We have 24/7 shopping, 24/7 dining, 24/7 connectivity, yet ironically, nobody has any time to do anything! The always-on, mass media world we now live in has created a unprecedented scramble for our attention. Notifications, updates, statuses, newsflashes, texts, tweets, pings, pics, emails and alerts – we’re easier to reach than ever before, yet very little information is actually making it past our sub-conscious. So how do retailers and their retail advertising agencies capture the attention of such a time-poor audience and communicate their message when the average shoppers spends a mere 15 seconds at supermarket shelves per category, noticing less than 40 percent of the products they pass (Source: Nielsen). What can you say in 20 seconds, when most people are shopping on autopilot? Here are our tips for targeting attention.
Know your customer base
You don’t have to get to know them personally (although it does help generate loyalty to learn and remember little things about them) but get to know how they shop. It seems obvious but you’d be alarmed how little some retail marketing and advertising people know about their customers. So the very first thing you should do is make sure you realise who your customers are. Then get familiar with their shopping habits and pinpoint the opportunities to drive growth in these areas.
Then observe them when they come in store
That’s not to say you creepily follow them around but one of the best ways to understand your shoppers is to study them. If you have the budget and the motivation you can splash out on a good research team to do it for you. One of the best ways to get to know your customers is to invest in a loyalty programme to see who buys what and when.
And make your store easy for them to understand
Take the time to study and improve the layout of your store and the displays within it. There’s nothing worse than barriers to success, so make it as easy as possible for people to understand offers, pricing and where everything is. Because a relaxed customer, is a ready-to-spend customer.
Signage can help with that
Signage is one of the oldest retail advertising strategies in the book when it comes to grabbing people’s attention and driving them to certain parts of the store. Just as an email subject line entices you to open it or a newspaper headline gets you to read it, the best signs are clear, concise, easy to read (especially from afar) and often, just funny. Good signage can often add value or even multiply your offer as it offers convenience for today’s time-poor shopper.
But only if it’s helpful
Signage is crucial for a good customer experience. Nobody wants to be stressing about looking for a toilet if they need one. Equally, they don’t want to have to work hard to figure out where to go to give you their money. In spite of this, it’s surprising how many stores don’t highlight where their checkouts, toilets, lifts and other useful places are, preferring instead to have customers walk aimlessly around looking for them in the hope they’ll impulsively buy something along the way. However, I repeat, a relaxed customer is a ready-to-buy customer!!
Use your store space to its full potential
That doesn’t mean stuff it to the brim with products to increase your profits, quite the opposite. Consumers are people and people like personal space! Do you like crowded, busy, product-pushing places that scream ‘buy, buy, buy’? Us humans are drawn towards more comfortable surroundings. Things like wide aisles are a must for capturing target audiences like the valuable mother-with-child segment. And when it comes to targeting young people, sometimes letting them see less, is more.
Lighten the mood
If you’ve ever bumped into anything in one of their many youth-orientated stores, you’ll know the emphasis that Abercrombie & Finch place on clever lighting, which brilliantly draws consumers’ attention to certain areas and displays within the store, much to the ire of parents. As well as drawing attention, lighting can even affect the mood of consumers.
Invest to improve
If you have the money there are a host of ground-breaking technologies – such as eye tracking glasses and virtual store testing lab – as well as a host of neuroscience research and retail advertising agency specialists (like ourselves) that can help you unlock some of the secrets of your shoppers’ decision making. Such investment could lead to you and your store connecting with shoppers in a far more effective way.
Engage consumers at the point of sale
In-store point of sale displays increase the probability of an unplanned purchase by 39 percent (Source: Kyle Murray) so it’s a crucial place to engage shoppers effectively. Not only does the POS prime shoppers to want to buy, it is your last opportunity to connect with your shoppers. Finally, whatever you do make sure that the teenager you might have behind your checkout is polite, friendly and has confident eye-to-eye contact throughout the transaction. Because in retail, a final impression is just as important, and possibly fatal, as that first impression.
Enjoy putting some of the above tips into practice as you look to capture the attention of your shoppers, and thank you for giving us yours here today.