Magazine article Marketing

Pop: Traditional, Updated

Magazine article Marketing

Pop: Traditional, Updated

Article excerpt

Two years ago, point-of-purchase industry body POPAI suggested that in-store TV would be mainstream within three years. Today, caution remains the watchword.

Asda recently completed the first phase of a six-month trial of in-store TV in two supercentres. Advertisers including Coca-Cola, Nestle, Procter & Gamble and Reckitt Benckiser benefited from exposure to the 850 consumers an hour who walked through the retailer's doors. The work improved sales rates by an average of 8.7%, according to POP experimentation agency Retail Marketing In-store Services (RMS).

But while 44% of shoppers claimed to recall screens placed in individual aisles, feedback suggested that they were as yet unsure of their purpose and how they should be using them.

The trial is effectively a feasibility study, and Asda, along with other supporters of in-store TV, will be pleased to note that RMS' research has revealed that customers are starting to understand the medium better in the trial's second phase.

Sales boost

The suggestion is backed by the experience of Boots. It has been running digital screens in two prime stores for nearly two years. It has evaluated more than 120 brands in terms of uplift when promoted on-screen, and 84% of them achieved a sales rise of at least 16%, according to Stuart Chambers, retail sales director at branded TV service provider Avanti Screenmedia.

POP's purpose is twofold: to inform and to entice. Shelf-edge activity and passive flat displays still have a part to play, particularly for category management and information provision, but aroma inks, 3-D engineering, digital screens and interactive touchpoints are helping create retail entertainment that drives footfall and provides a point of difference.

'The high street is not dying just yet, but as the internet and home delivery become more popular - pounds 1 in every pounds 7 spent in the retail sector in 2004 was on items delivered to the doorstep - stores need to evolve to offer a valuable shopping experience to the consumer,' says Nick Buckland, senior account manager at design agency Fraserdesign, whose clients include Somerfield and Threshers Group.

Tailored offering

Clarity and quality of information are the ultimate aim of any POP material, according to Beswick Design creative director Cris Beswick, and electronic touchpoints have some advantages. 'Information graphics are still being stuck up as after-thoughts, with the assumption that consumers will read it, regardless of how complex it is,' he says. 'In-store screens give product information that is accurate and consistent in both content and quality, without the salesman coercion.

'This quality of information is creating informed buyers. And with more savvy consumers, retailers are taking advantage by promoting and cross-selling related products on screens and via interactive facilities,' adds Beswick.

Tesco has been using in-store TV in 100 of its biggest stores for 10 months. While the central aisle houses noticeboard-style screens, advertisers can also choose which aisle they want their products to appear in, from health and beauty to grocery, where smaller TVs are positioned on-shelf. There are 55 screens in each store.

Advertisers who take advantage of Tesco's weekly 'audience' of 10m customers are not confined to FMCG firms. Nestle and L'Oreal have been involved, but other advertisers have included Maestro (formerly Switch), Visa and the Post Office. While they may seem less obvious advertisers, as their products cannot be bought in-store, they are using the screens as a brand-building medium.

'In the US, Wal-Mart TV is marketed as the fifth network channel in terms of reach,' says Spencer Berwin, group sales director at JCDecaux, which operates Tesco TV. 'With Tesco TV, you know how many people are going into the supermarket and what they buy, which gives a form of measurement. …

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