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My wife competed in the 2016 Boston Marathon this past April. For months leading up to the race, she ran countless miles and did various exercises to prepare. It was all worth it in the end and the pride our children and I felt watching her stride across the finish line was immeasurable.

It’s safe to say that nearly anything in life takes some measure of time and dedication just like training for a marathon. Consider your retail merchandising efforts: When planning your marketing campaign, you follow a strict program so that you stand out ahead of your competition. You study your target audience and figure out what measures you need to take in order to reach them. This is like a runner learning to set the pace. At retail, the consumers set the pace and you need to understand their expectations in order to keep up.

So, what factors make a run to a store still relevant in this mobile e-commerce market to today’s consumer?
According to the “Total Retail 2016: United States” survey, shoppers are interested in the overall experience at brick-and-mortar stores. Shoppers choose a physical store over e-commerce in order to engage with trained employees to help understand what options there are and up to “70% of consumers want in-store recommendations”. It’s important to recognize that “41% of shoppers look for sales associates with deep knowledge of products” and “32% want the ability to check other store or online stock quickly”.

What does this mean for your retail plan?
A part of your training needs to focus on the education of your consumer. When a consumer goes to your retail store or shops your display, they need to have quick access to information about your product. Going to the store is no longer about shopping but about the experience.

A part of the experience includes the community shoppers strive to belong to. One of the greatest aspects of my wife’s experience at the Boston Marathon was the relationships she made with the fellow runners. You see, when competing in the race, all of the runners become a part of a larger community. With each mile, they bond through the shared experience. In today’s retail market, consumer choices are affected by their social communities, online presence and whether or not they have an emotional connection to a brand. Buyers purchase more goods from the brand that represent values they believe in.

If you’d like further information on how to set the pace for your next retail marketing plan, check out the article and survey information by PricewaterhouseCoopers, and leave your comments below.

David Anzia

David Anzia

David has an in-depth knowledge of the in-store and interactive display industry with more than twenty years of experience in connecting consumers and brands at retail.

Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. is a company with vast experience in designing and producing creative, branded point of purchase displays and kiosks for any in-store environment.

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