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The 5 x 5 Approach: Converting grocery shoppers into HBC customers

Consumers, brands and retailers across the U.S. have finally started to feel the effects of the improving economy, including in the grocery store, where the health and beauty care (HBC) market is also on the mend, as revealed in recent research from Acosta. However, grocery retailers are still only capturing a mere 18% of the total HBC market, which means there is a huge opportunity for continued growth in this space.

In Acosta’s report, The Health of Health & Beauty Care in the Grocery Channel, we reveal the top drivers of traffic and sales in HBC: vitamins; medicines and remedies; hair care; oral hygiene; and cough and cold. While other categories are equally important for retailers to meet shopper needs, these five categories cover 75% of all HBC sales and are key for HBC success among top-performing retailers. To capitalize on the growth opportunity that exists in this market, there are five strategies retailers should apply across these five top-selling categories to see maximum results in converting routine grocery shoppers into HBC customers — also known as The 5 x 5 Approach.

We found shoppers cite more promotions, better selection and better aisle organization as the three most important factors that would encourage them to buy more HBC in the grocery store. Understanding these shopper attitudes and resulting behaviors are the basis for our 5 x 5 Approach:

1. Know your customers and stock the shelves accordingly.
Having and communicating the right assortment of products is key. Are shoppers at your store looking for natural or organic products? If so, make sure they’re available. Likewise, if you’re not seeing strong sales with those products, dedicate that shelf space to the products that are resonating with shoppers.

2. Change shopper perception by communicating competitive pricing.
Shoppers often believe they can’t get the best deals on HBC products in the grocery store. In reality, that’s not necessarily the case. Make sure you’re communicating your competitive pricing to change this perception.

3. Use in-store merchandising and navigational cues to enhance the experience for shoppers.
While grocery retailers can only allocate so much shelf space to HBC items, it’s important to highlight what products are offered in store, and where, by providing shoppers with extra directional signage.

4. Educate and inform shoppers during their shopping trip.
Inventory what tools and resources you have in store to communicate with shoppers — such as kiosks and nutritionists — and consider how you can use them to keep customers informed about your HBC offerings before, during and after shopping.

5. Leverage existing health and wellness platforms, and an in-store pharmacy.

Remind consumers pharmacies aren’t just for drug stores and mass market retailers, and be sure to leverage the services they offer. If a sick patient comes to the store to fill a prescription, take the opportunity to direct them to other products in the store that may help with their symptoms.

Top-performing retailers convert 21% more HBC shoppers than other stores. Additionally, HBC customers spend twice as much per trip as non-HBC customers, with an average spend of $82.37 versus $38.74. There is a clear incentive for grocery retailers to grow this important market, and The 5 x 5 Approach will help them improve the health of their HBC sales.

Download the report here

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