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As retail changes, find ways to stand out

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Shoppers don’t shop the way they used to. They buy more online, and when they go to the store, they expect more from the experience.

Shoppers don’t shop the way they used to. They buy more online, and when they go to the store, they expect more from the experience. While bricks-and-mortar retail isn’t going away, it is changing, and it’s essential that brands and the companies that work with them understand those changes.

The grocery store offers an instructive example. With shoppers — and younger shoppers in particular — increasingly gravitating to the outer edge of the store for fresh produce, meat, and bread, foot traffic is down in the center aisles. People still shop for cereal and peanut butter and potato chips, but reduced traffic at the center of the store means brands must maximize the opportunities they have to get a shopper’s attention.

Doing so doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are a few ideas to consider.

Let your packaging speak for you Your packaging is often the first opportunity for people to experience your product on the shelf. Does it say what you want it to say? If you’re a tried-and-true brand, can you add a foil or use a clear label material to freshen your look? If you’re new to the market, could a holographic material or a unique substrate help your label pop and make it clear you’re a fresh alternative to the more familiar standbys? Know your options so you can understand what makes sense for you.

Consider the whole experience Can you look beyond labels? Signage, shelf danglers, and point-of-purchase displays help make an impression, but it’s not as simple as printing new promotional items. Expanding beyond the label requires color consistency across a variety of substrates and printing processes. As a printer, that means working behind the scenes to ensure consistent results for all projects.

Build relationships The shopping experience also increasingly extends beyond the store. At Meyers, we have worked with clients to leverage sweepstakes, promotions, and loyalty programs to help clients go beyond labels and create a connection with customers. A simple online portal can help build a relationship and strengthen a shopper’s loyalty.

These lessons don’t apply only in the grocery store. Shopper behavior is evolving in all areas of the retail marketplace, and those changes bring with them both challenges and opportunities. As the way we shop changes, we can still find opportunities to help brands build relationships with consumers. To do so, we just need to understand the tools available to us and the best ways to use them.