CHICAGO - With consumers increasingly leveraging advanced technologies for planning cost-effective purchasing decisions, consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers and retailers must think outside the box to communicate with shoppers, SymphonyIRI Group reveals in its latest Times & Trends report, "Merchandising Trends: Supporting the Value Proposition."
"Smartphones, digital coupons, online retailers and the Internet combined with financial pressures and shifting marketplace dynamics are forever changing how consumers shop," said Susan Viamari, editor of Times & Trends at SymphonyIRI. "If you want to reach and resonate with shoppers today, you need to do more than traditional in-store merchandisingï¿½ï¿½Marketers that keep pace with and embrace this opportunity will achieve success, while those who fail will find it difficult ï¿½" even impossible ï¿½" to remain relevant and competitive."
Merchandising traditionally has been used to drive awareness and educate consumers, but its use has seen mixed trends over the past couple of years, with merchandising use declining in 47% of categories, a trend closely mirrored by the c-store channel. Meanwhile, merchandising lift has declined across 80% of categories within U.S. multi-outlet geographies.
The lift decline was seen even in the carbonated beverages category, traditionally one of the most heavily merchandised categories (it fell 14% in 2012).
According to SymphonyIRI, to compete for consumer attention, companies must reach out with effective and advanced media, which varies across CPG categories, as detailed in its report.
"The 'old wayï¿½ï¿½ of doing things is simply not as impactful as it was in the past," Viamari said. "To capitalize on new and evolving opportunities, marketers must enmesh the broad and rapidly growing array of old and new media tools at their disposal. They must take chances and not be afraid to make mistakes."