Covid-19… fewer shoppers=increased brand exposure

Covid 19 has put normal life on hold.  It’s hard to find an area of life it hasn’t infiltrated.  Given all this, it’s only natural that the virus has had a massive impact on global shopper behaviour.  While most shops are shut, supermarkets the world over have been forced to adapt to incorporate vital health and safety considerations and facilitate social distancing in-store. Floor stickers, queuing, one-in-one-out rules, one way systems and protective screens have rapidly become the new norm.

Social Distance Sign on the floor during COVID-19

The natural, habitual process of grocery shopping has changed.  We are no longer free to roam, but now have to navigate enforced one-way systems that take us the length and breadth of the store.

SRI data suggests that traditionally shoppers only visit approx. 35% of the store.  In normal circumstances, they dip in and out of aisles according to their needs. The new restrictions mean they are forced to navigate the store in its entirety.  

This represents a profound opportunity for certain categories.  For example, a typical mainstream grocery aisle, like soft drinks, would normally only get about 30% of store traffic to visit.  Now it is getting 100%. So that’s exposure to 70% more prospective customers. Bingo!

On the flip side, prime locations are not necessarily prime anymore.  Does a gondola end have the same impact on engagement when shoppers are not permitted to choose how and where they move?

Inevitably there are more currently more questions than answers:

  • How can retailers adapt store layouts to improve the shopper experience and drive growth, whilst adhering to health and safety guidelines?
  • What are retailers and brand owners going to do to capitalise on increased aisle visitors?
  • How should designated promotional areas such as feature spaces and gondola ends adapt?

In the early days of this new-world-order-for-retail, there are clearly more questions than answers. But one thing is for sure, big prizes are in-store for the brands and retailers who get it right.

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Walkaways – the missing metric that could save Retail

It is hard to see, read or hear any news article about traditional retail these days without hearing about footfall being down and shoppers deserting bricks and mortar.

It’s not all doom and gloom though. There are some easy ways to avoid becoming victims of the ‘Amazon effect’. In particular, analysing behaviour of shopper’s instore experience.

At SRI, we believe there is an enormous opportunity being missed.  We call them ‘Walkaways’.  Shoppers who browse or interact with products or categories but don’t buy

Amazingly, retailers and brand owners do not standardly measure Walkaways.  In recent months, we have completed behavioural analytics studies in grocery, DIY, healthcare, drinks and pop-ups and a consistent theme emerges.  Too many shoppers engage with products and categories but walk away from the category without buying.  Typically, SRI sees Walkaway rates of 20% to 40% in mainstream grocery retail.

Take the example below.  The heatmap shows where shoppers have actively browsed categories, but in the end, not purchased anything.

Static screenshot from SRI animated heatmap

In this real life example, the category walkaway rate was an eyewatering 38%.

Measuring and improving these walkaway rates is an opportunity there for the taking. After all, these shoppers have actively chosen to come into your store and browse your products.  Understanding why they then walk away is the key to future success.

For more information contact info@shopperretailinsight.com

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Find Time

How do we look for things?

Chances are that if you are like me at some point you will have lost something such as your keys and have had to try and find them. You will have gone first to the most logical places such as the key hooks by the door or the counter top in the kitchen; but if your keys don’t show up there you’ll try elsewhere, working through a mental list of all the possible places that your keys might be. As the search goes on you’ll probably feel yourself getting more and more frustrated and possibly start thinking about how much time you are wasting and how you need to be moving on to do something else. But you don’t stop, you need your keys!

Looking for products in a supermarket is no different. (more…)

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Time To Shop

In his book Inside the Mind of the Shopper, US shopper insights pioneer Herb Sorensen states that “Shoppers only spend 20% of their time selecting purchases and 80% in transit” with the implication that retailers need to put products in the path of shoppers so they can spend less time walking and more time buying. This would certainly seem to be a valuable insight in as much as it makes a distinction between useful and wasted shopper time; however is this generalisation about time utilisation always true? (more…)

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Putting Things Into Context

As traditional media fragments then the retail coal face becomes ever more important in the battle of brands to capture the attention of consumers en-mass.

Little wonder then that shopper marketing and the research and insight which fuels it are becoming an increasingly significant element in many organisations marketing and communications mix.

But marketing to shoppers at this first moment of truth presents a unique set of challenges. (more…)

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