Category Planning & POS

Category Management & Shopper Behaviour

We help brand owners develop an insight platform based on an understanding of shopper needs from which they can create a growth strategy and a ‘path to purchase’ plan. It can also provide a health check for an entire category or even across multiple categories.

Through a range of innovative techniques we focus on the entire shopper journey and explore shopper attitudes and behaviours around the key touch-points including; store environment layout, category layout, packaging, promotions and in-store communications (POS) and provide competitive advantage in these areas. We can help brand owners:

  • To understand how shoppers make purchase decisions in your category and what influences them – a key driver analysis

  • To identify barriers: what makes the process harder for shoppers and in particular how does this impacts on the amount they spend (including why purchases not made in particular channels/retailers)

  • To identify opportunities: what unmet or under-met needs exist for shoppers that could be exploited to encourage more shoppers to buy or existing shoppers to spend more

  • To establish what shopper information needs have to be adequately met before a purchase takes place and how well these are these met in different outlets/channels

  • To identify what role different channels play in the purchase process and how barriers and opportunities differ by channel/retailer helping you develop marketing strategies to exploit different channels/retailers.

  • To describe the different types of shopper and shopping behavior and to explain how the above differ by shopper type, by category, by spend, (i.e. differentiate between low spenders and high spenders) and by retailer/channel.

  • To describe the dominant needs being met within each category and to understand what product features and retailer services are important to the shopper in aiming to satisfy these needs.


The process will involve a mixture of qualitative and quantitative research covering: customer planning,  information gathering (online, shopping, word of mouth etc), the purchase decision and post-purchase reflection

Ideally, the qualitative element would ensures that we are able to speak to shoppers at every stage of the purchase journey and in the shopping environment with all the associated stimulus of competitive displays, salesman demonstrations, and display materials whilst also allowing the researcher time to observe and randomly intercept shoppers. It would enable us to draw upon a range of research techniques, including observation, intercept and mini or full depth interviews. We may also recommend focus groups either where the information gathering process is more complex or as an alternative to in-store work where time and budgets demand.

In addition, consideration would also be given to mystery shopping to evaluate the advice, response, level of support provided by the various outlet groups. We would then compare and contrast the views of shoppers to understand the extent to which their needs, and your interests, are being satisfied.

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