C-stores are managing an ever-growing set of marketing platforms as technology expands, and there are more opportunities to reach customers in new ways. With the utilization of many shopper marketing vehicles, cohesion becomes critical. Everything from the fonts and colors that you use to the images and messages in your materials, your brand presence needs to be cohesive.
Mismatched design creates cognitive dissonance. For example, if you use warm colors in videos and neutrals throughout your store design, it makes it difficult for customers to ingest information because they are distracted by the fact that it isn’t flowing or matching. This lack of cohesion prevents customers from mentally connecting the messages. Make sure brand attributes, colors and more are unified to get the most out of your digital merchandising. Your merchandising messages should feel like they belong together, regardless of where customers are experiencing them.
Say it three times.
Getting customers’ attention isn’t easy these days. We are all bombarded with content in multiple forms. To break through the noise, it’s important to use a combination of repetitive merchandising messages and complimentary merchandising messages.
Think about it in terms of episodic transactions. If a sale starts with kombucha, the add-ons might include kale chips or even a candy bar for cheat day. Or if someone buys a fountain drink and a hot dog, that is the perfect opportunity for them to add chips and make it a full lunch purchase. To drive these kinds of transactions, you want cohesive messaging throughout the forecourt and store.
Don’t spray and pray.
Shopper marketing, especially across the many platforms that are available to us these days, requires strategy. You can’t just advertise 12 products with the hope one hits. Most retailers use a 30- or 60-day cycle for promotions. Whichever products are discounted should be featured on all touchpoints, so it is unified.
You can also leverage vendor rebates to promote proprietary or even non-proprietary shelf price items. For example, if you negotiate a deal with an energy drink company, clearly identify which items have a high propensity to sell with those drinks and feature one of those items next to the drinks. This creates cohesion and entices a customer to add the secondary item to their market basket, even if that item isn’t on sale.
A strategic and cohesive shopper marketing strategy can increase sales on all of your promotions. If your energy drink promotion features a competitive price, you should also see a 20 to 30 percent increase in unit sales in that energy drink, even if you only advertise it on the cooler door. And if you include a strategic shopper marketing strategy in support of that energy drink promotion, and you can easily expect a 50 to 100 percent increase in unit sales.
Tie together disparate technologies.
When you’re using so many different types of marketing opportunities, they must be cohesive in design and messaging to make them effective, while improving the overall customer experience. That is probably not a surprise to most people in the industry.
You must also be cohesive with disparate technologies. You may feature one type of digital signage platform in your store, a different content management system at the dispenser and a third technology from your loyalty app developer. In these cases, even if you use the same colors, fonts, image sand messaging, it can be challenging to produce and distribute content on these different platforms.
That’s where Shep Digital Solutions comes in. We offer a unified platform that ties all of those disparate technologies together, allowing you to manage them in one place, while ensuring a strategic, cohesive shopper marketing experience.