design:retail - September 2015 - (Page 36)

shopper insights 036 Shopper Watching IRA L. GLESER PRESIDENT AMPLIFY MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS E ARLY IN MY career as a marketer at Coca-Cola, I learned a valuable lesson about consumer insights. A group of us were sitting around a table brainstorming solutions as part of a training exercise around a new product introduction, and we were debating the types of consumer research we would propose in our presentation. The senior leader running the meeting stopped by our table to listen in, and started to smile. We were all taken aback, because we wanted to know how we had managed to amuse him. "Here's a thought," he said. "Rather than spending $100,000 or more on fielding consumer research, why don't you just go visit some stores? Get into the market, and watch what consumers are doing. It will be much cheaper, the learnings will be more instantaneous and you will get a much needed dose of reality around how consumers shop." I've carried this lesson with me through the years, and put it into practice recently while in Chicago attending a food retail industry event. I love great "walkable" cities like Chicago, and after finishing some meetings and perusing the show floor, I found myself with some down time on a beautiful, sunny afternoon and headed over to the Magnificent Mile to watch shoppers shop. The Magnificent Mile is a wonderful stretch of Michigan Avenue with an amazing variety of retail options, from luxury retailers to electronics to specialty and department stores. I easily covered a couple miles on this stretch of Michigan Avenue, took in dozens of window displays, visited a number of stores, and felt a bit wiser from the experience. Here were my key takeaways: * The much-discussed "integration" of digital into the physical store space is just beginning. While we're talking about it a great deal in the pages of this magazine, other publications, websites, and SEPTEMBER 2015 DESIGNRETAILONLINE.COM at conferences and events, this evolution is only beginning to show up on "Main Street." * Retail still has an important role to play. Not to state the obvious, but consumers like to shop. It is a social activity with friends, a chance for some "me time," and a way to see what's new out there in product-land. * Retail-tainment is still alive and well. While I did see some integration of digital technology in kiosks, LED displays and other opportunities for interactivity with shoppers, beyond the usual suspects (Niketown, Apple, etc.), I was impressed by stores that created a unique vibe with their design, lighting, selection of music and the quality of their staff. All of these elements, working together beautifully, made shoppers stay longer. * Retailers with strong, well-defined brands stand out. While some luxury retailers clearly have a defined brand, their stores can be a bit unwelcoming and overwhelming to folks that may very well have the money to spend on their products. But I was impressed by the clear messaging and experiences that some of the specialty retailers created. You know what they stand for, and you know what they sell. Then it is all about creating an experience that inspires shoppers to visit and make a purchase. If you're not making the time to get out in the market and watch shoppers shop on a regular basis, I strongly encourage you to do so. Not just in your own stores, or your competitor's stores, but outside your community. Think about what brings shoppers inside, and watch how they shop the space. Are they taking advantage of technology? How do they compare product alternatives? Are they taking advantage of a salesperson's knowledge? Where does the frustration occur? All of these points lead to a better understanding of a shopper's path to purchase, which I will discuss in a future column. But a key point to remember is that beyond the insights that research and observation will provide, the vast majority of final purchase decisions are driven by emotions, not facts. And to that point, I saw lots and lots of shiny, happy people leaving stores with their newly acquired purchases. That, at the end of the day, is really what it's all about. Even if your feet hurt from all that walking. IRA L. GLESER IS PRESIDENT OF ATLANTA-BASED AMPLIFY MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS (AMPLIFYMC.COM), WHICH HELPS BRANDS AND ORGANIZATIONS CONNECT MORE EFFECTIVELY WITH CLIENTS, CUSTOMERS AND PROSPECTS. Photo by ALISON EMBREY MEDINA http://www.AMPLIFYMC.COM http://www.DESIGNRETAILONLINE.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of design:retail - September 2015

design:retail - September 2015
Editor’s Note
Show Talk
On Trend
We Love This!
Designer Picks
Clicks & Mortar
How’d They Do That?
Have You Heard?
Shopper Insights
Shopping with Paco
2015 Portfolio Awards
Retail Design Luminaries
Retail Design Infl uencers
Retailer of the Year
Best Store Designs of the Year
Design Firms of the Year
Best Visual Merchandising Programs
Retail Superlatives

design:retail - September 2015