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Shopnocentrism

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I’m guilty. Are you? When I think about “at-retail marketing,” I think about North American retail environments like Target or Toys’R’Us or Kohls. By contrast, for much of the world, the photo to the left is retail reality.

The photo came this morning from a friend living in Accra, Ghana where he visited the famous Makola Market on a slow, post-holiday shopping day. Normally, people jam every square inch of the area selling or buying products.
What common elements of in-store advertising do you see? People stake out there real estate – literally – like we do here. They present their wares in an attractive, user-friendly way. Some of the stalls offer umbrellas to make it easier for shoppers to tarry on a sunny day. Another guy takes “mobile” to a new level with a four-wheel cart for getting his wares up closer to the shopper. There are few POP displays per se but, then again, each stall is manned by a seller who can capture the shopper’s attention, answer questions and suggest purchases, something that must often be accomplished without a shopkeeper in the Western world. This difference aside, color, product variety and depth, signage, presentation – it’s all here.
Wherever people buy and sell products, those of us who work in this broader world can learn. Be aware of your own shopnocentrism. Whether an outdoor market or the indoor bazaar of Herald Square, the precepts of effective point-of-purchase advertising are universal.