Shopper marketing: creating an in-store shopper experience to push that sale

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Product and price are by no means the only players when it comes to pushing sales in-store – presentation plays a most pivotal part!

Think of it like this – what seems most appetizing: a gourmet meal haphazardly shoved into a takeaway box accompanied by plastic cutlery and eaten on a dirty sidewalk, or the exact same food, attractively served on fine china and enjoyed at a beautifully laid table with soothing background music?

Two similar things with equal value can evoke an entirely different experience when perceiving it – solely based on how it is presented to us.

The same goes for shopping. How a store visitor’s senses and emotions are stimulated when walking into a retail environment will influence his spending behaviour. Shopper marketing – which entails tactics to captivate your customers with an enjoyable shopping experience in order to encourage spending – is therefore a much-needed part of your integrated marketing strategy. This type of marketing is especially valuable as you are catching potential consumers at a time when they are most likely to be digging into their wallets – entering into a store. So, turn on all your charms!

A couple of shopper marketing strategies exist that you could follow to accomplish this:

Boost your branding

Your branding entails everything that distinguishes you from your rivals – from your name, logo, communication style, advertisements, visual choices, etc. This is essentially your business’ personality and just as with interpersonal relationships, people will either be attracted to you or not. You will thus need to know your target market and try to win them over with your persona as much as possible. Talk about putting on pretences – we know! But this is very important in shopper marketing, as people might not even go as far as to enter into your space if they are put off by your appearance – or merely more attracted to another business’.

Revisiting and adapting your branding on a regular basis to stay relevant and striking is thus essential.

Play with display

When people enter into your store, you need to present your brand and your products to them in an appealing way. There are many nifty point-of-sale furnishings to help you accomplish this: gondola shelving, clip frames, digikiosks, interesting sales counters and smart exhibition booths – to name but a few. Make sure you show off well!

Organise to optimise

Clever layout and proper category management can greatly affect a shopper’s experience. If your shop is not well-arranged with your merchandise logically ordered and sections clearly named, you confuse and frustrate your customers. They are bound to head for the the door if they cannot easily find what they are looking for. Remember, people want convenience and you want to fulfil their needs as much as possible, especially in a digital age where they can just as easily get what they are looking for with the click of a button and in the comfort of their own homes…

Shed some light on it

The lighting in your store helps to visually enhance the atmosphere and define your overall image. It also serves to attract attention to certain items and present them, well… in a good light! There are endless options of lighting that could be used in-store and an array of different ambiences (e.g. exciting or romantic) that you could create with the right illumination – again, to suit your purposes. Educate yourself on how to use lighting to your benefit and light the way for customers to flood your store.

Make sound choices

The soundscape of your store is another potential shopper turn-on or passion-killer. The sound of silence is not recommended, as it makes people feel uncomfortable. Therefore, playing background music or other audio (like white noise or talk radio) is a vital consideration and your soundtrack should be selected with utmost care.

When it comes to music, volume, tempo, mode (sad or happy melodies) and genre all play a role and there is no one right option – it will need to evoke the right impression with your targeted customers. Also, you might want to change your tune depending on the time of day and season.

The science of noise and its effect on our brains (and consequently our emotions and actions) is actually quite a complex subject and you might want to inform yourself in this area or face the music when it comes to sales.

Pass the smell test

You should appeal to all the senses of your store visitors to heighten their feeling of gratification – also their sense of smell. Needless to say, avoid foul or overly strong scents. Subtle fragrances are probably your best bet.

Utilise the smell of your shop to have the desired demographic sniff you out and, once again, to build your general image effectively. You could use scents from diffusers, fragrant oils, scented candles or room sprays (especially the ones that automatically spray at certain intervals) or other positive smells (like that of freshly brewed coffee) to lure people into your den. Test it with customers. Change and adapt when needed.

Entertain to gain

When you provide pleasure, you win people over. This is a great in-store marketing strategy to follow. Amuse customers with TV screens, interesting images or quotations on your walls, stimulating reading material or – always a winner – freebies such as complimentary coffee or small gifts. Your options are infinite. If children are your target consumers, you have even more scope to play around (literally) with in-store entertainment.

And finally… make them Gawk

Need some help to up your shopper marketing strategies? Gawk is a full-service agency that can take care of all your in-store marketing needs to push those sales. We are especially equipped to provide you with all the display hardware needed to enhance your exhibition areas and to give you a visual one-up on any rival. Check out our full range of products and services at www.gawk.co.za and keep in mind that we customise to suit your fancy.

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Ludwick Mashatola is an Account Executive at CYG-Tech Creative Agency, where he leads on strategic marketing, communications, sales and content Manager for a wide range of cygtech advertisers/clients. Ludwick brings strong communication, sales and marketing skills to © Cyg Tech team. He previously served as a Purchasing and Marketing executive for Bamokgotsi Fruits & Veg, where he brought on board clients such as Spar, Fish & Chips, Boxer Super Store and Pick ‘n Pay.

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