Thought leader: Compliance pays in store

from Mark McKeown, owner, Impulse POP

With the long bank holiday weekend behind us, it’s time to take stock of exactly how your selling space is being utilised, because as sure as Easter eggs are eggs, a busy shop floor typically looks and acts very differently to one described in even the most detailed store brief. If you regularly review your Point of Sale (POS) in-store performance – whether you’ve commissioned a 300-store gondola end display roll-out, or 100-branch countertop unit implementation, you can rectify any gremlins impacting sales early on within a promotion, to stem the ongoing loss of revenue.

As a brief snapshot, this Easter holiday period predictably saw retailers and brands applying promotions and discounts across online and offline channels to attract and win the customer. Cross-selling and up-selling were popular modes of shopper engagement to generate bigger basket spend, brands using a tone that was less shouty and a bit more considerate, conveying they are ‘in it with us,’ mindful that we’re all feeling the squeeze financially. So, from a messaging point of view, we saw brands setting a confident but empathetic tone.

So, a big tick from a marketing perspective – but how is it looking from the physical display execution in-store? You may still be gathering data to assess how well your products performed against target and within the category. Likely, you have indicative results which may already expose problem areas. We’ll outline why it’s crucial to act on any early warning signs, fix issues, or seek help before you activate any further promotional activity for the bank holidays ahead.

Audits pre and post-implementation – The right time to take stock

Poor in-store compliance of secondary product displays is a serious issue for marketers and store operations teams, impairing the desired in-store presentation and eroding the Return on Investment (ROI). But with our expert guidance, you can avoid encountering these issues:

1. Free Standing Display Units (FSDUs) or Gondola Ends missing from the shop floor?

Too often, a store’s footprint has had adjustments made locally, and therefore the merchandising shelf plans issued from Head Office may not reflect the current layout. It’s why Impulse POP always offer a scoping audit, which provides clarity around individual store layouts. This information is used to plan your production requirements and co-ordinate the implementation schedule.

In addition, poorly written set-up instructions can lead to FSDUs being removed by store staff, if the display looks unsightly or inadequately constructed. Sadly, well-planned display unit ‘spares’ typically languish in a fulfilment house, simply because return checks aren’t undertaken, leading to the unnecessary disposal of whole units when remedial damages occur. We recommend re-visiting stores to refresh displays during campaigns exceeding 4 weeks.

As we said at the outset, busy stores are dynamic spaces with lots of moving parts, and hopefully hundreds of shoppers engaging with your product. So factoring post implementation maintenance keeps your display looking attractive, well merchandised and easily shopped.

2. Displays built incorrectly or failing?

Commonly, a display unit fails if the store environment hasn’t been properly factored into specification of the manufacturing materials. For example, it’s better to use recyclable semi-permanent materials, rather than opt for cheaper card over longer selling periods, particularly in Grocery, where a unit must withstand impact from trolleys or sustain heavy loads.

3. Lost or rejected POS displays?

Entrusting your campaign to Impulse POP eradicates expensive display units getting rejected, lost or damaged on couriers, as our installers manage your displays from the production line to installation. Our real-time installation reports provide reassurance that your schedule is being consistently implemented nationwide to agreed standards.

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