Aisle find it somewhere – How to Understand the Changing Buying Behaviour whilst Maximising Instore Purchases

Over the years of working in Point of Sale Marketing and designing and installing retail displays across the world, we have learnt a thing or two about buying and shopping behaviour.

The archetypal female shopper likes to browse, review, select and then buy, whereas male shoppers are historically renowned to ‘know what they want’, go straight into store, buy it and leave.



Since coming out of lockdown, early indications in a number of retail sectors seem to be showing that sales are holding to expected levels, however, customer volumes and time instore are reducing. The Office of National Statistics said “In June 2020, the volume of retail sales increased by 13.9% when compared with May 2020 as non-food and fuel stores continue their recovery from the sharp falls experienced since the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The two monthly increases in the volume of retail sales in May and June 2020 have brought total sales to a similar level as before the coronavirus pandemic, whilst levels have still not recovered from the sharp falls experienced in March and April.”

This is clearly indicating that shoppers habits have changed. People are now researching what they want online, reviewing and comparing in their own homes and then once decided on their purchase, they are heading out to the High Street or Retail Park to buy their chosen products or picking them up from a ‘Click & Collect’ service.

This shift means that your advertising and branding must be much more closely monitored to ensure an homogenous platform between shopping online and instore. You now need to steer and guide the shopper to their chosen product range or category easily. Whilst this has always seemed an obvious plan, in practice, we don’t always see this manifesting itself.

So is this the new normal?

If early reports of lower numbers of physical shoppers but the maintenance of sales revenue in store continue, then there is now a real need for matching your online presence to the clear areas and zones in store.

So how do you do this?

Historically, our Store Mapping service has been used to collate details, produce plans and build databases of POS collateral in store, with a view to ensuring the campaign materials are fit for purpose. It also helps to minimise waste and maximise investments in print and display materials. Now, it is clear that in this new environment, Store Mapping can play a vital part in giving insight into the planning, layout and implementation of much clearer instore areas for customers to ensure they arrive at their chosen product with ease after researching online.

In addition, there is still a need for traditional campaign branding, as the journey to the chosen product offers many opportunities for the impulse sale. It is almost like going back in time to when sugar and flour were placed in the furthest point away from the entrance in grocery stores. Everyone knew that was where to find these staple products, whilst passing a whole range of enticing products on the way.

Design and layout compliance is easy to implement online as once it is there, it isn’t going to change. Instore, there are so many variables that consistent compliance is hard to maintain.

Focus Retail Services Installation Service will ensure that your store is clearly identifying your customer’s target location, whilst maximising branding opportunities along the way.

Our installs are also supported by real time reporting and results analysis. This is so that we can monitor results and ensure successful campaigns in this changing landscape.

Email now for more information.



How Retail Brands can Achieve Growth in a Post Pandemic Landscape

For as long as I can remember, business planning always had a clear direction – it was based on making a decision, and then simply planning for your future, knowing and foreseeing (mostly) certain obstacles.

Recent events have shown us that this is not so today. We are now navigating around new, unplanned and ever-changing rules, regulations and restrictions. We are all trying to ensure that we all travel down the same path to safety, making the need for adaptability and compliance paramount, whilst still maximising our brand. We are needing to find new, creative solutions and ideas, which previously would have been overlooked or not even considered.

So Where are we Going Today?

Now that we can get over the start line for overseas travel, we are resuming our survey activities across Europe and have surveyors based in 7 countries. They have been undertaking Store Mapping activities and have been working in an ever changing and unplanned environment. The way shoppers behave is now completely different to anything previously recorded, thanks to Covid.


Our traditional Store Mapping services are split into 3 areas:


This methodology ensures all Point of Sale collateral has been identified, measured and listed in a manageable database, and provides critical information in assessing campaign materials deployment, maximising effect and minimising waste. This meets the principal objectives of most client companies.

As we progress away from lock-down, we see more directed footfall around the shop, barriers and one-way systems, so we are needing to review and adjust the location of prime promotional displays. This is now even more important that in the ‘old normal’ days.

Here is a practical checklist on what we have found to be the best way for brands to best position themselves in this new retail landscape:

Move Online

One trend that will stick around even after the pandemic is over is online shopping. More people stay home to avoid crowded areas and they are now more inclined to make online purchases. This habit is convenient and safe, so people will stick to this for the long term. Seamless integration between online and offline shopping will see you get ahead of your competition. Mobile checkout, scan and shop, click and collect are all ‘hybrid’ shopping experiences that will become more popular as time passes.

Change your Message

Safety is at the forefront of every shoppers mind and as retail shops open, the most basic thing people look for is health and safety. Having hand sanitiser and health and safety protocols will improve your brand and encourage shoppers to come back, knowing they are safe. Controlling the number of people in store and avoiding overcrowding is also paramount. Communicate these plans to your customers in your marketing and social media messaging.

Ongoing Commitment to Customer Service

Ensuring and promising an ongoing commitment to customer service and safety will build credibility in your brand both now and post pandemic. Whatever policies you implement, keep your customers informed and respond to their concerns. Communicating updates and changes to the customer lets them know that you’re ahead of the game.

To find out more about how we can help contact us now