How CPG Marketers are Converting Shoppers into Buyers at the Shelf-Edge

In an increasingly complicated grocery landscape where CPG marketers face new challenges in optimizing their marketing mix, shelf-edge media has proved to be a powerful vehicle to close the loop on upper-funnel marketing and effectively convert shoppers into buyers.

How CPG Marketers are Converting Shoppers into Buyers at the Shelf-Edge

 

In an increasingly complicated grocery landscape where CPG marketers face new challenges in optimizing their marketing mix, shelf-edge media has proved to be a powerful vehicle to close the loop on upper-funnel marketing and effectively convert shoppers into buyers.

The new retail media paradigm

Welcome to the omnichannel era – where a rapidly changing landscape and evolving consumer behaviors have given way to a far more complex shopper journey, leaving marketers to balance touchpoints across a seemingly boundless array of digital and physical channels. For CPGs competing in the grocery/drug/dollar arena, breaking through the clutter is especially difficult as they wade through an increasingly fragmented retail media landscape, attempting to reach consumers at just the right moments to influence buying decisions. Pandemic behaviors have only further eroded loyalty and fueled competition, with three quarters of shoppers switching brands in the past year, leaving the door wide open to win or lose share. Adding to the pressure, marketers today are charged with proving measurable return on ad spend, beyond just impressions served, showing a direct contribution to sales impact.

Influencing consumers where it matters most

In the quest to deliver a cohesive omnichannel shopper experience, marketers must not lose sight of where they can place their bets for maximum returns. Despite the buzz around rising eCommerce adoption, the physical store still reigns king in grocery, with 93% of sales occurring in-store even at the height of the pandemic.1 What’s more, consumers are ripe to be influenced by in-store messaging: 78% of consumers make grocery purchase decisions during their shopping trip, with 46% attributing an unplanned purchase to an in-store display or sign.2

In-store marketing can be powerful, and there is no more influential place to capture consumers’ attention than at the shelf-edge, where shoppers actively decide which of the competitive offerings to place in their cart. CPG marketers are wise to recognize shelf-edge media as a highly effective, low-funnel vehicle that amplifies omnichannel messaging to more than 30 million shoppers visiting grocery stores each day3 – reinforcing brand recall in the moment it matters most to ultimately convert.

“Most category shoppers arrive at shelf with a shortlist of brands within their consideration set. Shelf-edge messaging highlights our products’ points of differentiation versus those of our competitors. While digital media drives awareness and consideration, it’s the shelf-edge that drives conversion.”
- Cate Spencer, GSK Consumer Healthcare

Across the full spectrum of the consumer journey, this last 3 feet is where marketers have the best opportunity to turn category shoppers into brand buyers, driving tangible sales results.

Not all shelf-edge media is created equal

At shelf, marketers can gain access to a captive audience with a high propensity to buy. How do you best capitalize on this opportunity? Make sure your shelf-edge media checks these boxes:

  • Price-integration. Your marketing message should work cohesively with trade spend, aligned with item-specific pricing and promotional offers. Choose a reliable provider that is in lock step with the retailers’ merchandising strategy and can ensure price accuracy to avoid consumer confusion.
  • Compliance. Go with a retailer-approved provider – or risk paying for media that does not actually reach the shopper. Programs that are retailer-executed (as opposed to relying on a third-party vendor) ensure your message makes it to shelf and is placed in the right location, at the right time, and with the right price.
  • Measurement. The most accurate results will be verified through test & control methodology, matched to retailer point-of-sale data. Choose a partner that has direct access to this data and can objectively measure the impact of your campaigns.
  • National Scale. Reach shoppers at scale by selecting a partner that enables seamless execution across a sizeable national network of key retailers. Drive efficiency in your plan and avoid duplicative workflow by executing campaigns across multiple retailers.

Shelf-edge media that converts

Vestcom’s shelf-edge media solution, shelfAdz® overlays brand equity and new item messaging onto price-integrated media to drive conversion at the point of decision. With proven results verified by retailer provided point-of-sale data, the average shelfAdz® campaign boosts incremental sales by 20% and delivers an 8:1 incremental return on ad spend. Enabling turnkey execution across Vestcom’s 60,000+ retail store network, shelfAdz® unlocks access to shoppers at retailers such as Kroger, Albertsons, Ahold-Delhaize, Dollar General, Walgreens, and more.

The secret to new item success

With 70-80% of new products failing in the grocery sector4, shelf-edge messaging can be instrumental in getting shoppers to try and buy your new item. Driving awareness of new products on shelf across leading retailers, shelfAdz® new item campaigns drive an average 10-20% incremental sales lift (versus control stores) during the critical initial performance period – which can make or break new product success.

“Shelf-edge messaging captures consumers’ attention just as they’re ready to make a purchase. With shelfAdz, we saw double digit unit growth across all our yogurt brands!”
- Blakeney Jones, Danone North America

Find out more about how shelfAdz® can close the loop on your media spend, making your dollars work harder and you look smarter.

Sources

1 eMarketer, 2021

2 Path to Purchase Institute, 2021

3 Insider, 2019

4 University of Toronto