Monday, February 05, 2007

Shoppers showing signs of tunnel-vision

IGD just published another report on the state of shopping, and according to this summary at RetailBulletin, more shoppers are engaging in "selective shopping" techniques to cut down the amount of time they spend in stores. The authors cite increased time pressures as the primary driver for this kind of behavior, so it would seem like the greatest implications would be in grocery and dry goods stores, where most of the shopping is out of necessity, and not necessarily for entertainment purposes. Some of the other key takeaway points:

  • 35% of shoppers visit only the aisles which they believe have the items they need, compared with 30% in 2003
  • 25% of shoppers were willing to follow the in-store layout along each aisle, down from 28% in 2003
  • 4% of shoppers take a haphazard approach and wander round aisles at random. This was up from 8% in 2003
  • 25% are guided, and visit each aisle, regardless of whether they needed anything.
  • 28% took this approach in 2003
  • 35% are selective shoppers and only visit the aisles which they believe have the items they need. The figure in 2003 was 30%
  • 26% are systematic, and follow the pattern of the aisles, unless they know the aisle contains nothing they need. 34% took this approach in 2003
The report's author, Julie Starck, a Senior Business Analyst at IGD, made the interesting conclusion that, "these findings challenge the traditional perception that shoppers can be 'pushed' into seeing new products as they wander round the store. Many consumers will simply not see new products unless they are in aisles which are already on their mental map of their in-store journey."

Aside from locating new products or promoted items in key locations where simple math dictates that increased foot traffic will yield increased product exposures, these numbers also illustrate the importance that store layout, product packaging and retail media systems can have as shoppers become more focused on getting in and out of the store quickly.

Tags: store planning, retail media, shopping patterns, foot traffic

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