience, according to a RightNow Customer Impact Report.

The right assortment of product and placement in POP displays and interactive kiosks can create a touch-and-feel experience, reshaping consumer shopping behavior and driving sales. These kinds of merchandising displays also allow the retailer the opportunity to “brand” the experience and make it singular to their store. If stores don’t adapt, they risk losing customers and becoming old and outdated.

Also, complementary merchandising is an idea that’s been around for a while, but many retailers still don’t take advantage of savvy product pairings. A grocer I shop at had a “mini” in-store kiosk with a staff person distributing their own bread, coupled with cheese and a fig spread—suggesting pairings and products that shoppers may not have thought of.  Almost every person who sampled these bought all three, so the store scored a trifecta of sales by doing nothing more than setting up a low-cost area of sampling. These are opportunities retailers need to take advantage of.

A study done by xAd and Telmetrics revealed that showrooming can work to the store’s advantage. It found that 77% of mobile users, who research products and prices on their phones in-store, actually buy the item in that store.

Modern interactive displays help make research online, then buying in-store, a reality. A retailer who combines in-store merchandising and mobile marketing might have an interactive display that gives consumers a chance to win prizes or value-added items, then takes them to a mobile site page where they can complete the process and collect their winnings.

Once a retailer embarks on a program with new types of displays, they need to track what goes on to determine return on investment. Measuring in-store traffic patterns, cart contents, sales and brand loyalty can gauge the success of their new displays and kiosks.

Merchandising in these new ways can cut through the clutter and engage and empower the shopper to interact with a product, brand, and the store. Emphasizing brand presence and products in this way not only makes the product and your store stand out, it empowers the consumer to make informed purchasing decisions.

TAGS: retail, retail trends, retailers, merchandising,
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