Study Probes What Makes Shoppers Buy

NEW YORK Point of Purchase Advertising International, a global retail marketing association, has launched a study gauging the effectiveness of shopper marketing techniques in major retail outlets.

The study, dubbed “Marketing at Retail Initiative” (MARI), leverages retail research across the supermarket, drug and convenience store and mass merchandise channels. The goal is to determine which shopper marketing displays work best, and, more importantly, how and why these techniques influence consumers to buy.

Major companies and retailers participating in the research include 7-Eleven, Ahold, Frito-Lay North America, Pepsi-Cola North American Beverages and Walgreens. U.K.-based retail research firm SheridanGlobal Group is conducting the study.

The study will commence this spring, with the first set of results available in late 2009. The research takes place real time in stores, where shoppers wear special ClipCam glasses while navigating the aisles. The glasses track the participant’s movement and field of vision in-store, and the results are matched to purchase and product interaction behavior. The methodology also includes gauging the value of each type of store display based on impact, effectiveness, engagement and conversion.

In a statement, POPAI president Dick Blatt said that marketers and retailers alike recognize the importance of shopper marketing, as 70 percent of all purchase decisions are made in-store. Blatt said: “The possibilities are limited only by the retail environment. If it’s at retail, we can measure its impact.”