Can a map help you sell more?


How to find ROI instore? Use a map.



When you drive, knowing where you’re going and finding the nearby landmarks makes the experience enjoyable and worthwhile.  The better your GPS works, the lower your stress, the more efficient the trip, and the happier the result.

The same can be said for shoppers looking for your product. The easier it is to find,

  1. The better the shopper experience,
  2. The lower the frustration level,
  3. The greater the time savings, and
  4. The more willing the shopper is to look at the rest of your display or shelf (which drives increased purchases).


What’s your map?


Sure, this all makes sense and sounds great.  Make it easier to find something and you may increase purchase behavior. But mapmaking certainly isn’t part of your job description.

There’s an easy, effective solution. Let the shoppers create the map for you.

You can do this by simply becoming a student of buying behavior, talking to shoppers on their journey to the aisle, and just watching them shop (with their permission, of course).

What you’ll quickly discover is that shopping is all about landmarks. Some products are ‘identified’ by their prominent branding, others by size, and others still by ingredient or flavour.

Understanding the hierarchy of these landmarks (the Shopper Decision Tree, as we call it) can go a long way in helping to optimize navigation for your customers.  Did you know that 30% of Shoppers walk away from a category without buying anything, and 20% of planned purchases do not happen due to poor navigation.

The next time you approach a display, try to observe yourself going through the Shopper Decision tree. Ask yourself:

  1. What did I look for first? A brand, a size, my favourite flavour?
  2. What did look for next? Did I know what flavor I was looking for, or did I simply browse?
  3. What was my final thought as I picked up my product of choice? Was it price, or size?

Now, with your marketer hat on, understand that all these subtle instincts and decisions can help you organize shelves and displays in a format that allows shoppers to get to their happy place quicker!



Build that map



Your map actually starts as the chain of considerations described above. A chain that your shopper goes through enroute to their purchase.

However, it can then be physically drawn as a map, with choices as branches in the road. Some branches for typical products might include:

  • When looking for milk, do shoppers have a favourite brand, or do they just look for skim milk?
  • When looking for Diet Coke, do they look for Original Coca-Cola first to landmark where it might be, or do they look for the Diet Cola section?
  • Do they look for the ‘crème filled sandwich cookie section’ or do they simply look for an Oreo?
  • Do they look for Trident on the gum rack, or do they look for the blue pack they know will be a peppermint(ish) flavor?


All of these questions and answers can really help map out your products. Remember, all you have to do is ask directions from your shoppers!

If you found this story useful, and you’d like to know more about how we work with brands to drive shopper ROI, don’t hesitate to contact Mike Alviano at, (905) 467-2231.



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