Breaking Through the Messaging Noise (INFOGRAPHIC)

General Mills consumer research pinpoints most effective in-store signage

MINNEAPOLIS-- General Mills Convenience & Foodservice recently conducted a mobile-phone-based research study to understand what types of store signs and messages are most likely to break through and capture the customer’s attention. The results: While most consumers (51%) reported no signs caught their eye at all, there are a few key ways retailers can better grab their attention.

The study was completed by 130 convenience store shoppers, ages 18 to 54, during a normal visit to a c-store.  After they paid, respondents took pictures and answered questions about signs or displays that stood out to them in some way. This approach allowed the opportunity to not only ask consumers about their experiences, but also to look for patterns across the images of merchandising that consumers uploaded. The survey took place in the last two weeks of October, 2013.

Among the key findings:

  • Fifty-one percent of consumers said that no signs at all caught their attention, indicating just how difficult it is to break through.
  • Only 18% of consumers said that a sign or promotion motivated them to make an impulse buy.
  • The attributes of signage that best caught their attention include easy-to-read (79%) colorful (65%), informative (65%), “product I love” (56%), and offers a good value (49%).

The company then took the survey findings and determined five key areas, summarized by the acronym D.R.I.V.E, that capture consumer attention in the store:

  • D: Design. High contrast, bold and contrasting colors and appealing photography.
  • R: Route. Merchandising needs to be placed in the highest traffic areas.
  • I: Immediacy. Promote immediate-gratification items and deals. Build urgency to act now.
  • V: Value. Consumers notice prices, and deals and freebies catch their attention.
  • E: Execution. If you are going to promote it, it needs to be in stock. Out-of-stocks and poorly maintained shelves turn consumers off.

“Consumers are in the store for just a minute or two so signage needs to be easy-to read, colorful and feature a clear call-to-action,” said Chris Quam, consumer insights manager for General Mills Convenience & Foodservice in a statement released by the company.

“The message needs to be grasped in an instant. Consumers need to know that if they take advantage of the offer, they’ll get value for their money, and purchasing won’t slow them down. Speed is the name of the game.”