Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Getting the store ready for pre-shoppers

Just a few months ago I did a blog on pre-shopping, citing a study that suggested around 2/3 of shoppers do some research online before making a purchase in-store. While 66% is certainly nothing to sniff at, compared to the amazing 89% that this Yahoo! study estimates (brought to my attention by this article at Retail Design Diva), it seems like a drop in the bucket. From the study:

  • Consumers exposed to online advertising are more engaged:
    Consumers exposed to display and/or search advertising viewed an
    average of six more pages during the period in which they were
    researching compared to those not exposed to advertising.

  • Almost 90 percent of the incremental sales generated by online
    advertising take place in-store
    : Consumers exposed to online
    advertising spent an incremental six dollars in-store for every one
    dollar spent online.

  • Integrated search and display campaigns have maximum impact:
    Combined search and display ad campaigns resulted in deeper engagement
    for consumers exposed to those ads, leading to increased sales.
In my own blog article on pre-shoppers, I focused on the importance of using in-store displays to better tune the brick-and-mortar shopping experience for pre-shoppers. For example, POP displays and digital signs can encourage a purchase or improve the perception of suitability of a product/brand by using an information-driven approach to allow shoppers to tick off items on their mental checklist. Likewise, making signage that can communicate a message in less than the 3 seconds that P&G estimates is available for a "First Moment of Truth" is essential to entice shoppers who already know most of the brand's promises from their research.

It's pretty hard to simultaneously optimize in-store POP for shoppers who know nothing about a product and shoppers who have done some research, but 90% of incremental sales generated by online ads take place in store, so we know that shoppers are getting armed not only with information, but also brand and product preferences long before they reach the store. One thing's for sure: staying on message for those last few feet and last few seconds before a customer makes a selection in-store will become increasingly more important.

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