Retail: Your biggest afterthought is still one of your most powerful levers

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Article by Shandra Zurn, Vice President of Curb Crowser

At this point, there’s no hiding it. Shopping. Is. Changing. And with Amazon’s small (uh-hem!) purchase this summer, that pedal is to the metal.

Wait though.

Yes, in some cases online shopping is easier, sometimes quicker, possibly cheaper. Yet there are many millennial change-makers who still enjoy a physical experience. Who still want to get the feels during a seemingly mundane shopping trip. A laugh, quizzical interest, a slight tug at the heart string. Whatever it is your brand is trying to do, make it happen.

This connection is possible, if you do it right.

That’s right, even in a store. Or rather, especially in a store! Even with 89% of people webrooming — researching products online — 73% still purchase in a retail store.

The fact of the matter is — don’t just give up on in-store retail because of the rise in e-commerce. If you’re succeeding in bringing a shopper to a store, make it worth it!

First: What not to do.

  • Don’t try throwing today’s greatest athlete or top-rated TV star on the display. Nope. Only 3% of today’s consumers trust these guys.
  • Don’t just duplicate your package graphics and call it a day. Build your brand, make a strategic decision on what visual message to focus on. Copy-then-paste doesn’t work.
  • Flashy offers might work. But show, don’t tell. A shopper in a retail environment needs visual rest. Add your yelling to the chaos of the store and you’re sure to be deselected.

Ok. So how, you ask?

  • Shift your ad-thinking — the big-ideas, the head-turners — to the store. The chances of your commercial running, grabbing attention and hitting someone in a moment of purchase — near impossible. Doing this in the store, bingo! But don’t disregard logistics.
  • Apply visceral, sensory design. Understand key human truths — the WHY — driving your brand idea and work hard to bring those to life in-store, simply.
  • Integrate early. Display and merchandising should be as important as every tactic you’re considering as you build your go-to-market plan. If a big idea doesn’t have legs in retail, start over.

I’ll leave you with this.

From 2012 to 2016, “58% of consumer packaged goods categories [saw] reduced [retail] promotion impact.” The commentator in this article in AdAge, The Big Agenda, echoes my point. The reasons for this decline aren’t quite clear but there’s one thing that is, “brands [are] running the same promotions year after year and expecting consumers not to get bored. We need a new approach to promotion.” New ideas. New tactics. Unique experiences. Amen sister, we hear you.

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