Inside This Issue - News
February 25th, 2013
CHICAGO – Consumers have drastically changed their approach to shopping over the past decade. They combine online and offline planning with in-store visits to make more informed and cost-effective purchasing decisions.
Responses to this new path to purchase are presented in SymphonyIRI Group Inc.’s latest Times & Trends report, "Merchandising Trends: Supporting the Value Proposition."
"Smartphones, digital coupons, online retailers and the Internet combined with financial pressures and shifting marketplace dynamics are forever changing how consumers shop," says Times & Trends editor Susan Viamari. "If you want to reach and resonate with shoppers today, you need to do more than traditional in-store merchandising. Emerging and evolving technologies have enabled innovative marketers to begin reaching shoppers in their homes while they are researching products and making their lists, and then reinforcing their messages on the way to the store and in the store when consumers are making their final selections. Marketers that keep pace with and embrace this opportunity will achieve success, while those who fail will find it difficult — even impossible — to remain relevant and competitive."
Merchandising has long played an important role in the consumer packaged goods industry. It builds excitement, educates consumers and drives awareness. For those reasons and more, many categories rely heavily on merchandising activity to spur purchase behavior.
But the past year has seen mixed trends. Merchandising, comprising displays, feature ads, ads and displays combined, and price-only actions, increased across just more than half of CPG categories and declined in 47%.
Trends in grocery and convenience channels closely mirror the industry average, but the drug channel has a different story to tell. During the past few years merchandising support has been declining in drug stores. In 2012 support declined in 60% of the categories in the channel.
Resonating with shoppers begins by reaching out with the most effective media, but preferred media can sometimes vary significantly across CPG categories. While heavy newspaper readership spans many major categories, fewer categories show heavy Internet usage.
On average, one-in-five consumers consider themselves to be a heavy user of the Internet, while only 25% of razor blade consumers fall into this category. This group also over-indexes in the consumption of outdoor media, while being much less likely than average to be heavy users of TV. In contrast, among analgesics buyers, TV and newspapers are leveraged much more frequently than the Internet.