Lost & Unloved in the Supermarket

Ok, so we are in the shopper marketing business and we all have an agenda, but have you ever felt alone and unloved in your local superstore? Have you experienced those vacuous areas, those lifeless zones down the supermarket aisles where no one ever seems to go, the places where you can suddenly find yourself lost? You look around and the endless ranges of own label and branded products continue in every direction. Maybe I took the wrong turn back in household. There there are no customers or store events here, no POS, and no sign of any brand love for the customer. I feel somewhat at a loss as I drift through specialist foods, electrical, and eventually the toy department. Where is the customer engagement in this ocean of brand choices?  Everything is a blur. Confused and alone I continue through the store and try to get back on track with my weekly shop…

All the talk in shopper marketing now is about the customer experience, customer loyalty, the customer journey, joining up the dots, big data, granular data, relevancy, proximity, driving footfall and increasing basket size, to name just a few. But what is the point when the in-store experience can be such a let down? Customers like to be entertained and need to be inspired. Delivering campaigns that drive emotional engagement is the key to brand marketing and getting customers to change their buying behavior. This is also the essence of activation and shopper marketing: moving brands by moving people.

The feel good factor of an experiential team dressed as superheroes as I entered the store earlier was memorable, but in-store activation at the point-of-purchase is really key to engaging the customer and selling your brand (over 70% of purchase decisions are made within the aisle). That Moment of Truth when the customer makes the buying decision and takes your brand (or your competitors) from the shelf, what motivates them and drives consideration is often about how they have experienced your brand.

Meanwhile, what is happening here in the toy department? What is on the traders mind, and what is the marketer thinking? Maybe a gondola end at Christmas, if you’re lucky.

So how to enhance the customer experience?  How can we disrupt the routine of the shopper and influence their buying behavior? With so much new tech out there surely it’s time to transform the in-store experience, and make the supermarket shop a real destination. The term band theatre comes to mind. But what does it mean?

Now here’s something I like…Visual Retale, a shopper marketing tech start up.  They are a creative media company with a patented technology that can project 3D content in-store.

Seriously?  Yes, think Star Trek meets Walmart. I’ve just seen larger than life Coke cans appear out of nowhere down the next aisle!

The actual technology has been developing since 2008, and has been evolved from the science behind 3D floor media. The media is currently under trial with Tesco UK and has led to projects with leading brands including Coca-Cola, Unilever, and Burger King. And judging from Dunnhumby customer insight the customers like it too…

Shopper Feedback

Shopper Feedback – Tesco UK 

From a shopper marketing perspective it clearly adds value to the shopping experience but Visual Retale is also a real media first, there is nothing like it in the market. The insight revealed the media not only holds the customers attention, but also generates an emotional response, and gets the customer talking about the brands. Not that’s more like it.

Nothing like a new technology to create some excitement!



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