Crossing the line – what drives a consumer to purchase when they reach the shelf edge?

Paul Milner

Retailers are more reliant than ever on data-driven decisions. Information is easy to extract from virtual footprints left by shoppers’ online activities, but what about their behaviour in-store? Today’s challenge is learning how to optimise customer experiences at the shelf edge in order to increase sales conversions.  
Research suggests that rather than going in blind, by the time shoppers enter the store, 78% have already researched the product they are viewing. Taking this into consideration, perhaps the question we should be asking is why
don’t they purchase at the shelf edge?   Of course their reasons could be personal – the product does not live up to their expectations, they can’t justify the purchase within their monthly budget – but there are some basic ways in which stores are letting them down at the ‘moment of truth’.   Lack of information is a major deterrent for shoppers in-store. In an age when we have extensive information at the click of a mouse, shoppers expect shelf edge labels and display stand collateral to outline the main product benefits. As paper labels cannot replicate the rich content of online resources, this must be supported by knowledgeable staff bridging the gaps in their knowledge and nurturing them to the point of purchase.   Discordance between channels also puts customers off. Researching a product in advance means they have already engaged with the brand and/or retailer prior to entering the store. A lack of continuity between their online and offline experiences – for instance the product is on promotion online but not in-store – creates mistrust; if they can spot inconsistencies on the surface, what is happening behind the scenes? With 1 in 4 shoppers using their mobiles in-store, cross-channel connectivity must be used to validate their High Street retail experience, not highlight shortcomings.   Poor cohesion could even consist of something as simple as limited product availability. If consumers have been driven to the store via an online promotion, they expect to see that item on the shelves.   For retailers, the message is simple: give shoppers the right information in the right manner at the right time and you’ve maximised the chances of generating a sale at the shelf edge. Let them down at this critical point and you risk them not only losing faith in the product, but your organisation as a whole.   David Hilton Director of Marketing & Product Management Displaydata

About Displaydata

Our Electronic Shelf Labels (ESLs) bring the shelf-edge into the Internet of Things era, helping to create shopping experiences that are more engaging, rewarding and personalised – and profitable. We help retailers optimise sales and margin at the shelf-edge, where 90% of purchases are still made.

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