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Retail Innovation|January 28, 2019

The Shelf is a Huge
Underused Media Center

Retailers are over investing in stores of the future and digital technologies while the shelf, where 91% of consumer packaged goods sales happen, remains an emotional wasteland. Shoppers have emotional connections to the categories they buy, triggered by the benefits they expect from using a product, so why do retailers keep delivering transactional experiences?

Store aisles present row upon row of products lined up, with price signs galore but no promise, no vision of the emotional value of the product. Pasta is just pasta, not an easy, nourishing meal for the family. Hair color is a box with a pretty face, not a beautiful transformation. Vitamins are just alphabets in a bottle, not a healthier life. You get the picture.

The aisle is a transaction alley. Shoppers come to the store seeking solutions or a retreat. Instead, they get lost in the transaction alley of price stickers and packages that blur together.

Every retailer is guilty of transactional alley syndrome, and every retailer has the opportunity to transform its aisles. Specialty stores for Electronics, DIY, and Pets are no better. Department stores miss the mark in Fashion and Accessories. Stack ‘em high is not the way to connect today's shoppers.

Top-Shelf Takeaways

Products sit on shelves and wait to be chosen and shoppers yearn for an emotional nudge to buy. Bringing a category’s emotional allure to the shelf is an opportunity waiting to be taken.

 Shelves have the potential to become emotional destinations. Here’s how.

 

  1. Treat the shelf as marketing media. Stop looking at the shelf as real estate and start wooing shoppers with the promise of the category. How will this product make them happy? 
  2. Nudge shoppers out of autopilot with engagement features that shout the emotional promise of the category.
  3. Don’t just stand out – stand for something. Tell a category and brand story on the shelf that correlates with what brought the shopper to that moment. Fulfill the desire first, and the transaction will follow.  
  4. Do it now. Do it chain-wide, not in a few select stores.

 

Interested in a research-based brief of your store’s emotional experience? Learn more about our new Category Connect® tools and strategy, contact us directly.

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