8 Innovative Ways to Disrupt the Aisle

Raymond Fodiman Picture

by Raymond Fodiman | Last Updated: Jan 25, 2023

Disrupting the aisle is all about ways marketers can position their brands differently from the competition. Cutting through the noise requires productive and engaging disruption throughout the customer journey. Consumers could choose to buy from virtually any brand, so marketers need to create compelling reasons for them to choose you. 

8 Ways to Disrupt the Aisle

1. Retail Events

Event marketing or experiential retail is essential to engaging consumers. This is especially true when 76 percent of consumers would rather spend their money on experiences rather than material goods. 

These events can be as simple as hosting a tasting event for a food or drink brand. You could host a Q&A with the company founder or a celebrity endorsement. Hosting events in collaboration with another brand could also be great, whether it’s to launch a partnership, or just to boost sales for both parties!

The ideas are endless, but no matter what you decide, the power of these events is undeniable as a whopping 74 percent of consumers say they are more likely to buy the promoted product(s) after an event.  You will increase foot traffic, engage consumers, and boost sales.

2. Featuring Philanthropic Efforts

Since the start of the COVID-19  pandemic, corporate philanthropy has risen in popularity. It seems as though if you don’t have a charitable initiative tied to your brand, you are falling behind.

Not only do give-back opportunities build good internal company culture, but they also build rapport with consumers. Today, 75 percent of consumers are expecting companies to give back. Therefore, providing give-back opportunities is sure to encourage purchases and build brand loyalty

Hosting a charitable event with a nonprofit partner or local organization is a great way for brands to give back and drive brand awareness. You can also place a QR code on product packaging or a shelf talker that describes what your brand is doing to give back.

3. Product Packaging with a Digital Element

Your product packaging is already in line with your brand and is designed to grab the attention of consumers as they are walking through the aisle. It's time to take it to the next level and use your packaging to engage consumers on their phones. 

Placing a simple QR code or even harnessing the power of NFC in your packaging can be used to unlock digital engagement. You can provide product information in the form of articles or videos, or it can link to a submission form for a contest.

4. Interactive Signage

Unless you’re working with a channel partner that enforces a clean store policy, you likely already have signs in-store that point to your product or offer discounts. Why not include digital elements in your shopper campaigns? From product comparisons to new launches to even a product recommendation quiz, the experiences marketers can create to capture the attention of consumers is endless. 

Not only will these digital experiences amplify the messages of traditional shelf-talkers, floor-talkers, etc., but they can also serve as opportunities to engage consumers and even capture zero-party data.

5. Reward Customer Feedback

Feedback or reviews might feel separate from brand engagement tactics, but it is certainly one way in which customers can interact with your brand. While they might be reluctant to spend time giving feedback, offering a reward is a great way to get someone to do a simple task. You might want to test out different types of rewards like gifts from your brand versus a gift from another brand, or a gift versus a discount. However you reward the customer, getting this touchpoint in is great for setting yourself apart from the competition (bonus points if your brand’s feedback form is digital and easy to use).

6. Seamless Return Process

Customers will take note of an easy system for returns and exchanges. In fact, according to Narvar, 96 percent of consumers will prefer a brand based on a good return experience. Customers want to feel confident in their purchasing decisions and know that they can easily return or exchange a product if it does not meet their expectations. So, if your process is easy, they will choose you over competitors - especially if they’ve already had a frustrating return experience from the competition.

 Abercrombie has a seamless process. The brand sends its orders with pre-printed return labels. This is a great way to put the customer first and ensure their satisfaction. Consumers don’t like to jump through hoops to make a simple return, so they'll be sure to spread the word if they have a seamless interaction with your brand at this point in the customer journey. 

Standing out from competitors by making returns and exchanges as easy as possible, while also enhancing the customer experience builds trust and confidence in the brand.

7. Loyalty Programs

According to Deloitte, loyalty programs have become more popular since the start of COVID and the trend is not fading anytime soon.  Offering exclusive deals and rewards to loyalty program members will encourage customers to choose your brand over competitors. By building strong relationships with customers and fostering a sense of community for them, loyalty programs can also make it more difficult for your competitors to attract those customers. 

8. Developing a Strong Social Media Presence

Social media is kind of like a digital shopping aisle for e-commerce brands because it allows them to showcase their products in an easily accessible and visually appealing way. Glossier is expert at using social media to present their products and content in a curated and engaging way, similar to how physical products are displayed on store shelves. 

Customers can easily browse products and make purchasing decisions without the need to physically go to a store. It also allows e-commerce brands to use social media to reach their target audiences, and make their product offerings more visible to potential customers, similar to how physical stores use aisles to attract customers. Therefore it is imperative for your brand to have a strong social media presence to disrupt the online aisle.

There are so many other ways to disrupt the aisle. Click here to check out templates for digital experiences that can help you stand out.

Digital Experiences for Every Moment

Create digital experiences for every touchpoint in the customer journey from product packaging to product registration to onboarding to customer support and so much more. What do you want to create first?