Trade Marketing

As brands continue to proliferate, creating a myriad of choices for consumers, shopper marketers are increasingly turning to fight for space and noise at retail stores. The battle for brand supremacy has moved from the television box to the store shelves. With the advent of modern retailing formats in India, this has become more accentuated.

As per a study conducted by POPAI, 34% of grocery shoppers do not use a list and instead rely on a mental list and therefore amenable to subtle and not-so-subtle forms of in-store displays that prompt impulse buying. According to an article published in psychology today, one of the main reasons for impulse buying is the Loss Aversion Switch. This essentially means that subconsciously the consumer picks up a brand seeing an offer on it because of his/her aversion to having a loss in the future when the offer is not available.

Understanding how consumers shop and creating suitable hooks that prompt brand buying at the point of sale is what every shopper marketer aims to exploit. We took a look at some of the key factors that shopper marketers should consider while designing and implementing their retail point of sale plan:

Stock Pressure & Facings

The fundamental remain strong. “Jo dikhta hai, wohi bikta hai” is an old adage that still holds true in today’s fast moving retailing environment. Ensure that there is sufficient stock pressure at the retail store across all SKU’s and not just your most popular SKU.

The second important point is to ensure that your brand has sufficient ‘pack facings’. Pack facing is a term used in the FMCG category and relates to having the face of the pack on the shelf turned towards the customer. In a modern retail environment, this is easier to implement. In traditional Kirana stores, given the space constraint marketers tend to often buy shelf space to use their relationships with the retailer to ensure sufficient pack facing.

Having a shelf filled with your packs facing the customer is an effective form of ensuring that the customer notices your brand and includes it in his or her shopping list.

In-store POP/POS

Real estate is expensive and the most expensive piece of real estate are retail stores where multiple brands fight amongst themselves to be seen and heard. In order for brands to stand out, marketers need to innovate on their POP/POS. Traditional forms of POP/POS like Danglers or Posters or Shelf Talkers have a limited shelf life. Island Display units, Shelf End Caps have become the de-facto form of in-store publicity.

Creating innovative display units is a good way to ensure that your brand is visible to your customer. Maggi was among the first to exploit this innovatively by creating space out of air with their storage containers that held Maggi. Retailers loved the display unit as it helped them create additional storage points without infringing on their existing shelves. Similarly, wall mounted units at checkout points created another innovate storage cum display unit that retail formats loved.

Leverage Technology

Although QR codes are still far away from being truly exploited in brick and mortar stores, the technology allows for a great deal of innovation that can be done at the point of sale. Imagine the impact on a shopper if he were to scan a QR code at the point of sale and get something free while learning about the brand?

Technology has already invaded the point of sale with LED displays, touch screen kiosks and RIFD. WhatÂ’s coming which can potentially change shopper marketing is Near Field Communications Technology (NFC). NFC allows marketers to beam messages directly to consumer’s smart phones based on a proximity signal. Most Android phones have NFC enabled on them.

So the next time a shopper visits a store, savvy marketers can beam their latest in-store offer directly to the consumer!

In-store brand ambassador

Many in-store purchases are often influenced by what the store executive says. This is especially true in consumer durable and electronics purchases in lifestyle categories. Deploying a trained in-store brand ambassador within the retail environment is a tactic that several marketers have been deploying in India for some time now. What started off as a practice in the white goods segment has not spread to the Telecom domain and in the cosmetics and body care segment.

Highly trained brand ambassadors help in voicing your brand message far more effectively than any in-store POS. They are able to influence buying behavior and in many cases effect a brand switch at the point of sale.

Find the right partner

Planning and implementing an effective shopper marketing program at the point of sale calls for innovation, design and strong implementation skills. Having the right shopper marketing partner on your side of the desk can often mean the difference between success and failure at the point of sale.

Unfortunately in India, shopper marketing is still in its infancy with very few trained and experienced agencies who can plan and implement National level store campaigns. Triad is among the few such agencies operating in the country today who have the intellectual ability to devise in-store programs as well as implement them nationally.

Increasingly marketers are moving away from defensive shopper marketing to an offensive strategy. Protection of one’s shelf space presence was sufficient when the competition was few and consumer awareness was low. Today, it is all about showcasing your brand in an innovative, exciting look to a highly informed consumer. Shopper marketing in India is changing and moving fast.
Is your brand’s shopper marketing changing and moving with the times?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *