82% of Mass Merchant Purchase Decisions are Made In-Store 

Shoppers are making more purchase decisions in-store than ever before, according to the POPAI 2014 Mass Merchant Study. In this article we’ll explore why this channel is such a notable jump up from the 76% of in-store purchase decisions found in POPAI’s 2012 Shopper Engagement Study, focusing on the grocery channel. This new study emphasizes that POP/POS and merchandise displays are critical components for consumer brand marketers to persuade shoppers and drive sales at the store level. We will also share some insights on how to win at the in-store purchase decision game using five measures of category performance.

After interviewing nearly 3,000 mass merchant channel shoppers, POPAI discovered some significant statistics on shopper behavior. “While we expected some mass merchant shoppers were waiting until the last minute to decide purchases, we were truly surprised to discover 82% of purchases decisions are made in the store” stated Richard Winter, POPAI’s President.  Shoppers are also making more unplanned purchases or “impulse buys”.

Findings from the Mass Merchant Study are very different from the shoppers in the 2012 Grocery Study

  • 34% of the shoppers reported that they do not use a shopping list, while 47% rely on a mental list
  • The use of circulars and newspapers to preplan the shopping trip declined, with only 21% of shoppers using circulars and 18% using newspapers or mailers
  • 62% of the shoppers in the study picked up items on impulse during their trip
  • 16% of unplanned purchases were driven by a display the shopper saw while shopping
  • Women were slightly less likely to make specifically planned purchases at 18% vs. men at 24%
  • In most cases, shoppers overestimated how much they would spend during their shopping trip by an average of $8.00

“Today, the results support that retailers and brands have more opportunity to capture the decision of mass merchant shoppers in the store, because more of these channel shoppers are walking in without a list”. said Richard Winter.

The Importance of Effective P.O.P. Displays

It is more important now than ever for consumer brands to use point-of-purchase signage and displays to cut through the clutter and improve category performance. In a previous KDM Blog regarding the need for innovation to stand out at the shelf, we shared some challenging statistics that brands need to overcome when trying to win the battle at retail:

  • There are 30,000 SKUs introduced every year
  • Consumers are hit with 3,000 messages every day from all marketing channels
  • It takes just 3 seconds to make an impact in store

How to Win the In-Store Purchase Decision Game

Merchandising and point-of-purchase (POP) displays can provide an emotional connection with shoppers and are proven to drive impulse decisions. However, cutting through the clutter is no longer enough to engage shoppers. In order to truly connect and drive purchases at retail, it is critical to design merchandising displays with target shoppers in mind.

To help retailers and consumer brands overcome the onslaught of choices that shoppers face in-store, Lily Lev-Glick, Principal at ShopperSense, shares five distinct measures of category performance based on research insights from the POPAI 2012 Shopper Engagement Study, the most authoritative study of in-store purchase dynamics ever undertaken to date.

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