Archive for the ‘Retail’ category

New research halves standard number on buying behavior

July 30, 2008

Marketers have for ages been talking about how 70 per cent of purchasing decisions are made in the store.

But new research from OgilvyAction suggest the real number is more like half that – 34.9 per cent.

According to the study, reports Retail Wire, 39.4 percent number is the real number of consumers who wait until they’re in a store before deciding what brand to buy. About 10 percent change their minds while in the store and 20 percent leave a product on the shelf that they intended to buy. Nearly 30 percent of consumers wind up making a purchase from a category that they didn’t intend to buy from before walking into a store.

The 70 per cent number came out of work done for the Point of Purchase Advertising Institute (POPAI) more than a decade ago. POPAI says it is sticking to its numbers, suggesting: “There have been various studies that have arrived at different in-store decision rates over the years, based on unique methodologies, trade channels, and the context and location of consumer interviews. POPAI welcomes any research that helps brands, retailers and agencies understand the strategic importance of marketing at retail.”

The OgilvyAction research probed 14,000 total shoppers globally and looked at shopping behavior in 13 categories, including beverages, confectionary, hair care and household cleaning products.

While the new research failed to answer just how much advertising outside the store environment influences purchases, it did determine important factors that drive impulse purchases. Sampling and product displays ranked one and two.

“The good news for marketers is that a product display and sampling can build brand equity,” Jeff Froud, senior strategic planner for OgilvyAction, told “No matter what rulebook you studied when you were studying marketing, price promotions don’t build any brand equity and in some cases can be equity destroyers.”

“More and more of our communication is moving to store,” A.G. Lafley, chairman and chief executive at Procter & Gamble, said last month at the International Advertising Festival in Cannes. “And the reason it’s moving to store is that more and more consumers are… making their purchase decisions in store. And in a period where you have a fair amount of food price inflation, we think more of that shopping list, whether it’s just in [a shopper’s] head or actually written down, is being decided in the store.”


NEC starts dabbling with face recognition for digital signage

July 22, 2008

From a Japanese technology publication

NEC Corp has developed a digital signage system that determines the gender, generation and other attributes of a person standing in front of a disp

lay using a face recognition technology and outputs advertisements on the display according to them.

The system is being used at “Odaiba Bokenoh Final,” an event hosted by Fuji Television Network Inc at Daiba, Tokyo, from July 19 to August 31, 2008.

Displays combined with a FeliCa contactless IC card reader/writer and a camera have been set up at the “NEC Interactive Corner: Medama-oyaji’s ‘Hey, Kitaro! I Can See Better'” at the “Gegege no Kitaro Yokai Tours,” an attraction at Odaiba Bokenoh.

Participants stand in front of the display and hold a FeliCa-based mobile phone over the reader/writer. The system determines the user’s gender and generation through the camera image using the face recognition technology.

The display shows advertisements that would suit the user’s gender and generation, choosing from the 15 candidates prepared in advance. An electronic coupon that would match the attributes is sent to the user’s mobile phone at the same time.

If users purchase products at stores using the coupons, they will receive a chance to win a prize. By analyzing the information acquired through these actions, the system can also measure advertising effects, NEC said.

NEC calls this system the “Digital Signage Solution,” combining their advertisement delivery and display system with their advertising value measurement system.

Very different culture in Japan, so who knows how this would play around here. I can’t see many people waving their phones in front of a reader and having themselves looked over by a biometrics camera for the sake of a coupon.

Interesting, though, to see a big panel company start to include and market this technology as part of the offer.

Wal-Mart taking in-store TV network in new, much better direction

July 21, 2008

Adrian’s Daily DOOH portal has a piece written by on the original chroniclers of this industry, Bill Collins, on the plans for a complete revamp of the Wal-Mart TV network.

Anyone who’s wandered into a US Wal-Mart store has seen the network and been wholly underwhelmed by the scattering of CRT TV screens, way up high, though stores and long-form spots that really don’t work. The new vision, reports Collins, involves thew following:

  1. Bring screens down to eye level
  2. Build screens into endcaps, fixtures and shelving
  3. Abandon the 2001-2002 “hang and bang” model where flat screens are hung nilly-willy around the store, mostly in locations that are difficult for shoppers to see
  4. Control audio so that the soundtrack of these networks is welcomed by shoppers and store employees alike
  5. Pack merchandise around the screens and speakers, so that the sound-and-motion media serves a useful purpose for both marketing and merchandising just as conventional Point-of-Purchase displays do

The new network will be owned and operated by Wal-Mart, and Collins has the suspicion the early rollout will be happening as early as this fall.

Mike Hiatt, who runs the store media network program, sent me a note to clarify the role of Premier Retail Networks in the new deployment. “While PRN’s role is shifting in regards to the upcoming deployment, they will continue to play a key role in the execution of this network.”

UPDATE: This was nagging at me that I had heard about this before.

Crappy economy slowing bar traffic

July 17, 2008

Media Buyer Planner is reporting that fewer people are heading out to bars and clubs and of those that do go, they’re skipping the Grey Goose and drinking Absolut.

Nearly 44 percent of bar managers, bar owners and bartenders report a decrease in consumer traffic at their establishments, according to a May 2008 study from The Nielsen Company and Bevinco, writes MarketingCharts.

Among the 500 bar operators surveyed, 25 percent note a decrease in the number of on-premise drinks ordered, and 22 percent say customers are ordering less-expensive drinks.

The bars were located in U.S. nightclubs, hotels, casual restaurants and fine-dining restaurants. Among these types of establishments, the casual dining sector appears hardest hit, with 46 percent of respondents reporting a decline.

I mention this because bars and clubs are one of the hotter sectors in the Digital Out Of Home space, and fewer eyeballs is not all that great a thing. On the other hand, there is an argument to be made that the premium brands need to work a little harder to inspire purchases, or that thinned out crowds are actually a better demographic.

There’s also reason to think a lot of people will be about as disciplined in cutting back their barhopping as they are about going on diets every new year.

A related story mentions that retailers are seeing no real drop in booze sales, which means people are still getting silly, but they’re doing so in backyards, kitchens and dorm rooms.

Maybe there’s a business case for running screen networks in frat houses and off-campus rooming houses, but someone has to be prepared to install a new screen every hour or so.

Dep’t of Missed Opportunities

July 16, 2008

Spotted in a press release from a small competitor, for an install in a small, midwest chain drug …

The good: the screen is not hanging from the ceiling at about the height of a basketball backboard and is instead on an island fixture down low.

The not so: the little taped-on sheet noting the sunscreen products are 10 per cent off (you went to the expense of buying a screen and software, guys); the merchandising of the products waaay down at the bottom of the endcap; the screen positioning that may actually be too low.

As noted, it’s good to see installs in pharmacies that are targeted at customers and position the screens lower and near (or at) the stuff for sale. But this one is a very long way from conceptually nailed.

Oh, and the playlist includes news and weather!!!

MSNBC’s brand extension cafe filled with screens

July 8, 2008

From AdWeek:

The Digital Cafe, which had a soft launch two weeks ago and will be fully operational in mid-July, is one of several brand extensions the company is creating in an effort to deliver its content in new and interesting ways.

It’s an acknowledgement of] the way the world is developing. Not everyone is going to come to your Web site everyday. So, we have been thinking of other ways to get our content out there,” said Catherine Captain, vp, marketing for

The cafe includes other programs has launched in an effort to engage consumers in different ways. One is Spectra, which Captain described as a visual news reader that allows viewers to select stories. (There will be five touch screens and a larger monitor inside the cafe.)

The company has created numerous gaming initiatives. Among the news-infused games are NewsBlaster and NewsBreaker, in which players use a paddle to keep a ball in play and break the bricks on the screen to reveal headlines. This game led to the creation of NewsBreaker Live, last summer’s in-cinema gaming experience that used motion-sensing technology. Moviegoers caught falling news headlines to win points as group. formalized these assets, creating a host site NewsWare, which launched in early May. The online news organization worked with agency partner SS&K on creative development. Captain also acknowledged visitors.

“What we really discovered about the consumers — what they love about us — is the journey of news discovery in and of itself,” she said. “We’ve really tried to hit on that insight — they have a news explorer mentality. Because they have that natural, psychological bias towards exploration, that’s when we started to say there is a need to think of different ways to [present] news in ways that would really resonate with them.”

Captain emphasized that the efforts go beyond marketing: “It’s really the marriage of deep consumer insights, brand marketing efforts and product development.” She said the digital cafe “gave us an opportunity to quite literally bring exploration to a physical space.”

AdFlow’s interactive gear helps peddle Koodo handsets

June 24, 2008

Despite near daily barrages from my backyard potato cannon, the guys just up the road from me at AdFlow have managed to keep the doors open and conduct business.

Note to self: Must adapt cannon to sweet potatoes.

Anyway, the AdFlow guys have ignored the constant splats and swung a deal with Koodo, the pay-per-use offspring of Canuck wireless carrier Telus. Koodo popped up a few months ago with a set of screwball ads emulating early 80s spandex exercise shows.

Koodo is not really a bricks and mortar play, but they do have a retail presence and are using AdFlow’s software to run a nice little interactive app. Pick up a handset, and the screen pops information about that handset. Dead simple. And probably quite effective.

I like this stuff a heck of a lot more than screens dangling from ceilings, hoping to get noticed.

According to Digital Signage Today, Koodo Mobile envisioned a captivating and enticing sales-driven customer shopping experience within their retail locations that would connect to this younger demographic. Koodo Mobile’s interactive kiosks feature easy-to-use touchscreens which engage consumers at the point of purchase, informing and educating shoppers on products, services and promotions.

Disclaimer: AdFlow, were it not obvious enough, is a competitor. But the nice thing about the Canuck industry is they’re also friends. At least until I get the pumpkin trebuchet figured out.