By Louis Gordon, Marcom Manager, Landa Digital Printing
When you stop to think of our many sources for retail product information – newspaper inserts, mobile couponing, e-marketing, etc. – wouldn’t you assume that most of us know what we plan to buy before we walk in the store? The facts, however, don’t support that assumption.
82% of shoppers at grocery stores decide on their purchases when they’re in the store, or “at the shelf” in retail parlance. In fact, that 82% figure represents the highest percentage of in-store, last minute buying decisions in retail history climbing from 76% in 2012.1
It almost goes without saying that our global demographics, culture, and buying preferences have changed dramatically. Retail marketing has adapted at a similar pace; it’s become extraordinarily sophisticated. For example, marketers and brand managers today classify shoppers in one of four types or segments: Time Stressed (“I have to get in and out quickly”); Explorer (“Inspire me”); Trip Planner (“I’m always organized”); and, Bargain Hunter (“I want the best possible deal”).
The shoppers in the “Time Stressed” and “Explorer” categories together form a majority – representing 55% of all retail customers. While different in certain ways, they also share common ground. In interviews and research, both groups describe themselves as “easily tempted” and “highly impulsive.” For marketers, it means that those shoppers have a high potential for being receptive to in-store marketing.
The modern shopper is pre-planning purchases less often than ever before, and choosing more frequently based on what happens at retail – i.e., immersed in their buyer experience.
In short, we’re more flexible than ever. The surge in at-the-shelf or in-the-aisle decision-making also means that Point-of-Purchase (POP) or Point-of-Sale (POS) displays can influence the choices of more than three-quarters of retail customers.
Based on live interviews and eye-tracking research, the POPAI 2012 Shopper Engagement Study determined that one in six product purchases are made when the store carries POP signage for the particular brand. Retailers have also gotten savvy to the idea of cross-product promotion, placing POP and POS displays for selected products and brands at multiple points in the store, i.e., apart from the primary product aisles.
Floor stands capture the most attention among POP and POS printed materials, followed by end caps and power wings. (Retailers also use POP on counter displays, sidekicks, shelf hangers, ceiling-hung banners, and other signage.)
The Demand for Customized POP/POS Printing Is Growing
Armed with customer and product segmentation research, many retailers and brand managers are seeking hyper-customized Point of Purchase and Point of Sale. The most effective pieces today reflect time-limited deals, language differences, regional preferences, special events, and holidays, among other market-specific needs and buyer demographics.
The days of one-size-fits-all POP are long gone. The current retail environment requires more short runs – sometimes in the dozens or hundreds of pieces – and more personalization. And that spells an increase in digital print vs. analog production. If retail wants more pop in its POP (and it does), digital technology, like the Nanography® process, emerges as the best solution for the new POP culture.