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