Convenient Shopper Choices Now That We Are On The Go Again!

CSStore Decisions, a publication focused on the convenience store industry, recently published a focus on the salty snack category and shifts that have occurred in convenience store buying habits, during and after the peak of the pandemic.

“During the pandemic when road and store traffic were lighter and more people were staying at home, large bags of chips sold better than individual ones. Retailers report that as more people go back to work and normal travel resumes, individual bag sales are rebounding.”

This certainly makes sense looking through the rearview mirror, but how can brands develop a predictive formula for leveraging shopper insight, now that consumers are on the go again, in a post-COVID world?

Retailers are looking for ways to drive sales now that consumers are on the move again and at the same time CPG firms are looking for ways to influence shopper behaviors that drive more sales to the advantage of their brands. It certainly goes without saying that a key component influencing the shopper’s path-to-purchase is the appearance of the pack on shelf.

But any test that aims to improve the 360-degree effect of shopper marketing needs to reveal the complex combinatory effect of all the elements we know that influence shopper choice: POSM, Price, Planogram AND Pack. Further, to be effective, the measure needs to take into consideration the occasion of the shopper journey and the channel or venue of the purchase.

In the example above, our salty snack purchase has been made in the convenience store. The occasion reflects purchases as consumers resume behaviors that haven’t been enjoyed for a while, namely non-essential travel or resumption of habits that involve commuting to and from offices.

The best pack tests have always involved context that simulates an actual retail setting, allowing shoppers to be observed in the act of finding and choosing products from the retail shelf. Behaviorally literally invented the Shopper Lab, a physical environment that mirrored those encountered by consumers in their daily shopping lives.

If brands desired to tweak ALL the variables in shopper marketing and evaluate the changes that would work in combination in order to predict the optimal combination of pack, POSM, price and placement on shelf, Behaviorally knew there needed to be something more complex, virtual, and scalable.

To identify the broader effect of shopper marketing that drives real shopper growth, we developed a digital evaluation tool, ShopperFlash™ that helps brands evaluate those integrated factors that impact choice and identifies the optimal combination that results in the greatest net impact.

ShopperFlash™ is enabling brands to develop more effective shopper marketing, leveraging insights revealed through our behavioral framework and our decades of category expertise, at the speed of today’s accelerated marketing decision-making.

What if the brand could change the point-of-sale messaging, working with their channel partners (whether convenience or grocery or specialty stores), to understand the combination of levers that could be optimized to drive sales? And what if those simulations could be conducted digitally, rapidly, and at scale so that consumers participating in the research could experience all the nuances of each retail channel and the true context of the purchase occasion?  Better shopper marketing decisions can be made more quickly, more cost effectively, and that yield benefits for both the brand AND their channel trading partner. That’s what our clients are achieving through ShopperFlash™!

And it is not just in salty snacks at the Food and Fuel retailer! Our robust validation is demonstrating reliable metrics across FMCG categories and across all retail channels.

Regardless of the FMCG category or retail channel, contact us to talk about how ShopperFlash™ can be leveraged to optimize your shopper marketing efforts for greater growth at the register.

Jason Bradbury is a seasoned researcher and insights industry thought leader. With nearly thirty years of industry experience spanning a wide range of shopper touch points – including packaging, shopper marketing, advertising and marketing communications, Jason possesses a wealth of knowledge that consistently leads to successful business outcomes.
Jason is an accomplished pianist, avid golfer and family man with a personal affinity for tinkering on antique clocks.
Connect with Jason on LinkedIn.

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