The Three Mind-States of the Front End Shopper  4/27/2016

According to Sarah Glisman, National Impulse Racking Manager for the Wm. Wrigley Co., who spoke about POP merchandising trends during ECRM’s Fixture Review: Checklane & POP Merchandising EPPS Event this past February in Las Vegas, there is an emotional path that consumers experience during the shopper journey. At the start, when they enter the store, they are most excited, and that level of excitement drops as they make their way through the store, and is the lowest level by the time they get to the front-end checkout.

It is at the checkout where the shopper has three distinct mind states, according to Glisman, and these are: Refresh, Reward, and Remind. “At this point in the trip, they may need a pick-me-up, and that is the refresh mind-state,” she says. “For these people, beverages, gum, or mints meet that need. Those in the reward state feel the need to reward themselves for completing the journey. Consumers in this mind state may seek indulgence when they get to the checkout, such as chocolate or other confectionary product, or may treat themselves to a magazine. Finally, those in the remind mindset are trying to remember what they may have overlooked during the shopping trip, and for these shoppers, general merchandise or small HBC items are what they are looking for.”

During ECRM’s Event Debriefings – one on one interviews between ECRM staff and buyer/seller attendees of the event – impulse items that addressing these three mind-states, and merchandising display solutions that highlight such products were a focus of the discussions, and several key trends were noted as top-of-mind.

When it comes to front-end checklane displays, modularity and adaptability were important, as they provided retailers the ability to adjust the front end assortment on-the-fly to accommodate any new product trends. “We’ve built modularity into our front end checklane display systems, and every piece is designed to be switched from one side to the other, and the cooler space can be increased or decreased, depending on what your stores need,” said Frank Bishop, VP of Sales for Innovative Fixture Solutions. “And every piece of the fixture comes off, so if all of a sudden a product is no longer selling well, it’s no longer permanently attached so you can add new products.”

Buyers at the event also said that they are looking for front end merchandising solutions that can work with their existing fixtures, such as magnetic strips, and “customizable, affordable, eye catching forms of refrigerated units.” Of course, LED lighting and digital displays are also helping to highlight and drive impulse sales at the front end.

In terms of products, many attendees’ comments were also consistent with Glisman’s need states at the front end. Energy products sales at the front end are growing, no doubt part as they address the “refresh” mind-state. In addition to traditional energy shots and drinks, suppliers are developing new delivery systems to deliver a boost to consumers, such as Jolly Product’s 8-Hour Energy Patch, which delivers a steady dose of caffeine via kinesiology tape affixed to the upper arm. These come in packs that are designed to be sold on pegs or in racks at the front end.

When it comes to the reward mind state, the definition of “indulgence” items may be expanding to include better-for-you items like nutrition bars, nuts, or even beef jerky, and coconut water is making its way into the front end beverage mix. But traditional snacks aren’t going away, particularly sour candies, which are also gaining in popularity, according to attendees.

To address those consumers in the “remind” mind-state, more gadget-related items are making their way to the front end, such as cell-phone accessories and cases, cords, USB chargers, ear buds, and cord-management systems, such as those from Professional Cable, which makes several types of front-end display shippers for such accessories. “We have a small plastic shipper display that has earbuds, micro USBs, auxiliary cords, and wall chargers,” says Jason Bringhurst, CEO. “They are a great impulse buy to have right at the cash register, and are an easy way to make a little more money at the front end.” 

This article originally appeared in the April 11 issue of MMR.


(To see the full playlist from the event, click the menu icon in the upper left corner of the video player)

(To see the full playlist from the event, click the menu icon in the upper left corner of the video player)

Joseph Tarnowski

VP Content

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