5 min read

How To Grow Your Brand By Measuring Shopping Experience?

How To Grow Your Brand By Measuring Shopping Experience?
Coca-Cola in-store theatre

Steve Jobs once said that "you've got to start with the customer experience and WORK BACK toward the technology, not the other way round".

If you're reading this blog, chance is that you're working in the CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) business, a vastly different business from Apple. Yet the quote is still relevant.

Start with customer experience and work back toward product development and marketing. That's it.

Shopping experience is key to CPG customer experience

A big difference between a CPG business and Apple is the importance of shopping experience. Unlike Iphone, Coke drink doesn't do regular updates and feature releases.

Coke needs to constantly excite and inspire customers, especially in-store where most of customer decision making happens (discussed in more detail in our previous blog).

An inspiring Coke in-store activation

Every marketing tool will be made redundant if it fails to convert at the point of purchase. The Coca-Cola Company knows this perfectly and that's why they allocate huge budgets on measuring and optimizing shopper experiences.

You don't need to be Coca-Cola to succesfully measure shopper experience

Great shopping experience is the fastest way to grow your brand. But to optimize shopping experience you need to measure it first. You need a credible, external, shopper truth.

This post will discuss five essential ways to measure shopper experience:

  1. Conversion Funnels
  2. Store Hotspots
  3. Brand Visibility
  4. Price sensitivity
  5. A/B testing

Let's dive right in!

1. Conversion Funnels

You can't improve what you don't measure.

Brick & mortar stores conversion funnels for brands and categories

It's important to take a step back and understand which aspects of the shopping experience need to improve FIRST. You need Conversion Funnels.

The Conversion Funnel provides a simple way of understanding which parts of the shopping experience need to change. They show conversion per following phases:

  1. PASS: How many shoppers passed your brand in store?
  2. SEE: How many shoppers saw your brand while passing by?
  3. ENGAGE: How many shoppers picked up or focused on your brand?
  4. BUY: How many shoppers actually bought your brand?

Conversion at each step is compared with market and/or category benchmarks. Depending on how you score vs benchmark per each phase, your efforts should work towards optimizing:

  • Findability in store
  • Stand out on shelf
  • Packaging communication and/or assortment
  • Making sure your pricing and product benefits are appropriate and aligned

Next to brand level funnels, it's equally useful to measure category funnels.

Conversion funnels are THE tool for strategic planning.

2. Store Hotspots

Great brands deserve an opportunity to be bought.

Store hotspots show hot & cold areas of the store. 

You need to be on your shopper's journey to maximize the opportunity to be bought.

Shopnosis is able to capture hundreds and thousands of individual shopping journeys and dwell times across all store locations, you can start understanding store hot and cold areas:

  1. Hot spots: Hot areas get most traffic from your shoppers.
  2. Cold spots: Your shoppers don't visit these areas on their typical trip, but brands often make a mistake of investing here.

Understanding store hotspots when doing secondary location and cross merchandizing planning saves $$$ in budgets.

3. Brand Visibility

Make sure your brand stands out from the shelf clutter.

This measurement tells you how visible is your brand on the shelf.

Unseen is unsold.

Low shelf stand out is a sure way to limit brand and product sales. And brand teams often struggle to clearly demonstrate to their retail partners that shelf standout is the real issue behind not-so-great sales results.

Before you needed expensive eye trackers to measure brand stand out. Until automated in-store observations came by, the quickest and most convenient way to measure brand visibility.

Measured by recruiting real shoppers in real stores, who wear smart glasses while shopping. 100% consent based. No hardware or sensors need to be installed.

If you increase brand visibility by 4%, your brand sales grow 1% on average!

4. Price Sensitivity

Make data-based pricing decisions.

Get demand curves, set the optimal price with price sensitivity measurement. 

How much is your product really worth in times of inflation? And to whom?

Historical sales data is not a good predictor of shopper choices in times of unprecedented inflation.

To set the right pricing strategy, you need to understand:

  1. General price sensitivity for your brand and category
  2. How are your shoppers segmented in terms of price sensitivity

A/B experimentation with different price levels, in a controlled environment, is the most straightforward way to measure price sensitivity. Thousands of shoppers can be recruited remotely to participate in couple of days. So you can measure their price sensitivity and get brand sales modelling based on different pricing scenarios.

Base your decisions on product demand curves and sales projections. Data is the new currency. Even more so if it's price sensitivity data.

5. A/B testing!

Our absolutely favorite tool to measure and optimize shopper experience.

A/B testing gained massive popularity in the world of e-commerce, where no real changes can happen unless they're A/B tested first.

A/B testing has been around in physical CPG retail for quite some time, in the form of test stores - a couple of stores where you can test new products, new layouts and new POS communication before they get rolled out nationally.

Problem with test stores are massive logistics and cost involved, plus the fact that it's hard to make a controlled environment out of a real life store. There are many other factors affecting the results apart from what you're experimenting with.

Then digital twin store happened, or a virtual store as some call it. The easiest solution to test new:

  • Shelf layouts
  • Merchandizing concepts
  • POS communication
  • Packaging design
  • Innovation pipelines

With thousands of shoppers, in one week, with highly predictive results. And you can easily get shopper feedback right after the virtual shopping trip.

There are several great virtual store providers that specialize in A/B testing with real shoppers, but Shopnosis stands out as being highly agile and with probably the best solution for testing shelf layouts and merchandizing concepts.

See a 60sec video about the Shopnosis virtual store here: https://shopnosis.wistia.com/medias/0ygyt0u8mg

There you have it! Hopefully this has been a helpful overview of retail analytics for measuring and optimizing shopper experience.

Don't forget to follow Shopnosis on Linkedin for more Shopper Insights resources.