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09 Oct 2014
posted by: Amanda

What is the real ROI from your Gondola & Display ends?

With £££$$$$$Millions being spent each week to attract the shopper's attention; does your business really know the Return on Investment (ROI) that these precious, much fought over, holy sites of displays & gondolas actually deliver to the bottom line? 

It is true that in most cases when there is a gondola end on, sales usually do go through the roof. However is it a safe assumption that these additional sales come from the gondola end? We're not so sure.....


The facts

Sonia is a Category Manager for a major chips / crisps manufacturer (aka Salty). Salty sold 75% of their chips / crisps on promotion. When they ran a gondola end display in-store, sales increased by 200-300%. As such, Salty paid top dollar for key gondola display ends in-store to get the most shopper impact on promotion.

The reality? We found that less than 10% of sales came from the gondola end location.

Why the difference between scan sales & in-store shopper behaviour?

Joe is an average shopper. He shops 2-3 times per week and tops-up on his household needs rather than doing big shops. It's football season and this weekend the boys are coming over so he's on the hunt for man food. He walks past the gondola end display and notices that chips / crisps are on promotion; buy 2 get 1 free.

He likes the look of the deal, but notices that his favourite salt'n'vinegar flavour isn't on there. He also knows that there's usually a promotion on every other week, so he decides to wander into the aisle instead to make his choice. The shelf is pretty well shopped, but he finds his salt'n'vinegar and buys 2 more bags of other flavours from the brand that was on the gondola end display. 

The reality

This situation is one that we observe a lot; the display end may well play an important part in getting shoppers to notice the category but often, the purchase site is the main home (aka the main shelf). Even more interesting however is that whilst in some categories the display end can trigger an intent to purchase, it is actually the role it can play in reducing promotional out of stocks that can be far more important. Only by knowing the out of stock to on shelf to shopper conversion could Salty determine whether or not to continue with the top dollar major display end sites or move to a more cost effective mix of sites that played an out of stock role also.

The results

Salty changed their gondola end mix and as a result of this were able to reinvest trade spend whilst maintaining the 200-300% sales uplifts. They were very pleased as was the retailer who was now able to work with Salty on other in-store initiatives. They continue to work on improving out of stocks and our everyday measurement of this gives them monthly information on which strategies and tactics are more effective than others in achieving this goal.  

So what???

At a conference recently, we spoke about this case study and were surprised at the general lack of Gondola / Display ROI knowledge in the market. Whilst the majority of FMCG manufacturers regularly analyse scan data & loyalty data to uncover the effectiveness of display and gondola ends, a whopping 90% currently struggle to answer these three basic shopper questions:

1. How many sales come from the display / gondola end versus the main shelf?

2. What % of shoppers browse the display but then go on to buy from the main shelf?

3. What % of shoppers actually walk past – or even see – the display?

Although basic knowledge, it's key for your business to understand whether your Gondolas & Displays really are stopping shoppers in their tracks - or not as the case may be! It may be that they do play a stock-weight role - and this might be fine - but unless you know the role your Gondolas & Displays play - and therefore how to drive this harder - the ROI your business gets from these expensive sites, will always be less than optimum.

Good luck!