Why consumers (who hate ads) prefer
in-store advertising ?
What are the opportunities for brands ?


A

s with the weather, everyone complains about advertising. A common belief is that consumers dislike how advertising interrupts their shows, streams or articles. While advertisers try to reach their target audience across a variety of media, consumers repeatedly indicate they love engaging with instore advertisements.

The assessment of advertising may differ in your home market, but the 4th POPAI France barometer confirmed earlier findings: about 1000 on-line participants — sampled to reflect a close match to population demographics — appreciate instore advertising as the form that encourages most to purchase. A relief for our POP-sector, and all participants in the selling process.

63% of the participants feel closer to brands that advertise in-store. This is especially true among 18-24-year-old. Among the five media examined instore advertising reveals the best qualities. It is in the lead for its power to motivate to purchase (38%), its usefulness (40%), its persuasion (36%) and its non-intrusive nature (30%).

The materials that have the most impact are POS displays (68%) and testers (60%). Posters (52%) and shelf talkers (45%) also turn out to be very effective. The effectiveness of digital screens remains limited.

Download here the research sheet (PDF in French).

What is instore advertising ? — A definition.

In-store advertising is defined as the practice of promoting brands and products by addressing the consumers directly while they are in a physical store. Located at retail points, presentation and communication materials affect perception and purchasing decisions of interested visitors.

Usually, manufacturers build positive attitudes towards a brand through out-of-store advertising. In this continuous flood the overwhelmed consumer has trouble remembering the variety of messages. That's why brands use synergetic instore advertisements to refresh relevant memory structures of the shopping consumer. Instore is useful to highlight an offer or a novelty, to prompt for action, but also to help customers to memorise a message.

Out-of-store primarily influences attitude towards brand, and then product. Instore has more influence on purchase intentions. Since it is where consumers make their purchase decisions, the point-of-purchase is a suitable place and moment indeed to prompt for action That explains the potential of instore advertising, especially in supermarkets. The investments are justified inasmuch as instore provides useful service for all participants in the process (brands, retail & consumers).

Now let's take a look at what, in our biased opinion, explains the popularity of instore with its public, the shopping consumers.

1. Bring in the geeks

Access to valuable advice is one of the main raisons why consumers come into a store, an environment that is all about creating trust. It makes all the difference when they can engage with store associates who are passionate about the products they are selling.

The trend toward self-service with fewer associates available to help, forces customers to make purchasing decisions on their own. Fixed shop installations, together with quality, eye-catching, easily adaptable instore materials, are then becoming essential to intrigue customers and give them the friendly nudge they need.

Even in well-staffed stores the materials can offer extra selling information and orientation. Consumers like "choice" as a concept but have trouble managing it as they shop. As sales support at the store level is declining, a customer can be helped by instore materials. Serving as a silent salesperson, they can provide support in purchasing decisions, show what a product does for them, how it works, or how they can make the best out of it.

2. Experience remains crucial

Consumers are happy to restock online regular items they know, making simple decisions based on utility or price. When consumers need more than a simple transaction, they relish memorable, tangible, sensory experiences.

Instore experience isn't everyone's cup of tea though. Some prefer a quiet browse, free of interruptions. Others want a little more dialogue and interaction; they appreciate presentations and merchandising tactics that make the product accessible to see, touch, feel or smell.

Instore interactions can influence perception of product trust. They show the manufacturer is serene about his offer, and that the consumer can judge for himself its relevance. They allow potential buyers to become familiar with a product or experience the benefits.

3. Consumers prefer to discover products themselves

There's a common belief that consumers are inclined to distrust messages that are delivered via traditional forms of advertising. They prefer to discover new brand and products themselves. Most of the times consumers want to get their shopping done as quickly as possible. Yet this doesn't mean they aren't open to discovery after they have found what they came in for.

Once customers have changed their shopping mode from planned to opportunistic, browsing instore is an important source of self-discovery. With new product development happening all the time, choice and variety do not always cut through the clutter. Instore advertising is then an efficient way to keep consumers up to date. It makes products visible on the pathways of the browsing shopper in a non-intrusive manner, with the trust in the brand increasing alongside the experience.

4. Contextual communication as close as possible to the purchase decision

Lack of coherence with the moment is part of what makes advertising feel intrusive, loud or irritating. Brands strive to deliver relevant information when consumers are most receptive.

For 58% of consumers (POPAI France barometer) instore perfectly fulfils its role of providing product information. The shopping consumer has a pragmatic relationship with instore advertisement. At the last meter of his shopping journey he welcomes knowledge. He is motivated in learning about a product just before purchasing them. At these moments, when by the way he appreciates speed and efficiency, instore advertising can help him make the right decision.

The instore message should always be designed to be direct, clear and concise with an immediate connection with a product or service that satisfies a need or want. The consumer drops out when the message is too complex. He spends on average between 1 and 2 seconds on an instore advertisement.

5. Shopping efficiency

Consumers prefer situations that simplify the shopping process. Instore can provide this value. It activates an offer by making it more visible. Product and information can be found quickly.

The browsing shopper is often willing to 'wait' for these offers that improve speed and convenience. Ultimately, because instore stimulates purchasing intentions, on the longer run they reinforce the image of the product with its target audience.

6. The moment of inspiration

Sometimes shoppers don't know what they are looking for. If during a shopping journey inspiration is lacking, instore can indeed be experienced as a helpful start of the first step into the consumer journey.

These materials can take different forms. What remains consistent is that the better they appeal to the senses, the faster they get the imagination of the shopper running.

Inspirational advertising works in just about any retail environment. They remedy lack of ideas and can bring new customers into a store or a department.

7. Visual relief

The biggest advantage of instore advertisements is that they exist in all forms and sizes, and that they are 100% custom-made. Unlike fixed store installations, made-to-measure presentations and communications can be easily adapted to the brand or product product, the location or the purchase patterns for a assortment.

Originality, impactful materials, 'WOW!'-want-to-see-again, disruptive design, light effects, vivid colours and alluding visuals, but also consistency, reliability and activation, can elicit emotions or arouse curiosity towards the unknown or something new and compelling.

Neuhaus Christmas window animation


After all, most of the shoppers find shopping a task-driven, tiring exercise. It's no surprise they welcome visual relief, making the shopfloor dynamic, exciting and less monotonous. A well-crafted instore advertisement should always be eye-catching - difficult to ignore in less than a few seconds by shoppers functioning on autopilot.

Winding up

Changes in shopping activities and expectations, along with an upsurge in self-service and impulse buying, mean that instore is playing a more important role in consumer decision making. To improve customer experience and satisfaction, the physical shop is being transformed into a lively space dedicated to dialogue, building trust and brand interaction.

Every brand that needs the physical shop to sell products can develop strong instore tactics as part of their overall marketing strategies. Sparking discovery, instore advertising offer brands a positive way to activate trusted marketing to both existing and new customers.

Studies have shown repeatedly that consumers appreciate instore advertising along his pathways. It makes him feel confident. No medium is more effective than display, merchandising and shopping experience.

Of course, you knew already that you would expect no other conclusion from a display builder. We hope that the quality indices we mentioned feed the conversations between all participants to the selling process in physical environments.

We recommend that these elements be taken into account for your next advertising campaign to prevent it from becoming too original or too boring. Given the budget, you may not be able to pick up on everything. Setting clear communication objectives and a good creative brief are half the battle won!

Date: Nov. 2020

Are you interested in the advantages of instore adverstising for your brand ? Reach out today, we will gladly ideate for your product.

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