For those brands that leverage retail channels, in-store displays can represent among the highest impression messages and be a foundational cornerstone to marketing success. Goals for these displays can vary quite a bit: generating awareness, building brand equity, gaining entry into a consumer’s consideration set, or educating about products, to name just a handful. Ultimately though, the end play is often conversion to purchase.
Given their potential impact on both the brand and the bottom line, inviting consumers to provide feedback on displays during the design phase makes sense. Displays are, after all, created specifically for consumers, to catch their eye and help make their shopping easier. Why not let your customers offer their two cents? Early-stage feedback from target consumers before final forms are locked in can yield a wealth of high impact insights that can improve in-store appeal of your displays, refine the brand-story they convey, optimize their shop-ability, make navigation of their featured products more intuitive, and yes, improve their ability to convert browsers to buyers. Below is a rundown of qualitative research approaches that Accelerant Research has found to be especially impactful when it comes to retail prototype testing.
As with any qualitative work, setting the stage is key to a productive discussion, and this means engaging your participants before you invite them into a discussion. When it comes to display prototype research, a good first step is a self-guided shopping trip assigned before the core research event even takes place. During this self-scheduled “homework,” recruited participants are tasked with shopping your specific category and your specific products at one of the retailers that carries your brand and features your displays.
Such exercises allow for a natural shopping style without imposed time constraints and provide a wealth of information for your insights and marketing teams – photographs of displays, comments on packaging, videos of product selection, and collection of exhibits such as brochures and samples. Most importantly, they set the stage for a productive discussion: how well are your current displays working, what have your competitors got going on, and, from the perspective of your target customers, what are problems not yet solved and opportunities not yet realized in the aisle?
Following in-store shopping, your customers will then participate in moderated qualitative discussions where they share not only their thoughts on your current displays but then provide feedback on your new design prototypes with all that recent experiential context in mind. There are a few flavors to how these follow-up discussions can be designed depending on timeline, budget, stimuli available, and your team’s specific insights needs. Some of our preferred approaches for display prototype discussions are listed below:
If you’re considering conducting consumer listening on display prototypes your team is building, and we think you should, we invite you to reach out to us for more information. Give us a call (704-206-8500) or send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org). We’d be happy to talk through your specific insights needs and make a recommendation tailored to fit. With our support and guidance in participant recruiting, technology/logistics management, and even moderating/full-service support, Accelerant Research can provide you impactful insights from your customers that will help you tailor your in-store presence to meet their needs best.