E-commerce and online shopping may be the hot channels getting the majority of media coverage these days, but cultivating engaging in-store experiences for customers is one of the most important keys to continuing to drive growth in brick-and-mortar revenue.
That’s according to FierceRetail’s Jacqueline Renfrow, who cites new research which suggests that in-store displays, decorations, and promotions all critically contribute to both shoppers’ preference for brick-and-mortar shopping, as well as up to 54% of in-store impulse buys.
The research, which surveyed over 11,000 consumers in the United States, Europe, Australia, and Asia, found that promotional displays and in-store visuals not only create a more pleasant shopping atmosphere for customers, but allow stores to create their own unique brand identities and help put consumers in the “mood” to shop there. In fact, 54% of U.S. shoppers reported that in-store promotions are the “biggest influence on their impulse buys,” while 37% of U.S. shoppers cited a store’s ability to make them “feel in the right mood” as their biggest impulse buy driver.
But it’s not just promotions that allow retailers to make their in-store experiences stand out to customers. In-store visuals, like displays, end caps, standing booths, hanging decorations, branded apparel, and print materials all contribute heavily to the atmosphere of a store, and 70% of consumers surveyed reported that those visuals help them “connect to the brand.” Further, a full 84% of consumers claimed that said visuals make the in-store shopping experience “more enjoyable.”
In fact, when a store adds marketing materials to the in-store experience like smells and visuals, 59% of U.S. shoppers surveyed are more like to revisit that store. That number leaps to 72% for shoppers ages 18-24, and those same Millennial shoppers reported being 60% more likely to shop for longer each time they visit.
As Renfrow explains, even in an omnichannel world, each specific channels has its advantages and appeals. For the brick-and-mortar channel, the appeals are ancient: instant gratification, and overall entertainment. Yes, we may have grown beyond our teenage years, loitering at the local mall, but the fact remains that in-store shopping is still a form of entertainment for most of us, and we reward those brands that invest in creating a dynamic, entertaining in-store experience with our hard-earned dollars.
“Consumers, particularly younger consumers, aren’t just buying a product when in-store; they’re buying an experience. And their expectations for a positive, emotionally engaging experience are quite high. Those businesses who deliver an elevated customer experience witness greater repeat visits, a greater number of recommendations, and longer in-store dwell times,” says Scott Moore, global vice president of marketing at Mood Media.
And while crafting these compelling in-store experiences is crucial to retail marketing success, they require a highly-optimized and efficient supply chain to ensure each promotional material arrives on-time, in-place, and on-budget. Further, companies need to have insight into which marketing materials are actually driving revenue, and which are detracting from their carefully cultivated brand image. The proper in-store marketing materials are powerful; the wrong materials are ineffective and overpriced, and the right materials delivered too late are worthless.
Brands that take their in-store promotional and visual materials seriously stand to claim a powerful advantage over their competition, and those that understand, prioritize, and optimize their marketing supply chain can realize unprecedented success.
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