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Industry Viewpoint: Is your display talking to shoppers?

We know the rules: The right product, price, place and promotion. While these might have once been the key marketing tools for retailers to capture the attention of today’s shopper, retailers must add experiential and shareable to the famous 4Ps. Shoppers are spending more time online where their experience is highly visual, personalized and curated based on prior patterns and data. This new visual and personal way of interacting is transforming consumer behavior at the store level. Harps

The good news is that we — as humans — still crave the ability to touch, smell and experience much of what we buy. Brick-and-mortar grocery stores remain a major competitive advantage because they offer a better connection to customers than their online competitors. This is especially true for fresh produce. According to FMI’s 2019 Power of Produce report, the produce department welds the highest influence when shoppers choose their primary store. Once in the store, 40 percent of produce is sold on merchandising. 

To be sure that you are shifting with and engaging your shoppers, keep in mind their developing desire to experience and share. Create authentic visual and shareable moments for your customers. Here are a few ideas to incorporate more progressive displays into your stores and brand strategy:    

Informative signage
Don’t chuck your “SALE” signs to the curb just yet; however we are seeing success with more information filled signage going to work for retailers and brands. As merchants get more creative with their displays, they are gaining a loyal following by informing their shoppers and imparting a narrative that draws the shoppers in. Did this item come from a small family farm, does it offer health benefits or support a worthy cause? This thought and intention can translate to perceived higher quality, care and social responsibility.  

Stay on top of trends
As shoppers scroll through the online lives of their favorite celebrities, bucket list travel spots and local restaurants, inspire them to create an experience in their kitchen with new foods that they can share with their family and friends. Herbs, fruits and vegetables are often the critical components of a culture’s rich foods or particular region’s dishes. Highlight and inspire those opportunities to your customers in your displays and in product demos.  

Be an expert
Recipe cards, meal plans and shopping list can inspire every type of shopper from a budding home chef, health-focused millennial or time-starved parent. Greet them with the information they need to accomplish their goals.     

Make it personal
I love my local bookstore employee picks section. Use your employees and their expertise to inspire purchases and create a personal brand narrative while establishing creditability for your staff.

Create a sharable experience
Instagram continues to drive growth in both users and ad revenue. By creating a display that is Instagram worthy you have an opportunity to be relevant, shareable and draw in customers that spotted you in their scroll. According to Instagram, 60 percent of people discover new products on the platform. A beautiful inspiring display can keep shoppers coming back as well as lead to free marketing as shoppers share their experiences. Don’t forget to invite your shoppers to post by including a hashtag or your user name on a subtle sign or on your receipt.    

So build your next display with this transformed shopping in mind. Challenge yourself to give your customer an in-store experience through visually interesting and shareable displays.  Implement strategic visual merchandising practices that improve the shopping experience and drive higher sales.

(Lesley Daniels is the director of account development for Produce for Kids)