The mystery of travel patterns within stores



Usually the store environment is planned to increase sales: the size of shopping carts, the overall floor plan, the way products are displayed, music and bright colors, etc.

Most merchants have a perceived schema of how customers walk through the stores: the typical shopper is assumed to travel up and down the aisles, stopping at various categories, considering value and price, picking up the best option and continuing along the same path until they get to the checkout area.

Marketers build huge campaigns, develop new packaging designs and even fight for more shelf space to increase “facings” to boost sales, but do they actually stop to consider how many customers actually stop in front of their shelf? Little research has been done on actual travel patterns in stores.

Do shoppers go through every aisle or walk on the outer ring of the store? Where do they spend most of their time? Can we create types of shoppers according to repeated patterns of paths taken? Basically, we want to understand how shoppers move inside a store and how this affects conversion in each category.

Some brands adopt a more dynamic strategy placing their products on two different points within the store. A very well-known soda company goes even beyond ensuring that no matter which route the customer takes, the product will be reachable at least once or twice. Now, what type of engagement does each touch point create? Is there a way brands could detect where conversion occurs?

Our tool can help bring new insight on what happens in stores at product level, in real time. Shopperception analyzes customer movements (with the use of 3D cameras) to provide traffic flow analysis and heat maps indicating which shelves are attracting shoppers and which products they touch or take.

Back to the soda company, our tool can analyze which touchpoint creates engagement, even how fast conversion occurs at every spot. That is, the ticket will show one sale, but our tool will tell you whether the customer picked it up on the beverages aisle, on the checkout coolers or from the brand new endcap among the chips? Plus, Shopperception will also show how much time it took for conversion to occur.

There are new observation tools creating huge amounts of insightful data so that marketers can stop guessing and start predicting and anticipating behaviors of shoppers who are becoming increasingly demanding and cautious. This is not a trend; it is the future of shopper marketing.

photo by: kevin dooley

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  1. Pingback: Case Study: a beer brand touchpoints within a store | Shopperception

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