Retailing Trends: Right price, right placement sells snacks

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Strength in numbers: Right price, right placement sells snacks

branded non-branded cereal

The clock is ticking as soon as a customer comes through the front door: The average convenience store customer spends less than two minutes inside the store1, so it’s essential that the purchase decision-making process is as quick and easy as possible. By employing the most effective pricing and store placement strategies, c-stores can help customers make the most of their visit in the shortest amount of time. Let’s take a look at which tactics create the best opportunities for leveraging higher sales.

Offer everyday value to keep focus on product rather than price tag

A 2014 Consumer Reports survey found that 36 percent of consumers feel overwhelmed by the amount of information they must process when making a purchase decision2. So when confronted with a wide mix of price points or promotions, c-store customers might decide it’s just not worth their time to deliberate and walk away empty-handed. Combat consumer “choice fatigue”–and better yet, boost sales–by offering popular items at the same attractive price point. A study comparing retail pricing strategies found that retailers offering everyday low prices without any other additional promotions saw greater lift than those who used point-of-sale call-outs but kept prices slightly higher3.

This is particularly important for brands with a wide variety of popular flavors and formulas. For example, Cheez-It®, the number one cheese cracker brand in convenience4, also offers eight varieties of salty snacks. An everyday value pricing strategy keeps the focus on the product, not the price tag, which may help prompt impulse buys and multiple purchases. Research shows that shoppers are more likely to buy low-priced products on impulse than high-priced products5. So rather than choosing between Cheez-It® Crunch’D™ Hot & Spicy and Cheez-It Grooves® Zesty Cheddar Ranch based on which one costs less, the customer may just grab a package of each.

Group favorites in a familiar snack destination center

Help your c-store customer know exactly where to find his or her favorites by grouping popular branded snacks together. A well-stocked destination in a fixed, familiar store location serves as an easy go-to for shoppers on the go. And just as a single-price strategy may prompt customers to buy more than one, corralling the most crave-able brands together may boost the chance that shoppers will see–and buy–another favorite snack at the same time.

Locating snacks near the soft drink aisle is one effective way to optimize store layout. A 2014 study from Texas A&M’s Center for Retailing Studies found that c-store shoppers are more likely to buy salty snacks if they’ve already purchased a soft drink6. And the closer the salty snack aisle is to the soft drink aisle, the more apt customers are to grab that bag of snacks before heading out the door7.

The c-store customer can be elusive, but by offering everyday value pricing and all-in-one snack destinations in optimal locations, retailers can get the most out of those 120 seconds their customer is in-store.

1 Anthem Marketing brief, page 1
2 The downside of too many product choices on store shelves. (2014). Consumer Reports.
3 2012 Cheez-It Snack Mix TPR Test Results (Anthem Marketing brief, page 5)
4 Anthem Marketing brief, page 3
5 Kacen, J.J., Hess, J.D., & Walker, D. (2014). Spontaneous selection: The influence of product and merchandising factors on consumer impulse purchases. The Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services.
6 Shankar, V. & Kannan, P.K. (2014). An across-store analysis of intrinsic and extrinsic cross-category effects. Customer Needs and Solutions. DOI 10.1007/s40547-014-0012-1
7 Shankar, V. & Kannan, P.K. (2014). An across-store analysis of intrinsic and extrinsic cross-category effects. Customer Needs and Solutions. DOI 10.1007/s40547-014-0012-1

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