In-Store Advertising: To Spend or Not to Spend

Retailers devote a significant portion of ad spend to in-store advertising. At what point, however, does in-store advertising go from being effective at promoting a brand to being about as noticeable as wallpaper? TRA, Inc., a media and market research company, and dunnhumbyUSA, a company focused on helping retailers build brand value, recently released two studies designed to help retailers understand how to best combine in-store advertising with television and online advertising for optimum conversion. According to their findings, the key to in-store conversion is in the combination of different forms of advertising.

Television Advertising Plus In-Store Advertising

According to the findings of TRA and dunnhumbyUSA, a television advertisement combined with an in-store promotion increased sales lift by 11.83 percent over television advertising alone. The study also found that combining television advertising with a temporary price reduction, plus an in-store display and feature, had a significant effect on sales performance for a product. In fact, the combination produced 11 times the sales effect of using television advertising alone.

Online Advertising Plus In-Store Advertising

A study conducted by the same two companies in late 2011 found that online advertising significantly aided in-store conversions. In fact, 42 percent of targeted online ad campaigns resulted in a significant in-store sales lift. The research also found that brands receive a median 21 percent sales lift from customers who are exposed to both online and in-store advertising.

Finding the Right Balance

The Platt Retail Institute suggests that 50 to 60 percent of in-store purchases are spontaneous, which backs up the importance of placing some advertising in-store. However, retailers have to ask themselves whether or not spending on in-store advertising actually educates and engages customers.

A Miller Zell study found that customers most often engage with end-of-aisle signage, followed by merchandising displays, department signage and shelf strips. However, too much clutter can result in poor brand recall and shopper confusion.

To optimize in-store advertising, combine it with advertising over other platforms, including television, web and social media outlets. As research indicates, a more holistic experience will result in better conversion in the store.