Extending Shelf Reach for Category Growth

Extending Shelf Reach for Category Growth

Extending Shelf Reach for Category Growth 1440 428 Chute Gerdeman

According to Shopper Marketing Magazine, 74% of shoppers have some kind of list. We can talk at length about what it takes to get on the list, but the reality is that many of those factors take place outside of the retail store. From mobile messages to email promotions to Pinterest-inspired recipes, there are more variables than ever influencing pre-shop purchases.

Meanwhile the popularity of conveniences like curbside pick-up and Instacart home delivery only further encourage the commitment to the list without even needing to step foot in a store. Consider that stores are also getting smaller and SKUs are shrinking.

Now factor the challenging part that nine out of ten of those who pre-shop don’t change their minds in store. So how can you extend your shelf reach for category growth and override the list? It means shifting focus to an overall trip mindset, and tapping into occasions. Cross merchandising has been a tried and true merchandising tactic for years, but as retail continues to shift focus to consumer lifestyles as opposed to commodity products, it’ll play a bigger role in placing your brand in the moment that matters for consideration—the occasion.

Think about beef jerky in the beer aisle, because what’s better than salty snack with a cold brew. Smart scales merchandised with bath towels, or loofas alongside bath and body products. Or how about popcorn and candy in the DVD category, or protein bars featured with activewear. Don’t bank on the everyday or impulse purchase. Use occasions as opportunities to unify relevant brands.

This means broadening shopper insights beyond your brand to consider the occasion, whether it’s a weekend adventure like camping or an everyday ritual like bathtime. What are the products that make up the moment and what makes sense from a brand alignment position? You’re both competing for the attention of the consumer, but with a stronger, connected story you’re bound to command attention.

Recently, consumer goods brand Johnson & Johnson partnered with Target to bring together their private label baby brand, Circo with J&J baby care products. Centered around bathtime essentials, J&J redesigned packaging to tap into Target’s private label brand identity to sell a cohesive story about baby care and bathtime essentials. The complete solution made it easy for moms to pair the products based on their coordinating patterns and colors. The two brands focused on the same mission and managed to create a one-stop shop for moms today.

Key takeaway: Traditional aisle presentation will always have its place, but as brands look for category growth they need to consider responding to consumers’ needs from an occasion based point-of-view, which might be breaching their current shelf containment.

Photo Credit: Modern Mommyhood


A collection of insights research and observations across retail, restaurant, c-store and grocery. Helping brands provide a better experience for their customers. Enjoy.

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