Top Tips: How to Engage in Store

Generation C(onvenience) shoppers are increasingly difficult to interrupt via engagement & communication mechanisms in store. Their busy lifestyles mean that one-in-three want to be in and out of store as quickly as possible! Combine this with the fact that the typical convenience store shopper visits their local store over 200 times per year means that they are often shopping on autopilot in store.

Another major challenge to influencing purchases via communication in store is shopper tendency to set a weekly grocery budget. This budget mind-set means that 78% of c-store shoppers say they “will only buy the things needed here today”. Thus retailers and suppliers are faced with several major challenges when aiming to engage on the shop floor.

However, him!’s 2015 CTP data suggests that c-store shoppers are more impulsive now than they have been since before the recession - 18% are looking to be inspired in store and 1-in-3 purchasing decisions are made in-store! Clearly, now is the time to be getting in store communication & engagement right!

Here are our 5 key tips to effectively inspire and engage shoppers in store:

  1. Target top up shoppers at aisle ends. 12% of shoppers pick up products from displays from aisle ends, this is much higher for top up shoppers. Products on aisle ends should target these shoppers, who are more open to browsing in-store. It’s also a great location for showcasing deals and raising awareness of different categories and new product sold.
  2. Front of store is a critical area to get communication right. Too much and the shopper is over-whelmed and won’t engage. Getting the shopper interested and inspired at this point can open them up to the possibility of browsing and incremental purchases. Front of store attracts ‘gifting’ shoppers and is also a great location for seasonal displays and events. Give them something new and interesting which will switch off their ‘auto-pilot’ on entry to the store. 8% of convenience store shoppers pick up products from displays at the front of store but it also helps set their mind-set for the rest for their shop.
  3. Have you got your queuing system sorted? 17% of shoppers notice communications whilst queuing or at counter (no2 only to the main aisles) so it’s a key place for in-store comms. ‘Meal for tonight’ and ‘treat’ shoppers are more likely to notice than the average shoppers – these are traditionally shoppers who are actively looking for inspiration or to be tempted.
  4. Make the most out of any space the tobacco display ban has created. While only 1/3 of convenience shoppers smoke, 61% of shoppers say they have noticed that tobacco products are no longer visible in convenience stores. This highlights how visible space behind the counter is! The opportunity to use this space to advertise products and promotions and display products is immense.
  5. Early morning shoppers are the least open to influence. They want to get in and out as quickly as possible and are less likely to buy on impulse. Focus this time of day on speed of service. Make their lives easier by delivering against their needs fast and efficiently. Save the communication and inspiration for post-9am!

As you can see, despite the challenge of interrupting shoppers on autopilot, there are massive opportunities when targeted engagement is applied in store.