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Retail… Where the Price Doesn’t Matter

12 October, 2017 Leave a comment

Where the Price Doesn’t Matter – Anchoring with SBXL

It’s not the price of your product that determines how many people buy it… Rather it’s the price of the other products shoppers see before making their choice!

The perceived value of any product has a lot to do with a psychological principle called anchoring. With anchoring, the first number you see influences any number you see after it.

For example, if you see a bulk display of bourbon whiskey in the supermarket, with each bottle priced at £14.99, and a nearby bottle with a price of £29.99 – then the latter is considered very expensive. However, if the £29.99 bottle is seen in context with a £59.99 bottle then the same bottle of whiskey is seen as much better value.

Anchoring offers and incredible opportunity for brands and retailers. During standard decision-making, shoppers rely heavily on reference prices and other data as comparison points for future purchases.

This process plays an important role on how we understand and assess the price of products – both in brick and motor stores and online. Psychological anchoring is especially applicable to goods that we are either unfamiliar with or where price is less important as to the final purchasing decision.

It’s all about context

Imagine that you are buying a new car for £30,000. Then paying a further £230 for a cup holder so you have somewhere to put your coffee while you drive – seems reasonable. But what if you went to your favourite coffee place and paid £2.60 for a skinny latte and they tried to sell you the same cup holder at the same £230 price? In one situation, the costs seem reasonable – in the other it’s incredibly expensive.

Psychological anchoring doesn’t only apply to cost – it can influence wide range of perceptions, including whether an item is good or bad quality or healthy or unhealthy. Anchoring can even dictate as to whether we buy a product at all given the circumstances. You wouldn’t pay £1.50 for a 330ml can of soft drink in a supermarket, but while at a rock concert – with it’s expected increased drink costs – the same price is a bargain. This latter example shows just how powerful a simple anchor can be in influencing our perception of value, and certainly undermines the notion that decision makers are perfectly rational beings.

When it comes to buying groceries, research suggests that we use similar goods as our anchor points. For example, when buying a jar of coffee, we tend to look at the prices of a selection of products to help us work out what price represent good or bad value.

Psychological anchoring causes a strange problem when it comes to the release of entirely new products. Consumers have no point of reference and so aren’t sure what an item is really worth. Brands can take advantage of this and can actually dictate the initial anchor price themselves – often by setting a high anchor price, so that subsequent discounts and special offers make the item appear more of a bargain.

Concepts like psychological anchoring highlight the importance of psychology and behavioural economics within retail. Ask yourself, are you considering engaging a psychologist or a behavioural economist?

When determining how much to charge for our products, we should let psychology and behavioural economics help us. Shoppers don’t see items on a spreadsheet, they see them in-store and online next to other similar products and brands. And it is there and then that they anchor themselves to a perceived value and reference price. With that in mind, how appealing do your products really look?

To find out more about what you can gain from behavioural and psychological shopper insights, talk to our experts on 01543 255 259 or email info@sbxl.com.

Contact‘less’ Pay ‘More’

28 September, 2017 Leave a comment

Payment technology have more of an effect on people’s economic behaviour than we may expect. What you buy is surprisingly dependent on how you pay for it and how you pay for it can have a detrimental impact on spending habits.

Contactless payments and mobile wallets like Apple pay are threatening the concept of cash entirely. As once paper notes replaced metal coins and electronic banking reduced the need for cheques, contactless payments are now doing the same to cash. If they do succeed in replacing cash payments it could mean a huge change in shopper transaction.

The pain of paying

The benefits are obvious. To shoppers, convenience is key. There’s no need for stacks of cash or a purse full of jingling change. What’s more convenient than paying with a mobile device glued to peoples’ hand, or waving a card and being done with it?

In today’s society, we have instant access to such an extensive array of services and information. People have become accustomed to quick service with immediate results. Contactless payments have understood this and provide the instant gratification humans crave and removing some commerce barriers, making it easier and faster to get what you want.

There’s also a security with contactless that cash doesn’t have. if cash is stolen it’s gone but if a card is stolen a simple phone call to the bank will fix the problem. This security gives the shopper minimal liability.

Overall, the experience itself is a less painful one. Literally handing over a material object has a very different psychological effect than waving a contactless card. The “tangibility of notes and coins creates awareness (conscious/unconscious) that something of value is being exchanged”. Contactless cards and Apple pay are such transparent ways of paying, to the shopper it’s virtually like playing with monopoly money. People don’t feel the immediate loss of money, it just doesn’t seem like a ‘real’ transaction. It’s essentially guaranteed that if you were to ask someone how much they spent via contactless when leaving the shop, they couldn’t tell you.

While people do spend more with cards over cash, they also reach for contactless to pay for even the smallest of purchases our spare change would once have covered. A coffee to go, a bottle of water, even a pack of gum. These small amounts individually may not amount to much but collectively cashless payments could drive society into a state of over consumption, little by little. Impulsive and frivolous spending would increase because the less you think about the purchase, the more likely you are to make the purchase.

So, would a world without cash be all that great? A world where every payment made would be traceable, what you buy, when and where you buy it. A world with over consumption and possible debt?

If you’d like to hear more, we’d love to chat. Contact us on +44 (0)1543 255 259 or email us at info@sbxl.com

What’s the core to Apple’s success?

14 September, 2017 Leave a comment

What’s the core to Apple’s success?

The long-awaited iPhone 8 was officially launched Tuesday (September 12) along with an iPhone 8 Plus and the premium iPhone X. Arriving on the iPhone’s 10th anniversary, the smartphone is an upgrade on the iPhone 7 with added features we’ve not seen before.

Last year, fans queued up outside Apple stores five days ahead of the release date. This year a man was spotted camping 10 days ahead. Seeing fans camped outside Apple stores is nothing new, it’s happened every year since the first iPhone launch in 2007. Apple have an immense following and rumour of a new product triggers intense anticipation.

But have you ever wondered why Apple is so successful? Why do people go to extreme lengths for a smartphone? Apple most definitely weren’t the first to invent a portable music device, tablet or smartphone. Yet Apple have a brand loyal following like no other.

So how do they do it?

The want factor

Research has shown people often favour a perceived upgrade without first evaluating the one they currently have. This is a phenomenon known as “comparison neglect” and the launch of the iPhone is the perfect example. The concept is strongly associated with another, known as “planned obsolescence”, where products are produced with a deliberately short lifespan. As soon as a newer version of the product becomes available, the old edition quickly become obsolete.

Are Apple guilty? On a two-year release plan, it’s hard for someone to purchase a new edition before rumours of an upgrade circulate. Along with such swift cycles, the differences are becoming somewhat less apparent. Yet people still throw their money down.

Apple make a notable example and it’s easy to point out the cycle at work, but other manufacturers are just as guilty. Companies’ long term strategies are to keep things fresh and retain long term shoppers. If their products didn’t change and update there would be little room for company growth. Nonetheless, the customer certainly doesn’t have to buy an updated iPhone, or even get a smartphone in the first place. So why do we choose to take a bite out of Apple again and again? It’s more than just manufacturer manipulation.

Evolution – From the seed to Apple

What’s the core to Apple’s success?

Most people like to believe they make decisions based on rational analysis of available options. However, it’s not so simple. Emotions are hugely influential and in many cases determine our decisions. Cost vs brand name for example. Emotions are the reason we decide to pay more for a brand name even though there are cheaper alternatives.

It’s well documented that emotions are influential in shopping behaviour. Research conducted by the Advertising Research Foundation concluded that the emotion of “likeability” is the measure most predictive of whether an advertisement will increase a brand’s sales. Consequently, Apple have gone beyond just the practical service the iPhone offers. Delving into the far more important emotional connection loyal customers have. Simply put, the richer the emotional content and association, the more likely brands will hold on to that shopper loyalty.

Possibly the most important function of emotion is survival. It’s human nature to choose between fight or flight to ensure self-preservation. In modern society it’s unlikely we will be faced with fighting off vicious wild animals or fleeing from a raging river. More likely, in society today being left out is enough to activate the fight or flight response. “Fear of missing out” (FOMO) can cause physiological stress, not having vital information, and not feeling part of the group is not a feeling people seek out. Some people will double their efforts to actively avoid the feeling of missing out. This insecurity, coupled with aggressive social media, causes us to crave the latest technology. Additionally, through evolution our brains have been wired to meet needs like security and social status. When we’re rewarded with an upgraded phone for example, dopamine is released reinforcing our behaviour and can lead to addiction.

Clearly then, when it comes to continuous phone upgrades there are several factors at play. Whether we buy based on our ancestors before us, or are tempted by recently discovered psychological prompts, there’s no doubt Apple have established a well-structured strategy. Setting an almost impossible precedent to match.

We’d love to hear your thoughts. Are you planning to get the new releases? Do you feel Apple is forcing people into buying upgrades? Get in touch on 01543 255 259 or email info@sbxl.com.

Back to school? Already? They just left!

5 September, 2017 Leave a comment

Amidst the joys of summer, it’s hard to think about the looming date of returning to school, but summer is now winding down and that day is fast approaching. As with most holiday seasons, Mother’s Day, Easter and New Year’s for example, retailers are pushing promotions earlier and earlier to secure market share. For the back to school season, some retailers were reeling out their back to school promotions as early as late June.

Pens, folders, uniforms and more…

Listed alongside various other holidays, the back to school season may seem like an odd period for retailers to make effort with. However, looking closer, it’s easy to see the value and opportunity the market holds. School shopping is in fact a big business with pens, folders, bags, gadgets and uniforms being just a few examples of items on everyone’s list. The US back to school market alone is set to grow 14.8% to $74.03 billion in 2017.

Emotions lead everyday decisions

Although these back to school supplies are often due to practical needs, needing bigger size shoes for example, there are also underlying psychological needs from both children and parents alike. When we think of the new school year there are various associated emotions. Excitement and anticipation yes, but also anxiety, fear, sadness and stress. Getting new clothes and supplies is often used to raise confidence and increase levels of happiness and excitement.

If an individual is feeling anxious, decisions are often made to avoid perceived threats. When shopping for school for example, the threat of not having what you need or being the only one without the latest trend may be enough to encourage spending. Known as risk or loss aversion in behavioural economics, it’s the idea that people are more worried about losses than gains. Retailers create this illusion by pushing promotions that may scare shoppers into buying for fear of missing out.

The shopper

Through all this, it’s important to remember who the shopper really is, often that’s the parents.

Surely adults make rational decisions when it comes to shopping? Well in fact parents are just as susceptible to yielding to their psychological needs as their children. While children want to buy to stay connected to their peers, parents want to buy to stay connected to their children; to feel like they have more control when their apart. Using school shopping as a way to give themselves confidence in their child’s school environment, parents often over buy to be assured of their child’s happiness.

As true as when we buy anything, we think about when we might use it in the future. Perhaps parents picture their child on their first day, walking into class and setting on the table all the equipment they could need, perhaps for some, a little too much! Children picture making new friends, having the right clothes, fitting in and feeling included.

Getting school shopping done early is just another way for parents and students alike to feel confident and prepared.

Back to school? Already? They just left! SBXL

I Scream for Ice Cream

31 August, 2017 Leave a comment

Environment, and even the weather, can have a huge impact on sales - especially Ice Cream! Learn more about the science of Ice Cream sales with SBXL.

Temperatures this summer may not have stayed where we’d like them to be, but in the UK the few heat waves saw sales for ice cream rise. Competition is high and numbers dwindling nevertheless, in an industry worth 1 billion pounds a year, ice cream vans are still on the streets.

As children, hearing the repetitive chimes of an ice cream van would cause overwhelming excitement. As adults, although the uncontrollable eagerness may have melted away, we are certainly still keen to queue up for an occasional treat.

The Power is in the Chimes

Classical conditioning, a phenomenon discovered by Ivan Pavlov in his well-known dog experiment. We all know the one, ‘Pavlov’s dog’, involving an automatic response between a ringing bell and a salivating dog. There’s not a better real-world example than the chimes of an ice cream van. Regardless of the reward, dog food or ice cream; or the subject, dogs or children, the chimes are still there.

To children, the sound at first means nothing. Only after they get an ice cream or two will they gradually associate the noise with a reward. Though the association may be simple at first, when discussing adults, there’s more at play. Hearing the chimes transports us back to childhood. Running down the road to chase the van. Reaching up to take the ice cream from the hands belonging to a hero in your eyes. Even licking the melting ice cream off your fingers.

Our senses are incredibly powerful at transporting us to memories far forgotten, whether they’re good or bad, the more emotionally connected we are, the more likely we are to remember them. Ice cream is one of the most nostalgic foods, our ears picking up the chimes from streets away, undoubtedly the happy memories that come along side are a significant influencer to buy or not to buy.

The Road Bump

On a sunny day, the biggest limitation of ice cream vans is the price. With a reputation of being expensive, it’s hard for owners to compete with big supermarkets when they can’t buy and sell the produce as cheaply.

Although price isn’t as important as once thought, trust is. Increasing the price of a 99p flake to £1.50 can be seen as a violation of trust and customer loyalty may be lost. Though all isn’t lost, there are advantages the ice cream van has over the supermarkets today. Alongside the important emotional connection, there are a few additional influencing factors worth a mention.

Would you believe there are rules ice cream van owners must adhere to? For example, the chime is to last no longer than 12 seconds and can only be played every 2 minutes. It’s also not allowed to be sounded before noon, or after 7pm. These rules are comparable a concept known as the fear of missing out in behavioural economics. The rule suggests people are more concerned with loses than gains, by this reasoning as the chimes get closer as the van nears, only to fade or stop completely, subconscious panic sets in that you may be missing your chance causing you to rush out in search.

Another advantage is the shear convenience. You’re outside in a park on a hot sunny day, a shop 10 minutes away or a van 10 metres away, what do you do? Most people would pick the van, not necessarily because people are lazy, but because convenience is efficient. In today’s society, people have instant access to a wide variety of services and information. People like quick, it’s a form of instant gratification and the need for it increases each day. Simply put, we value instant gratification over long term gain. Walking those 10 metres to be rewarded quickly outweighs walking 10 minutes for something cheaper.

It doesn’t need to be said that there is a lot of competition for sales. What makes the difference is appealing to the customers real desires. Whether they’d admit it or not, price certainly isn’t everything to the shopper. Decisions often aren’t logical, emotions and social factors are hugely influential. The field is only expanding, with more and more being understood regarding human and social factors in decision making.

Why You Should Stop Analysing Customers Who Already Buy Your Products

17 August, 2017 Leave a comment

Almost all shopper research focuses on people already shopping in a brand category. Let shopper research experts SBXL tell you why it shouldn’t.

We all know that the best shopper research takes place in-store, at the shelves, where the purchasing decisions are made. However, too many researchers focus only on the behaviour of existing category shoppers – those already buying their product.

If you really want to grow your market share – you need to focus on people who don’t buy your product, people who might not even be in the aisle! It’s these shoppers that you really need to convince.

Take chocolate and confectionary for example. According to our studies a typical supermarket welcomes 1,000 shoppers per hour. Of this number, 50 people visit the confectionary aisle, of which only 70% of them buy something – this means that only 35 people out of 1,000 will buy something from the confectionary aisle per hour.

Typical shopper research is conducted in one aisle – analysing just 5% of a store’s footfall. The real kicker is that those being researched are buying confectionary anyway! Too many brands are spending large sums of money to research those already buying from their category – rather than growing their shopper base.

Have you ever sat and thought about why people don’t buy your product? Rather than why they do?

A lot of non-customers are just customers-in-waiting and so there’s always a way to grab more people’s attention and gain their business – whether that’s through increasing your products visibility or by making changes to the product itself; introducing different sizes and types to fit holes in the market.

There’s More than One Way to Place a Product

A great way to increase product visibility is by identifying the needs that your product meets. Then you can identify which other categories meet those same needs and display them nearby. Going back to chocolates, they could be paired with Flowers, Alcohol, Films, Health & Beauty, to name but a few.

Displaying a box of chocolates nearby any of these categories will more directly link them with other needs that consumers are looking to meet. With boxes of chocolates being hidden away with the Wine Gums and Popcorn, shoppers may not make the connection between buying a gift and a box of chocolates for example – they will however think of a bunch of flowers; especially as the flowers display is one of the first things you see in modern supermarkets. Displaying chocolates near the flower display creates that link for the shopper while also increasing product visibility – creating purchasing opportunities outside of the single confectionary category.

This issue isn’t unique to confectionary. There are many products that meet the same needs that are often displayed nowhere near each other, for example:

Shopper need: Energy

Potential solutions: Banana, Coffee, Energy Drink, Cereal Bar, etc.

Shopper need: Healthy Foods

Potential solutions: Vegetables, Whole Foods, Multi-Grain Cereal, Health Snacks, etc.

These sorts of insights can’t be learned from just staying within your own product category – shoppers don’t shop in just one aisle! You could spend your shopper research budget analysing existing category shoppers – searching for insights from existing customers only. Or you could link your brand to an occasion or need and the product will sell itself!

Shopper research agencies like SBXL can also provide much wider, multi-category competitive set insights, helping you deliver significantly more growth by increasing not just loyalty, but category penetration too.

How to Join the Dots of Multi-Channel Shopping

10 August, 2017 Leave a comment

It’s accepted common knowledge that the internet has had a negative impact on the performance of brick and mortar stores. A new report from the University of Southampton, however, claims that this doesn’t need to be the case. The two shopping formats can co-exist, but they currently aren’t.

The report explains that the advantages of online shopping have changed what shoppers want from brick and mortar stores – it’s now more about the shopping experience than the simple need to shop. It goes on to say that such stores need to invest in an enhanced shopping experience to survive.

The report also details the rise of the convenience culture. It states that: “An evolving ‘convenience culture’ in combination with increasing levels of internet retail are together creating structural changes in the way people shop”

On the subject of Multi-channel shopping, the report reveals that, some retailers are finding it hard to keep up with this modern behaviour but that this does not suggest the ‘death of physical space’. Rather, it points towards the need for significant changes in the way physical stores operate.

“In the light of new technology trends, retailers should focus on people and not on devices. It’s about using technology to return to understanding the consumer and offering personalised service.”

It goes on to say: “Forecasts for 2019 suggest that the convenience store grocery sector will account for almost a quarter of total UK grocery sales; conversely, the once dominant ‘superstores & hypermarkets’ sector market share is set to collapse.”

The report concludes by saying that the “experiential” side of shopping heightens enjoyment and increases the amount of time and money spent in a store.

In summary, online and bricks and mortar channels are NOT the same and shouldn’t be treated as such. What’s more, the Internet supports rather than replaces bricks and mortar retail with online by providing shoppers with a more convenient means of buying the same thing again. Whereas bricks and mortar is better suited to introducing shoppers to new brands and products by way of a physical shopping ‘experience’.

The data behind the report suggests that multi-channel retail is currently far from ideal and is failing to protect physical retail outlets. It appears that too many decision makers are attempting to force this rapidly evolving shopping behaviour into their existing strategies. Instead, they should be focusing on creating a new, multi-channel shopper oriented business model.

Our ongoing study of the similarities and differences between online and traditional bricks and mortar shopping is also very revealing. It has shed new light onto the facts and fiction relating to this modern retail phenomenon of multi-channel. One thing we have discovered for sure, is that when it comes identifying today’s shopper needs, it’s no good regurgitating yesterday’s shopper research.

To find out more about multi-channel shopping and how bricks and mortar stores can co-exist, talk to our experts on 01543 255 259 or email info@sbxl.com.

What’s love got to do, got to do with it?

3 August, 2017 Leave a comment

what's love got to do with it

We all know the aim is to get more shoppers buying, but we can’t afford to ignore the challenges faced in getting them to buy again, and again.

Browse, Buy, Repeat

Shopper loyalty is hard to come by in this modern society, with so many brands fighting for shoppers’ attention, loyalty is often forced to take a back seat. Products with similar features, pricing and packaging are all thrown at shoppers who on average see two offers every second.

Emotions and rationality are important factors in the shoppers decision to purchase, the weighing of each however, varies considerably on the circumstances. A shopper may choose a certain brand because they don’t have a choice but a sale’s a sale, right? In fact, in this situation the lack of an emotional connection means there is no loyalty for the shopper to come back for more, meaning the sale could easily go to another brand next time. All the shopper had to go on was reason, the features and functionality, but without emotion, indecision is imminent and a gamble for your brand.

Undoubtedly building a relationship with customers is key to loyalty, and loyalty is linked to trust. It’s safe to say there is always an element of trust in any transaction, customer loyalty however requires a little more. We associate with brands emotionally, at a subconscious level, making sure this connection is strong should be a goal of every brand. Why? According to Gallob consumers with an emotional connection to a brand spend 46% more on that brand, compared to those they have no emotional attachment to.

Need More Convincing?

It may sound strange but the less consumers think about purchasing, the better for that brand, as long as you’ve established that customer loyalty. We all have specific products we regularly buy, almost unconsciously, price doesn’t matter and we won’t settle for anything else. Simply put, emotional loyalty can be one of the biggest barriers against competitors.

Emotional loyalty offers more though, the best examples are when a customers loyalty turns them in to ambassadors of sorts for the brand. They become a walking, talking, free advertisement for your brand.

What are your thoughts? Any studies to share with us? We’d love to have a conversation – in the comments, by tweet or email us at info@sbxl.com

As Shrinkflation Soars Is Shopper Loyalty Lost?

26 July, 2017 Leave a comment

Think that your chocolates are looking smaller? That's shrinkflation at work. Learn more about this concept that's causing outrage among many with SBXL.

Shrinkflation, a concept that’s been all over the news and causing outrage among many, is not a particularly new concept. Receiving its name from the fact that while the product sizes are shrinking, prices aren’t. Up until now, no solid data had been provided and while we knew it was happening the extent of shrinkflation may still come as a surprise. According to The Office of National Statistics (ONS) as many as 2,529 products have shrunk in size over the past five years but are still sold at the same price.

Although certain categories have certainly been hit harder, confectionary for example, products from toilet rolls to fruit juice have been impacted by shrinkification. The most memorable and most used example may be when Toblerone, owned by Mondelez, spaced out its triangles and reduced the weight by roughly 10%. Although there has been some speculation as to the accuracy of the claims, expensive imports such as cocoa have been held responsible.

Think that your chocolates are looking smaller? That's shrinkflation at work. Learn more about this concept that's causing outrage among many with SBXL.

Two options… Shrink the product or increase the price

Economists often assume shoppers make decisions rationally, that price is the most important aspect in decision making. The idea that people focus on and use one prominent measure, such as price, as representation of the whole product is known as representative bias. While it’s true people can be rational, in the real-world shoppers are emotional and pay less attention to price than often assumed.

The most important aspect?

Trust.

If brands have done their job right and created trust between themselves and their shoppers, brand loyalty is difficult to break. If price was all that mattered, many brands wouldn’t succeed – with so many offering the same products at different prices. So why do shoppers buy the more expensive options again and again? Because they’ve connected with that brand at an emotional and often subconscious level. Gallob suggests consumers with an emotional connection to a brand spend 46% more on that brand, compared to those they have no emotional attachment to.

That said, wouldn’t it be better to be honest with customers? To tell them there is a price increase and some of that cost will need to be split with them? Putting trust in them to stick with the brands they love?

Instead, shrinkflation leaves customers feeling deceived. While firms may be able to ensure product size doesn’t appear to shrink by much, the recent uproar may have been avoided if the packaging had also changed and brands had announced and explained the alterations.

In the end, the power lies with the shopper, but brands can always help persuade their decision by building a trusted relationship. Done right, shopper loyalty acts as a strong barrier to brand competition and shoppers will in fact pay more.

The Difference Between Shoppers and Buyers

20 July, 2017 Leave a comment

Shoppers and buyers both want the same thing - to buy products, but in a very different way. Learn the difference between shoppers and buyers with SBXL.

Buyers and Shoppers both want to purchase products, but for very different reasons.

Healthy negotiations between retailers and their suppliers are all well and good, but they shouldn’t negatively impact the ability of the retail industry to meet the needs of the millions of shoppers that visit supermarkets every day.

Currently, retailer buyers and the brands that supply them are locked in an ever more artificial war. Stores want to find new revenue streams from the brands while brands are trying to find ways to retain margin from sales.

While this numbers game continues, reality takes a back seat and decimal points are the winning factor. During all this back and forth, one vital aspect in being overlooked – The in-store needs of the customers – those who are responsible for the salaries of supermarket executives, brand account managers and everyone else connected with grocery retail!

Do Modern Supermarkets Work for the Shopper?

Take a look at the typical 21st century supermarket and ask yourself how well they meet the needs of shoppers. Yes, they can be efficient, stock laden warehouses. Yes, they may allow for cost effective seasonal flexing and changes to the layout and yes, they may shout ‘special offer’ from every angle. But are these things what shoppers really want? Are they truly what will drive shopper engagement, loyalty and spend?

Let’s consider the following 3 examples:

Firstly, the typical store has around 50,000 products for shoppers to choose from: do we really need that many? Do shoppers really desire a choice of 300 different cheeses? Do any of us really need a selection of more than 100 coffee products and a further excessive number of different pizzas? Is part of the rise in discounter chains due to the fact that they have a smaller, more mentally manageable range?

Secondly, when shoppers are looking to buy special, luxury items like a bottle of champagne do they want the exact same shopping experience as when buying a bottle of bleach? Of course not! But that’s what they currently get. Should the summer dresses be in the same retail environment as the potatoes? No: But they are!

Finally, what about special offers? Assuming 20% of products are on some form of deal at any point in time then your average shopper has to withstand the onslaught of 10,000 offers. If each shopper spends 40 minutes doing their weekly big shop and passes by just half of the products in-store, then they’ll be exposed to 5,000 offers: That’s more than 2 every second and that’s more than any person can take in!

Modern retailing isn’t a partnership between shopper and retailer, nor is it an agreement between retailer and supplier – it is a 3-way relationship. Retailers need to stop treating their spaces as simply a housing unit for the product brought in by their buyers and begin to focus more on the emotional needs of their shoppers instead.

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