Display Graphics At Retail Stores: Effectiveness
In-store displays are proven to be effective in motivating shoppers to attend, remember, and buy products in grocery stores. The most effective displays are likely to be boldly colorful and to evoke the best scents, colors, and textures of the featured product. Unfortunately, we could not find a publicly available source that directly addressed the subconscious or psychological underpinnings of effective in-store display design in a grocery setting, but we found some adjacent information that may provide insight into such matters.
We started our research with high-quality research sources like NCBI, ResearchGate and their peers. While these sites often contain data about neuroscience and practical psychology, none of the sources discussing in-store displays in grocery stores directly addressed subconscious motivators or other psychological factors associated with effective in-store graphics displays.
Seeking more information, we turned to the web presences and press releases of major grocery retailers like Kroger, Walmart, Safeway, and others. Major companies like these often publish reports on business strategies and practices. However, we did not find anything directly discussing the psychological underpinnings of graphics displays in grocery stores from these sources.
Still pursuing grocery store information, we scoured sources like MarketingDesks and TheBalanceSMB, which often analyze the marketing data that comes out of retail businesses. This did lead us to a report discussing a partnership between Kroger and Microsoft that included some discussion of a major visual update to improve customer experience, but once again psychological underpinnings were not directly discussed.
Next, we tried approaching the matter from the other end. We dove into the web presences of the makers and sellers of in-store displays, such as Great Northern Instore, ImagiCorps, and Felbro Displays. This strategy led us to a high-quality survey of customer impressions, the survey report failed to directly address or analyze the underlying psychology of its subject matter.
Finally, we broadened the scope of our research, turning to general food and retail industry sources like the Food Marketing Institute and Progressive Grocer, among others. Some information addressing the effectiveness and importance of POPs in a general retail setting emerged. Some parts of this source touched on shoppers' decision-making processes and thoughts, but the source only addressed those in a general retail setting and not specifically within grocery stores.
GROCERY IN-STORE DISPLAYS
In-store displays at grocery stores can make a lasting brand and/or product impression. In one study, 62 percent of the grocery shoppers recall the type of product being displayed after seeing an in-store display on their last major grocery shopping trip. About 25 percent say they may purchase more of a product on a display. These customers describe the display as jolting the shopper out of his/her "autopilot," and therefore spurring unplanned purchases. In the same study, over 30 percent of shoppers say they would be more likely to try a new product based on a display.
Around 65 percent of shoppers specifically claimed that "eye-catching" graphics are important in in-store displays. Imagery that evokes foods' scents, textures, and colors can evoke a feeling of cheerfulness and hunger in grocery shoppers.
GENERAL RETAIL IN-STORE DISPLAYS
Point of Purchase (POP) displays are especially useful for new products. POP displays draw attention from 44 more customers to new product offerings. As much as 82 percent of product purchase decisions are made inside a retail store. POP displays encourage customers to make immediate, unplanned purchases.
In-store displays can be enhanced by in-store product placement and arrangements. One case study found that doubling the display space for fruit increased sales by 44 percent. Surgery beverages, coffee, and alcohol also generate more sales from more display space.
In fast food locations like McDonald's, "high energy" colors in in-store displays and fixtures have a track record of appealing to kids and lending a sense of urgency to customers that can speed up turnover.
In-Store displays with bold graphics, high energy colors, and sensorially evocative images of food products are likely to have the highest impact on sales. While we did not find a publicly accessible source that directly addressed the psychological mechanics of in-store displays, we found some indications that in-store displays can jog customers out of a low-engagement state and give them a chance to consider additional in-store purchases.