Time is Critical
I have frequently written about how critical time is in the development
of an idea, product and finally the brand. During the past year it
has become apparent to me that not only is time very critical to the manufacturer
but also to the consumer, namely the shopper. Shopping for my wife
and I is a slow, leisurely paced social event. That is the result of
13 years of retirement. However, while studying the shopping habits
of the typical shopper with Herb Sorensen in the development of PathTracker®
it has become obvious that my wife and I are A-typical in the shopping arena.
In working the PathTracker®
data, it is obvious that shopping
for the typical consumer is a fast-paced event. I would have never
guessed that 77% of the shopping trips last 20 minutes or less. My
wife and I are lucky to get through the produce section in 20 minutes. The
speed of the shopping trips is not as big of a concern for me as the area
of the store covered in that time. Our data indicates that 99% of the
shopping trips cover 75% or less of the store. Actually 84% of the
shopping trips covered 50% or less of the store area. Is there a message
here for the manufacturer? I think so.
How many marketers think that the thousands of shoppers going through
the doors of a supermarket are likely purchasers of their brands? Years
ago, more than I care to remember, my mentor told me that to complete a sale,
the shopper had to go to a store where your brand was sold, enter the store,
go down the aisle where your brand is displayed. After PathTracker®
data, I think a lot about it. There are product categories where less
than 10% of the shoppers ever visit the category, let alone shop it. I
spent most of my career in the package soap business. I never once
thought the percent of shoppers visiting my store aisle was less than 10%.
Yep, less than 10%. Where does your brand category stand?
This type of information should be considered to be very important to anyone
selling a brand in the supermarket. Especially if your brand just
happens to be in a category where a substantial part of your sales are of
a discretionary nature. Do you even know the percent of discretionary
or spontaneous purchases in your category? You should
know it. It can be very important to your brand's health.
If you happen to have a brand that is in the category of high spontaneous
purchases and in a store aisle that has low penetration, how do you increase
sales? Answer: stimulate more shoppers to go down your store
aisle and attract their attention. Sounds good, but how do you test
the ideas since there are many and how do you assess the effectiveness of
your stimulation? Answer: test using real stores. How do
you measure effectiveness in a timely manner? Answer: through
sales. But that is only half the game. You need to see if you
truly stimulated more shoppers (and how many more) to go down the store aisle.
How? Use PathTracker®
. It gives you all
the answers. Am I biased? Yes, but please forgive me. While
is Herb Sorensen's idea and I had minimal involvement
in the development, I still consider it to be one of my babies.
Sponsor: Sorensen Associates Inc
Portland, OR 800.542.4321
Minneapolis, MN 888.616.0123
The In-Store Research Company -- Dedicated
to the relentless pursuit of -- Why?