POINT-OF-PURCHASE STUDY GROUP
ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY - March 2000
Baker, William E. and Richard
J. Lutz, "The Relevance-Accessibility Model of Advertising Effectiveness,"
in Nonverbal Communication in Advertising, Sid Hecker and Dave W.
Stewart eds. Lexington, Massachusetts: Lexington Books, 1988, p. 59-84.
Presents a detailed explanation of the Relevance-Accessibility Model, which
explains the impacts of prior advertising exposures on the in-store choices
consumers later make. It notes that advertising must compete with other
information sources at the time of purchase including point-of-purchase
display information and that any study of advertising impact outside of
the purchase context is likely to overstate that impact. The article presents
four propositions explaining how advertising messages are initially absorbed,
then processed, and finally used at the point of purchase.
See also: Editorial by Richard Lutz
Bemmaor, Albert C., "Predicting behavior from intention to buy measures:
the parametric case," Journal of Marketing Research, Vol. 32 (May
These papers are representative of a substantial body of literature
over a period of fifty years discussing the relationship between stated
intentions (to buy, e.g.) and actual subsequent purchase behavior. In general,
studies have shown that the closer to the actual point of purchase, the
lower the stated intent to buy. This argues for measurement of purchase
intent at the point of purchase, if actual observation of purchase is not
"Point-of-sale research reveals spontaneous buying decisions," Marketing
News, Vol. 26, no. 12, June 8, 1992, p. H-31.
Provides a brief introduction to point-of-sale research, outlining benefits
of the method compared to traditional focus group and survey research.
These benefits include improved participant qualification, ability to target
participation of specific segments, ability to get input/perspectives from
multiple members of a decision-making unit, increased immediacy of response,
and elimination of research costs including expenses for telephone screening,
special facilities, and participant compensation.
what people do, not what they say," Marketing News, Vol. 26., No.
1, January 6, 1992, p. 7.
Briefly introduces the customer case market research method, which is conducted
at the site of product purchase or use. This method was designed to overcome
problems contributing to excessive new product failure rates; it 1) uncovers
motivations through demonstrated actions, not through opinion statements,
2) is conducted in the surroundings where a product is bought or used in
order to achieve greater response immediacy, 3) uses observation and documentation
to stimulate questions and validate responses, and 4) accesses multiple
and Nitterhouse, Denise, "Looking Outside
the Box," Marketing Research, Vol. 9, No. 2, Summer 1997, p. 5-13.
Provides a detailed presentation of customer case research (CCR)' an exploratory
research method used to generate new hypotheses to crack marketing problems
and spawn new product ideas. Case research is usually conducted on the
customers' turf - at the point of sale or use. CCR's greatest value is
its ability to uncover seven categories of purchase drivers that have often
been "outside the box" of previous research work. The article describes
and illustrates these seven drivers, lays out the key characteristics of
the CCR research process, and discusses the theoretical foundation of the
Bickart, Barbara and Schmittlein, David, "The Distribution
of Survey Contact and Participation in the United States: constructing
a Survey-Based Estimate," Journal of Marketing Research, Vol.
36, May 1999, p. 286-294.
Hruby, William J. and Sorensen, James, "In
P-O-P, pictures worth a thousand purchases," Marketing News,
Vol. 33, No. 24, November 22, 1999, p. 21-22.
In a year, between 20% and 23% of adults account for all survey responses,
and a tiny 4% to 5% of adults account for more than half the survey responses
. . . . Thus, the research industry may be burning out the small
fraction of heavy responders. Future efforts should be directed toward
expanding the scope of survey participation so as not to overwork and overwhelm
Dickson, Peter R. and Sawyer, Alan G., "The Price Knowledge and
Search of Supermarket Shoppers, " Journal of Marketing, 54(1990),
Uses point-of-purchase observation and questioning to show that many grocery
shoppers don't check the price of items selected, that most don't know
the prices of items just placed in their shopping carts, and that most
purchasing items on special are unaware that the price had been reduced.
Since subjects were questioned immediately after selecting items, there
was little opportunity for them to forget prices. The point-of-purchase
method thus helps challenge the premise that most consumers are aware of
and sensitive to grocery prices in the first place.
Ganzach, Yoav and Mazursky, David, "Time dependent biases in consumer
multi-attribute judgment," Journal of Economic Psychology, 16 (1995),
Describes two research experiments one in a laboratory setting and one
in a field setting. The purpose of the article is not to compare the two
approaches, but to show that both confirmed the proposed hypothesis: that,
when people are exposed to a product with negative attributes, their overall
judgments become more positive if there is a delay between the time they
experience the negative attributes and the time at which they must make
judgments on the product.
Hruby, William J. and Sorensen, James, "The
Point of Packaging,"
Boxboard Containers International, Vol.
107, No. 2, September 1999, p.14-16.
The package is a critical piece of the marketing mix, and consumer research
conducted at the point-of-purchase most effectively evaluates a package's
ability to generate shelf impact.
One effective way to improve a package's communication is through the picture
of the product. Research may help identify the ideal combination
of functional and graphic elements. It helps to always do package
research in the real-world environment where the package will compete in
Helmreich, William B., "Louder than words:
On-site Observational Research," Marketing News, Vol. 33, No. 5
(1999) p. 16.
Observing shoppers choose products from a shelf or when they are casually
asked to explain their preferences leads to a wealth of qualitative information.
Kalwani, Manohar U. And Alvin J. Silk, "On the Reliability and Predictive
Validity of Purchase Intention Measures," Marketing Science, Vol.
1, No. 3 (1982), 243-286.
Kay, David, "Go where the consumers are and talk to them," Marketing
News, Vol. 31., No. 1, January 6, 1997, p. 14.
"Purchase decisions are made in the store, the showroom, the restaurant.
This is where consumer research should be conducted, too. . . When the
premises are the subject of research, or when the purchase decision is
made with one eye on the shelf and one hand on the shopping cart, the research
should be conducted on site."
Klatzky, Roberta L. (1991), "Let's Be Friends." American Psychologist,
Discusses the critical difference between "laboratory experiments" [e.g.,
simulated tests] and "everyday research" [e.g., in-store research]. Recognizes
the reduced ability to control the "laboratory of the everyday", but shows
that giving up this control is necessary in order to get some realistic
data from the real, everyday world.
Lach, Jennifer, "Meet You in Aisle Three," American
Demographics, April 1999, p. 41-42.
Lee, Eunkyu; Hu, Michael Y.; and Toh, Rex S., "Are Consumer Survey
Results Distorted? Systematic Impact of Behavioral Frequency and
Duration on Survey Response Errors," Journal of Marketing Research,
Vol. XXXVII, February 2000, p. 125-133.
Consumers say one thing and do another. In-store research captures
their behavior where it matters -- at the shelf.
Landry, John T., "Positioning the Product: Know Where Your Rivals
Are," Harvard Business Review, Vol. 74, No. 6, November-December
1996, p. 13.
Presents research conducted by Stephen Nowlis of Arizona State University
and Itamar Simonson of Stanford University. The research demonstrates that
buying situations measurably impact how people see and respond to products.
Landry warns researchers to measure consumer preferences in the same contexts
that they encounter in the marketplace, noting that "consumers don't make
decisions in a vacuum" or in the research settings in which they're frequently
asked to evaluate products and product concepts.
Using a large-scale consumer database, the authors investigate
how actual behavioral frequency and duration affect the direction of errors
in consumer survey responses.
Ovans, Andrea, "Market Research -- The Customer Doesn't Always Know
Best" Harvard Business Review, Vol. 76, May-June, 1998, p. 12-13
Lutz, Richard J.
(1991), "Editorial," Journal of Consumer Research, 17(4)
Advocates greater attention to real consumer behavior issues through three
strategies: 1) Use natural consumer settings as research sites to enable
the discovery of new, unanticipated, and possibly critical behaviors that
do not occur in laboratory settings. 2) Investigate behaviors not only
within highly-controlled contexts with few variables, but also within the
complex contexts in which they normally occur. 3) Simultaneously use multiple
approaches to investigate a phenomenon in order to produce complementary
See also: "The Relevance-Accessibility
Model of Advertising Effectiveness" by Lutz and Baker
Miller, Ken, "Break-Through Concepts from Beyond the Focus Group,"
May-June 1999, p. 16-22.
It takes more than graphic "tweaks" to regenerate a brand or invent
a category. You have to meet the consumer at the store shelf or in
the home. When you hear resistance, ask consumers how the design
fails and how it could be improved.
Morwitz, Vicki G.; Johnson, Erick; and Schmittlein, David, "Does
Measuring Intent Change Behavior?" Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 20,
June 1993, p. 46-61.
The authors demonstrate clearly that simply asking purchase intent actually
alters subsequent purchase behavior. [This would argue for observation
at the point of purchase, rather than asking.] Although the studies were
not conducted at the point of purchase, "natural research settings" were
used, (and are advocated) rather than a controlled, structured test environment.
See: Berstell and Nitterhouse
"A Statistical Approach to Security/Past Participation Problems," Quirks,
XIV, No. 3, March 2000.
Purchase-intention surveys can take you only so far; marketers would also
do well to observe consumers in real buying situations.
In-store interviewing is the essence of statistical security
because working evenings and weekends you can avoid competitive interests
and at the same time draw from an environment where respondents are seldom
interviewed. So you solve both problems of security and past participation
if you collect your data in the marketplace.
See: Hruby and Sorensen
Sorensen, Jonathan, "The
eye on the shelf: Point-of-purchase research," Marketing News,
Vol. 33, No. 1, January 4, 1999.
Consumer culture is based on personal convenience. Away from the
marketplace, shoppers cease to think like consumers. So when market
researchers insist on an environment that serves their needs, subsequent
communication becomes unreliable.
"Learning from Execution Problems,"
Quirks, June 1999.
When a study, carefully designed according to market preconceptions, breaks
apart on the rocks of market reality, then reality is communicating loudly
and clearly. The only failure possible is the failure to listen closely
and to learn the truth which may have equal or greater value than the originally
"Design philosophies to support the front line," Marketing News,
Vol. 33, No. 20, September 27, 1999, p. 26.
Beyond human relations training, designing saleable interviews would help
our field teams. While the interview is designed in office time and
space, it's presented by the interviewer in consumer time and space.
Interviewers are facing the real live consumer in the marketplace and a
short, relevant interview enables them to better engage the consumers'
opinions and interest.
[Annotated bibliography prepared by Gerald Berstell with
Stevens , R. E.,
"Testers vs. Users," "Assessment in Context" and others. Views
from the Hills of Kentucky, Genesis II, 1990- current.
This series of pithy essays reflect 40 years of market research experience
at Procter & Gamble and the perspective of a pioneer of in-store research.
assistance from Herb Sorensen, and with contributions of
several other members of the POP-SG.]
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