STUDY: POINT-OF-PURCHASE DISPLAY IMPACT INCREASES

NEW YORK -- Point-of-purchase advertising is not something to be taken lightly, particularly in view of the fact that 70% of all supermarket purchases are in some way influenced by such promotion.Throw in the statistics from a recent study that showed 96% of supermarket shoppers make at least one purchase that is in some way affected by POP material and 93% of shoppers make at least one totally unplanned

NEW YORK -- Point-of-purchase advertising is not something to be taken lightly, particularly in view of the fact that 70% of all supermarket purchases are in some way influenced by such promotion.

Throw in the statistics from a recent study that showed 96% of supermarket shoppers make at least one purchase that is in some way affected by POP material and 93% of shoppers make at least one totally unplanned purchase per trip to the store, and its importance is highlighted even more.

That was the message during a seminar here at the Point-of-Purchase Advertising Institute Marketplace '95. Executives of Meyers Research Center here presented results of a study performed for POPAI in which 2,811 supermarket shoppers were interviewed. The research was conducted in seven regions throughout the country, two markets within a region and two leading stores within each region. It consisted mainly of pre-shopping and post-shopping interviews, along with receipt analysis and the monitoring of POP material in participating stores. A smaller cross-section of mass merchandisers was also part of the study.

"The supermarket in-store decision rate has increased in the last 10 years," said Gerald Meyers, president of Meyers Research here. "A lot of that is associated with the quality of POP. We also know the store is much more of a marketing arena, from radio, to aislevision to carts. There's probably more done at the store level than ever before, and it's influenced how shoppers come to make their decisions."

That improvement in quality was necessary, he added.

"I don't know of many formats where somebody comes to a store on average twice a week, every week of the year, for a period of years. It's a terrific opportunity. There's a lot of frequency. It's important to keep that in mind because you want to leverage that."

Meyers said the study broke purchases into four types: specifically planned -- purchases in which shoppers knew the product and brand they were going to buy before entering the store; generally planned -- purchases in which shoppers planned to buy an item but not a particular brand; substitute -- purchases in which either a brand or an item is substituted; and totally unplanned.

According to the study, 70% of all supermarket purchases fit into

the last three categories, meaning at least some portion of the buying decision is made in-store. That's up from 66% in a similar study nine years ago.

Branded products had a 73% in-store decision rate, while the private-label in-store decision rate was 78%. (The remaining purchases were classified as generic or unbranded.) Females make slightly more in-store decisions than males. Younger shoppers have higher rate of in-store decisions than do older shoppers.

According to the study, Center Store categories with the highest in-store decision rates include: candy and gum, 89%; pickles, relish and olives, 88%; and salsa and dip, 86%.

A new POP measurement -- the Brand Lift Index -- was created as a result of the research project. It gauges the average increase of purchase incidence when POP is present vs. when it is not.

In supermarkets, displays resulted in a Brand Lift Index of 6 -- meaning six times more product was purchased -- in the butter/margarine and cookie categories. Soft drinks, beer/ale and mixers were next, with an index of 5.

When it came to signs, frozen sweet baked goods led the way. When POP signs were present, nine times as much frozen baked goods were purchased than if no signs were used. Mixers indexed at 8; breakfast meats, cigarettes and hot dogs were next, with an index of 3.