How Can We Help?
Retail Innovation|January 28, 2019

The Store 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?

Engage with Shoppers In-Store!

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.

Get Customers Engaged with Products on Shelves

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

Add 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. Start Engaging 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.

Sign Up for Our Trend Alert

Get our latest thinking on retail strategy & shopper insights.

QuoteImage QuoteImageMobile

Thank you.

Your message has been received and we will be contacting you shortly to follow-up. If you would like to speak to someone immediately feel free to give us a call 212.924.7780.

How can we help you?

©2023 WSL Marketing Inc. All Rights Reserved