During the pandemic restrictions, 43% of consumers said they intended to buy at least some of their groceries online after the pandemic, according to McKinsey research. However, as restrictions came down, the consumers' intentions and enthusiasm for online grocery shopping waned, as they preferred to return to physical stores. Consumers are still four times more likely to prefer to purchase in-person (38%) than online (9%), despite their customer experience with online grocery shopping during pandemics.
According to another recent survey, a whopping 72% of consumers still prefer to shop in-store for their groceries. That same survey revealed that 66% of shoppers said they were more likely to try a new product when shopping in-store than when shopping online.
Clearly, in store sampling is still an important part of any CPG marketing mix. Thanks to this sensory, in-person customer engagement, field marketers find it simpler to persuade consumers to switch brands, try new products, and add a few unforeseen purchases to their shopping carts. In addition, in-store sampling provides an opportunity for consumers to ask questions and receive immediate feedback from knowledgeable staff, which can further enhance their overall shopping experience and build brand loyalty. Therefore, it is important for CPG companies to continue investing in in-store sampling as a valuable marketing strategy.
But things aren't exactly going as usual. The marketing landscape is evolving, and marketing tactics must follow suit. So what opportunities do CPG brands currently have for in-store marketing?
Here are a few practical ideas for retail marketing in supermarkets.
At first, we will focus on the in-store marketing strategies that are still effective in the post-pandemic world.
Conventional in-store displays direct customers' attention away from your competitors' goods and toward your own. Conventional floor displays are a great way to showcase your products and increase brand visibility. They can also help you highlight special promotions or new product launches. Consider marketing opportunities such as:
All of these advertising techniques make your products more noticeable in stores. Additionally, they give you an opportunity to draw attention to your product's unique selling proposition and any special promotions when a customer is actively choosing a product to buy.
A static display has a considerably lower chance of drawing a customer's attention than a moving visual. Also, it allows you to communicate a lot of brand or product information in a short amount of time.
Take advantage of the marketing opportunity if your retail partners are willing to sell you advertising space on in-store LED screens. Customers might be engaged while they are shopping or even while they are standing in line to pay.
Furthermore, you can easily alter your video advertising to respond fast to changes in your brand's positioning or, as has been essential in recent years, global events.
Retail experiential marketing is a trend that is here to stay. CPG companies are eager to engage with consumers both online and offline. One strategy they use to differentiate and encourage in-person shopping is in-store experiences. These experiences can range from interactive displays to product demonstrations and sampling stations, creating a memorable and engaging shopping experience for consumers. Additionally, in-store demo experiences allow CPG companies to gather valuable consumer behavior and preference data.
Talk to your retail partners to discuss the possibility of a store demo program, then set about crafting an engaging customer experience strategy. Compared to a conventional in-store advertisement, events like this will make your brand far more memorable and accelerate your product sales by a substantial multiple.
While various in-store marketing tools are available to CPG manufacturers, assessing and optimizing their use is critical based on their cost and the benefits they deliver. For example, conducting store sampling in a low-traffic store is less cost-effective than deploying a conventional store display, as the cost of an in-store demo that lasts 4 hours is similar to the retailer's full-day cost for an end cap.
On the other hand, a well-produced store sampling event in a moderately busy store will produce a spectacular increase in product sales during its time and actively engage passing shoppers, converting them into customers who are well-informed about the value of your brand. Such engagement will generate a much higher lifetime value for each customer acquired and a significantly lower acquisition cost than any other in-store marketing tool.
However, store traffic can be too high for an experiential marketing event to be cost-effective, as a brand ambassador cannot have an effective engagement with overwhelmed shoppers. In such locations, a video display option may be the most attractive investment in promoting your brand awareness, as shoppers may engage with them while waiting in lines. In such situations, meaningful sales conversions are not likely to be expected.
Floor traffic volume is only one parameter to consider for the selection of in-store marketing tactics. Others may include the availability of space in specific locations, days of the week when a specific method should be utilized, and, most importantly, the demographics served by every specific location.
Accessing such information is not always easy, and sometimes it is not readily available. That is where Grapevine Marketing Solutions may be of help, as hundreds of thousands of in-store demos were coordinated using our collaborative management platform. Our database contains volumes of information about traffic patterns for specific stores and conversion rates for certain product categories.
Schedule a video call to discuss your in-store marketing strategy with us. Perhaps we can make some recommendations about what you could be doing to boost your sales.
CPG vendors today have a lot of responsibilities. It's no longer sufficient to make the most of in-store marketing opportunities.
There's a new challenge for brands selling and marketing online and in-store: combining multiple physical and digital touchpoints into a cohesive customer experience.
How, then, can you make physical and digital marketing complementary? Look at these suggestions.
In-store demos engage shoppers to experience your products, learn about your brand, and hopefully make a purchase to become a customer. However, unless the store is continuously hosting sampling events to actively draw shoppers with the events, like Costco, you solely rely on their regular traffic of shoppers to draw new customers. Consider publishing a schedule of upcoming experiential marketing events on your website, Facebook page, or any other digital account you maintain. Such practices are known to attract 5–15 percent more shoppers per event and improve SEO for your website by leveraging dynamic data.
Put a QR code on your merchandise's packaging to give consumers who are shopping in-store an easy way to access online marketing materials. That tiny black-and-white square initiates a conversation and gives you a wealth of extremely useful customer information.
Your QR codes can point customers to a landing page where you can request feedback, offer a thank-you gift, or direct them to your social media pages for additional engagement. QR codes can also deliver a product video and transparent information on ingredients, sustainability, and the supply chain to entice customers to sign up for your loyalty program.
You can use the customer information you obtain from these interactions to help guide future product and marketing strategies. Additionally, it builds an important connection between your brand and the consumer, fostering loyalty and repeat business.
Based on a customer's purchasing preferences, you can offer personalized coupons using the data you collect from your digital channels. Offer them a coupon for a discount on a specific product if they haven't purchased from your company in a while.
When they use their coupon in-store, your physical marketing strategy comes into play. Even though a customer may have only entered the store to use a coupon, you now have the opportunity to upsell and cross-sell using multi-buy deals and strategic shelf placement.
While your website and social media channels are a great way to reach customers with brand and product promotions, use retailers’ digital space—not just their shop floor.
This could include running marketing campaigns on retailer websites. Consider in-app promotions, website banners, and limited-time promotional offers.
It also entails keeping an eye on a newcomer to the CPG retail scene: the delivery app. Companies that had previously delivered takeout from restaurants expanded into the grocery market during the pandemic.
Through app promotions and product placement, these delivery apps provide CPG brands with digital marketing opportunities. They also advertise in-store, promoting both the CPG brands they work with and the service they offer.
CPG brands have so many ways to get their products and promotions in front of consumers. But, as we’ve seen, in-store sales and marketing remain an important part of the bigger picture, even as many businesses develop their online strategies.
You increase brand exposure and product sales by stocking your products in the right retail settings.