Thursday, February 15, 2018

Upping Your Visual Merchandising Game with Mobile

It’s no secret that for today’s on-the-go shoppers, big box stores and supermarkets are the go-to. With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, why wouldn’t you avoid taking multiple trips a week and instead shop somewhere that can offer everything you need under one roof? While these stores do make for a streamlined experience for your customers, they also make marketing your product much harder. Brands have to find a way to break through the clutter and grab customers’ attention with standout visual merchandising–or, the in-store tactic deployed by marketers to lure customers to purchase of a product (think: how do your eyes find their way to a specific spot on a shelf). Successful execution of any number of these tactics can be beneficial to the success of a product, so let’s dive into how you can make sure your visual merchandising strategy is compelling enough for them to reach for your product every time.

Out with The Old, In with The New: Make Displays Interactive
Consumers are rarely surprised or excited by print displays. When walking around a store, a still image is very unlikely to be compelling enough to draw them inside. Consumers want to take part in their shopping experiences, so it’s time to start thinking interactive, not static. Digital displays not only have a higher likelihood of grabbing the attention of the passing shopper–they also present the opportunity to engage them with your brand, even before the purchase. This makes them more likely to reach over the competition to pull your product off the shelf.

Utilizing Shelf Talkers to Engage with your Potential Customers
Shelf talkers are the brand signs that you often see in an aisle sticking out from the shelf. This technique is meant to grab the attention of the shopper and communicate a brand or product message to the consumer. This type of signage can by highly effective to grab the attention of a consumer when they are staring at a wall full of seemingly identical products.

These signs may seem simple and straightforward, but the execution cannot be overlooked— both the images and messaging included should complement the brand and product to increase overall rapport. But, here’s where you have to be diligent: it’s easy to overgeneralize on these signs in order to appeal to a wide variety of buyers, but for static shelf messaging like shelf talkers, specificity is key. For example, shelf talkers at a high-end grocery store in a wealthy neighborhood should communicate a different message than one placed at a budget store–as always, personalization is key. It may take a little more work on the front end–gathering consumer data, conducting surveys, separating information based on the locations and demographics of the stores you’re supplying to–but your work will pay off in the end!

Lastly, and most importantly, don’t stop there. You have a consumer looking at your products and taking the time to see what you have to say, so take advantage of it! Take your shelf talkers to the next level and include a mobile element they can take with them long after they’ve left the aisle. Include activation methods like text or QR codes for shoppers to activate the mobile experience, and share relevant product details, usage tips, and even deals and coupons with the consumer. Provide a mobile touchpoint, and you’re increasing the likelihood of your product ending up in their cart.

Take Engagement To The Next Level with NFC
NFC, or near-field communication, may seem like a concept of the future, but this technology is a very relevant part of the direction in-store marketing is heading. NFC allows for two devices within a close range to share information (If you’re finally having the revelation as to how your Apple Pay works, you’re right on point). An NFC tag is the device that contains the information that can be wirelessly pushed to any smartphone engaging with the tag. Utilizing this technology in your store displays would allow your brand to share real-time information and even special perks with the shoppers–once again bringing the in-store experience up another notch.

All in all, the merchandising process is following suit with many other in-store processes, which means it’s time to go digital. Get today’s mobile-obsessed shoppers involved and engaged with your brand on a more personal and interactive level before they even grab your product off the shelves. This could be the difference between catching a glance and hitting the cart.