Editor’s Note: This blog was originally published by Snooper App. Snooper App was acquired by Wiser Solutions in 2022 and this blog has been revised and repurposed for a global audience. A version of this blog is also published in National Liquor News.
From November to January, celebrations are a feature of our lives: Spring Races, Christmas, New Year, and the start of Summer. As temperatures start to rise, so do the alcohol sales! They increase by 20 percent during Christmas, according to Quantium.
This key selling period represents a major opportunity for the liquor industry. But with stakes so high, it’s worth reflecting on the best strategy to adopt to win the battle in-store and meet shoppers’ expectations.
In-store displays located outside of the aisle are the number one touchpoint influencing shopper’s purchases and therefore crucial for brand execution and sales.
With increasing competition and limited space in stores, brands need to maximize touchpoints and fight for their share of visibility outside the aisle to disrupt shoppers’ paths to purchase and inspire them during key selling periods.
Each year, Wiser Solutions analyzes in-store execution, particularly off-location displays, during this important period. In 2019, between November and January, our community of shoppers reported insights in 300 stores nationally across banner groups. We assessed the share of display by category, measured which brands over-indexed in off-location space, and evaluated the most impactful activations from a shopper-centric perspective. Below are some findings from last year’s Spring Races to Summer report, with some implications for this year. If you’d like to access this year’s insights (November 2020 – January 2021), get in touch with us!
Festive Period Intensifies Fight For Display
Wiser’s Industry Report highlights share of display by category and display penetration by brand. This allows brands to discover which category had the biggest spike in share of display during the Festive period or to benchmark themselves against competitors to assess how they performed in display penetration.
Last year, between spring racing and Christmas, the overall number of off-location displays increased by 60 percent, but it should be noted that spring racing displays are under-represented overall. This represents an opportunity for both brands and retailers to dial-up activity.
As expected, wine was the most off-located category throughout all key retail events with Pepperjack, Oyster Bay and Jacob’s Creek displays featuring heavily. However, we had a few surprises when analyzing share of display for other categories including Sparkling Wine & Champagne, Beer, Spirits, and Ready-To-Drink over the whole Festive period.
Themed Displays Trump Promotion Only
While location remains the number one lever for impactful displays, during the festive season the importance of themed displays leapfrogs price and discount into second place as shoppers look for inspiration.
Our Wiser Industry Report highlights quantitative and qualitative shopper insights on the most impactful activations. This gives key players important information regarding the underlying reasons why the most impactful displays were voted by our community of shoppers.
Interestingly, last year nearly half of shoppers selected multi-category displays—rather than single-brand displays—as being most impactful.
Likewise, shoppers are looking for themed products and packaging relating to festive occasions, as well as appropriate promotional mechanics such as occasion-related prizes or gifts with purchase.
Key Findings From Last Year’s Industry Report
As captured last year, although the location is still key, the best results were generated from a themed display that included festive packaging corresponding with a promotion.
There is an opportunity for brands to block the 3-month period with the following associated themes: spring racing, festive season, and summer.
Given the changes in several categories in the past 12 months, we expect the findings of this year’s study to vary in a number of respects from last year.
We look forward to seeing if the percentage of themed displays will increase and if the same brands will win the battle for off-location space during the most important period of the year.