BEAUTY CARE

SymphonyIRI Group: Focus on in-store merchandising continues to bear fruit

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — According to “Merchandising Trends: Driving Consumption through Shopper Marketing,” a new report published earlier this week by SymphonyIRI Group, merchandising continues to play an important role at retail. In 2011, 47% of consumer packaged goods categories enjoyed increased merchandising support, including displays, feature ads, feature and display combined, and price reduction only. While this reflects decelerating growth versus 2010, when 58% increased merchandising support, trends continue to indicate the presence of a highly promotional environment that seeks to drive purchase behavior in spite of the current difficult economic state.

“Price will continue to have a very high profile in the hearts and minds of consumers in the coming year,” said John McIndoe, SVP marketing at SymphonyIRI. “As such, price-related strategies — both everyday and promotional — must be honed with surgical precision from this day forward. Pricing strategies must be consumer-centric, enticing consumers to buy, while still allowing achievement of corporate and partner goals.”

Across grocery, drug and mass channels, 53% of categories experienced an increased lift from merchandising activities during the past year. This is a notable improvement from 2010, when 46% saw an increase. Merchandising performance within the grocery channel is in line with average industry trends, while the share of categories seeing lift within the drug channel lags industry average by eight points. However, the drug channel’s merchandising focus is on the rise, so lift may accelerate in the coming year, SymphonyIRI projected.

Food and beverage categories are well-represented among the ranks of those categories seeing the biggest jump in merchandising support during the past year, reflective of retailer efforts to play to economy-driven rituals around home-based eating and drinking. Another powerful trend marking CPG-related behavior these days is the pre-planning of shopping excursions. Today, three-quarters of consumers are making CPG decisions before entering the retail environment and an equal number enter the store with a shopping list in hand. Despite the high numbers of consumers following these practices, feature and feature/display combined support — tactics which begin to impact the shopper before she enters the retail environment — have each shown decelerating growth trends during the past year.

According to the report, 63% of consumers looked at store circulars before heading to the grocery store. And 49% of categories achieved lift of 100% or more from feature-only merchandising efforts during 2011. When backed by display activity, 84% of categories achieved lift of 100% or greater during the same time period. Despite these results, feature only and feature/display combined support is much less prevalent versus other, less powerful tactics, the report noted.

SymphonyIRI is offering a free webinar, entitled “Merchandising Trends: Driving Consumption through Shopper Marketing,” at 1 p.m. EST on Feb. 15. To register for the webinar, hosted by Susan Viamari, editor of Times & Trends, click here.

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Baby boomers, not Millenials, most comfortable shopping CPG online

BY Michael Johnsen

DENVER — Shoppers ages 50 to 54 years lead the charge when it comes to purchasing health and beauty products online (52%), and shoppers ages 45 to 49 years are purchasing more food and beverage products online (29%) than any other age group, according to The Checkout, an ongoing shopper behavior study conducted by The Integer Group and M/A/R/C Research, released Thursday.

All age groups showed an increase in shopping online, with an overall increase in shopping in general — in contrast to The Checkout’s results from last year, which showed 73% of shoppers who were buying more online were not shopping more, they were just shopping differently.

Last year, The Checkout also showed that baby boomers were the largest group of shoppers purchasing consumer-packaged goods products online (health, beauty, food, beverage). Both reports indicated that other age groups still aren’t sold on the idea of doing standard grocery shopping online, stating that their barriers for purchasing these goods online are product expiration dates and shipping costs.

"Grocery shopping online is a concept most shoppers have yet to adopt, which means there are conventions ingrained in their shopping behavior that must be disrupted," stated Craig Elston, SVP of Integer. "Manufacturers and e-tailers have the most to gain if they can help shoppers get over their purchase barriers."

The Checkout is available for download here following a free registration.

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G.Cambrial says:
Jun-26-2012 05:13 am

Quite an interesting survey.. was amazed to see that customers of age 50 to 54 years lead in purchasing health and beauty products online. I guess they must be searching for best skin care for aging skin....

s.edword says:
May-29-2012 08:48 am

As there is an effective increase in shopping online, it is due to it's easy and simple which result in most comfortable shopping, may will go for it.Thanks for the information.

AsherS says:
Feb-10-2012 12:34 pm

Sorry, Mr. Elston, but saying there are conventions ingrained in their shopping behavior that must be disrupted, and describing in-store shopping as an example of a purchase barrier shows a strong bias. There are many aspects of in-store shopping that can never be replaced long-distance. These are only barriers to those who hold a vested interest in the increase of online shopping. Why must my shopping behavior be disrupted? I'm perfectly happy with the visceral experience of walking the aisles, smelling and touching foods, and having a 3D, live purchase adventure. Personally, I think the screen is a barrier to the food experience, which is far more sensorially complete in-person.

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Tom’s of Maine supports smiles in need, encourages nonprofit clinics to apply for grants

BY Antoinette Alexander

KENNEBUNK, Maine — Tom’s of Maine, a maker of natural personal care products, is directing its Dental Health for All program to help families in states with the highest percentage of their population living under the poverty level and is inviting nonprofit clinics serving those four states and Washington, D.C., to apply for a portion of $100,000 in funding.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau statistics, the states with the highest percentage of their population living under the poverty level include Alabama, Kentucky, New Mexico, Mississippi and Washington, D.C. This year the program plans to award one clinic from each of the four states and Washington, D.C. with $20,000 in funding to grow and expand the reach of their services.

"Many clinics simply need additional resources to keep up with demand, especially during this struggling economy when people are faced with losing or forgoing health benefits," stated Susan Dewhirst, goodness programs manager at Tom’s of Maine. "We often hear that dental care is among the first benefits to go, yet it is vital to maintaining overall health. We encourage clinics in the designated states to apply for the funding, and we hope people will alert local clinics of this opportunity."

To date, Dental Health for All has helped make 200,000 additional patient visits possible with $1 million in funding to more than 30 school and community-based dental clinics nationwide.

Applications for this year’s program must be received by March 15. Recipients will be announced in early April.

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