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THE FATHER OF SHOPPER MARKETING

One of the delights of GlobalShop, North America’s largest trade show for the in-store marketing industry, is hearing from some of the world’s premier experts on what works in stores. Herb Sorenson PhD was one of those delights for me in mid-April this year.

Herb is arguably the father of shopper marketing. Though retired, he still actively preaches the art and science of in-store marketing through his blog: www.shopperscientist.com. I’m a big fan of his excellent books, too.
One of the many meaty tidbits he shared is the concept of visual width. Studies prove that people instinctively move toward open space in a store. It’s a simple, sensible concept. Yet, store planners often ignore this and try to funnel/drive shoppers, focusing solely on the floor plan and not the sight plan. They fight human nature and frustrate shoppers who in turn shop less, buy less and return less frequently. Nobody wins.
In-store marketing is indeed both art and science. Some store planners over-emphasize the art part; don’t miss the science, folks. If you don’t balance the yin with the yang, you risk losing shoppers and sales. Science may not be sexy but it is essential to understanding how shopper marketing works. Learning from and working with experts helps make retail environments better. Thanks for the reminder, Herb!