Talking Shop: Driving In-Aisle Engagement

How can grocery retailers lure more shoppers into the center aisle? The answer might be as simple as different POS elements or using rounded aisle displays versus displays with straight edges. Minor shelf innovations can provide a nice sales lift.

A recent industry study uncovered certain patterns of shopper preferences. Shoppers gravitate toward a destination or a place where it looks like something special is happening. Displays that offered either a surprise or a payoff (such as a meal solution or a great price) also drove shopper interest.

While these are a universal attraction that appeal to all shoppers, there were differences to consider in underlying attitudes. Boomers, for example, showed the highest emotional involvement in center store exploration, and their focus was providing value for their families. Millennials were far less emotionally involved and expressed a desire for the center store to be more like the perimeter.

Center Store Attitudes

Best Approach: Logical and consistent placement of product
- Medium emotional involvement
- Resistant to change
- Well-defined taste

Gen Xers
Best Approach: Unobtrusive merchandising
- Highest emotional involvement
- Desire more exploration
- Demand value

Best Approach: Make center store seem like the perimeter
- Low emotional involvement
- Disdain for center store
- Aware they are being marketed to
- Expect to find things just for them

What does this mean for you?

Is your presence at shelf engaging? Do you participate in any cross-category merchandising events or multi-brand bundling initiatives? If you’re thinking about aisle reinvention, consider the shopper your category is trying to target and the attitudes of the target shopper.

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