Packaging…the consumers “moment of truth” at the shelf

by | Feb 16, 2017 | Blog

Consumers “moment of truth” at the shelf, the 3 – 7 seconds to buy or not?

FMCG Companies call the moment of split decision making , the consumers “moment of truth” at the shelf. At the “moment of truth,” Brand marketers only have three to seven seconds in which to grab the consumers attention before they notice another item’s packaging and the sale is lost to the competition. Recent studies on shopping habits have made marketers hyper aware of this fact, and now more than ever they are utilizing emergent in-store marketing strategies to attract consumers to their brand. The main one being “product packaging”.

Other key influencers include “the scent, touch and feel, and packaging form, labeling,  flyers, in store promotions, POS displays and discount coupon or sites,” are all key influencers on shopping decisions. These all impact the consumers “moment of truth” decision making”

As with most trends in this modern era, life is moving faster and as people’s lives become busier, decisions must be made quicker. “The average shopping trip takes 20 minutes – 17 minutes to walk around and three minutes to search and select,” (Smurfit Kappa (2015). If on average people are making about 15 purchases per visit, this equates to only 12 seconds to search out and select each item.

And this decision rate has only been increasing in recent years, despite the swell in available options and channels for the consumer to research and buy. This shortened window of time in turn has force brand marketers to become more creative in their marketing tactics to ensure that it is their products that are the ones being sold.

Companies adapt and move towards in-store marketing

An article posted by the Wall Street Journal in 2015 outlined that “Companies such as Procter & Gamble are starting to move away from standard mass marketing practices and instead focus more on in-store advertisements,”  .

Dina Howell, the director of FMOT at P&G, says she wants to take in-store marketing “from an art to a science.” Ms. Howell was quoted as saying: “that packaging should “interrupt” shoppers on their shopping trip“.  Today product packaging is being designed to catch the eye of those who are intended to use it, and placement within the store is becoming key in how that interruption is initiated.

  • First win the eye
  • Then the heart
  • Then the mind

PEST OF POWER at work: “For the launch of Kandoo wipes — flushable baby wipes for toilet-training toddlers — in the U.S., P&G convinced retailers to place the packages low on shelves, so they would be at a toddler’s eye-level. It also created display shelves in the shape of the product’s frog mascot to attract children’s attention,” says the Wall Street Journal.

Browsing offers up more opportunities for the brand manager

While the majority of shoppers in developed nations tend to plan their shopping trips by way of lists, across the globe, only about a quarter to a third of those shoppers stick rigidly to their plan. This leaves time and space in the budget for impulse buys and on the spot decisions to be made by the remaining two thirds of global consumers. This is the brand marketers opportunity!

A study conducted by Microsoft and Ipsos found that globally, shoppers tend to browse the entire store about 31% of the time, with US consumers browsing less than the global average (22%), UK consumers browsing the entire store more than the global average (39%), and Canadian consumers keeping right on par with other global shoppers. Whilst we cant find exact “browsing data” for Aussies, one can assume an average of the browsing habits above of around 30%

These percentages indicate how likely different consumers are to stray from their planned lists, and the potential Brand marketers have to influence consumer decisions that are made in store.