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Shoppers’ Emotions

Shoppers’ Emotions and the In-Store Experience

As more and more customers opt to conduct an ever-larger portion of their shopping online, brands are realizing the value of shifting, rather than diminishing, the role of their brick-and-mortar retail stores.

That’s according to a new report conducted by YouGov and GPShopper, which examined shoppers’ emotions as they browse retail stores and what brands can do to leverage shoppers’ emotional responses to increase revenue and brand loyalty.

“Retailers must deliver a convenient shopping experience that also sparks a little excitement and brand loyalty,” says Maya Mikhailov, CMO of GPShopper. She’s absolutely right, and this is how brands can – and should – use print materials, in-store displays, and point-of-sale marketing promotions to drive that valuable emotional response.

The Value of Retail-to-Online Revenue

According to the survey, 86% of shoppers will give preference to a store where they can try out products in person and then make a purchase online. As we’ve discussed before, the increased shift to online shopping is compelling retailers to re-think the role of their brick-and-mortar stores. More and more shrewd brands are discovering and leveraging the value of using their retail spaces as showrooms for their products, treating them as fully three-dimensional branded experiences.

By using relevant and compelling print materials, in-store displays, and point-of-sale materials, brands can use their retail stores to drive revenue through omnichannel marketing efforts, even if that revenue is eventually realized online.

cashier handing credit card back to customer - sales person

Which Emotions Should Retailers Cultivate In-Store?

First, it’s important to understand what shoppers are currently feeling. According to the survey, 10% of customers report feeling “frustrated” upon walking into retail stores, with confusing displays and promotions that don’t always match the ones they saw online. This disconnect between a brand’s different shopping channels hurts brand loyalty and customer satisfaction. By taking steps to make sure that the physical marketing experience is aligned and consistent with the digital experience, brands can ensure continuity and help reduce customer frustration.

Perhaps worst of all, the single-most reported emotion according to the survey was “Nothing” (40%). While a lack of emotion is not strictly the same as a negative emotion, this statistic is concerning for a different reason: it indicates that retailers are failing to maximize the value of their retail space through dynamic and compelling display materials. In hyper-competitive retail markets, “beige” is death for brands that need ways to stand out.

In fact, only 20% of customers reported feeling “excited” about their retail experience, and barely 12% felt “satisfied.” These are exactly the emotions brands should be trying to create in their brick-and-mortar spaces.

What Can Stores Do Better?

“Retailers need to begin experimenting with new, innovative options for their locations, because this is ultimately what consumers are looking for,” Mikhailov advises. And the results of the survey bear this out.

85% of shoppers like to see product recommendations based upon customer reviews. Retailers can win major brand loyalty and revenue by creating and deploying in-store displays that leverage their online reviews. This type of omnichannel synergy is exactly what retailers should be leveraging. “The research tells us that digital channels, like mobile, are still siloed from the in-store experience, rather than being used to augment the reality of stores,” Mikhailov says. “Consumers are clearly comfortable with ‘experience centers,’” that offer a three-dimensional, cross-channel experience.

Additionally, 80% of customers like being able to purchase a product online, and then be treated to an emotional “experience” when they pick it up in-store.


“Developing an emotional connection with a brand, experience, or store staff can be the difference between creating a loyal customer and pushing them toward online or offline competitors,” Mikhailov concludes.

By harnessing the power of print materials, banners, and other physical point-of-sale marketing materials, brands can translate their carefully cultivated in-store experiences into significant online sales revenue, and vice versa.`

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For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.


Preparing for Peak Holiday Shopping Season

Peak holiday shopping season presents an opportunity for retailers that is simply too important to fail to execute upon. With the surge of winter holiday shoppers promising healthy bottom lines and robust sales figures, smart companies should consider their peak season preparations a yearlong priority.

That’s according to Jacqueline Renfrow at FierceRetail, who spoke with Stefan Weitz, an industry expert in omnichannel commerce operations. Renfrow and Weitz shared several of the most common misconceptions, misunderstandings, and missteps in preparation that prevent businesses from realizing the full value of their peak shopping season.

Here is some of their most valuable advice for retailers tackling the myriad logistical complexities that surround the holiday shopping season.

The Most Common Mistake: Don’t Underestimate the Complexity

According to Weitz, the biggest and most common error retailers can make in preparing for the peak holiday shopping season is underestimating the logistical complexity of coordinating and sourcing all of their physical and in-store marketing materials.

“Many think it’s just their normal business with a little more volume,” Weitz says. But that’s not the case; the issue is that not only does the volume of business increase, but so, too, do the stakes. “The reality is that with peak season, every potential mistake is amplified tenfold,” he explains.

And it’s true: nearly every retailer counts on the peak holiday season to make its target sales numbers, but any logistical miscalculation creates a chain reaction of lost revenue and customer dissatisfaction. Any backup in the sourcing, creation and delivery of promotional products, point-of-sale materials, and in-store displays compounds down the line as your supply chain struggles to catch up. You don’t just miss your first target date, you miss the next one as you’re now behind, and the next one as each vendor is swamped by all of their customers, too. Further, the situation can grow even worse as new partners, products, and technologies you had planned to roll out are added, increasing complexity, delays, and total waste.

The sum total consequence of these consecutive holiday shortcomings is massive. Retailers will suffer reduced revenue, higher costs for rush/emergency fulfillment, greater risk of uncaught errors or mistakes, and perhaps worst of all, a severely damaging effect to their brand’s perception among customers. No company wants to be the “brand that can’t get it together,” and no customer wants to shop there, either.

woman holding shopping bags walking

Transforming the Role of Brick-and-Mortar Retail

As Weitz explains, online channels will continue to gain in market share as more and more customers opt to do their holiday shopping from the comfort of their own homes. But that doesn’t mean that brick-and-mortar retail should take a back seat. It simply means that its role must change.

Retailers should re-imagine the space, considering the infrastructure as an advantage, transforming them into…showrooms,” Weitz advises. Retailers like Apple have successfully turned their stores into brand showrooms, creating an immersive brand experience that invites and seduces customers with well-executed displays and promotional materials. Customers may still opt to make their final purchase online, but that revenue will have been generated by the experience they had in the retail space.

There is a hangup, though. As Weitz points out, “Many stores are still navigating the technology and training necessary for execution…Many retailers have successfully worked with strategic partners to make this vision a reality.”

Which is precisely why leveraging vendor help in optimizing your marketing supply chain is so critical for peak season success.

When to Start Preparing for Peak Holiday Shopping Season

Peak season is so important, preparing for it should be a yearlong strategic initiative. As soon as one peak season closes, your organization should get right to work reviewing what was successful, what wasn’t, and why.

Then, you should begin getting your logistical house in order for the next season, examining your marketing supply chain and exploring whether your organization could benefit from partnering with a vendor who can streamline and optimize it
for you.

As Weitz explains, the value in preparing for peak season well ahead of time is tremendous.

Peak holiday shopping season is a stressful but joyous time for retailers, when revenue should flow like eggnog. But in order to ensure that it does, your marketing supply chain must be healthy and optimized, and successful execution of the holiday season should be made a priority all year round.

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For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.


In-store Displays

Shopping mall with signs and stores-Featured

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.

people walking in the mall - retail continuity

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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For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.