Point of purchase displays have always played an important role in influencing consumer purchasing decisions, but a new study from IRI highlights why their role is so vital in the beer, wine, and spirits industry. Media Post’s MarketDaily recently published a summary of the IRI study. If you missed it, you can check it out here.
The most revealing insight of the study is that 40% of U.S consumers who buy adult beverages have not decided what they are going to purchase when they walk into a store. And, of the 60% who do have a planned purchase, 21% end up changing their minds once they are in the store. Interestingly, half those who change their minds end up purchasing a different brand than they had originally intended.
“40% of U.S. consumers who buy adult beverages have not decided what they are going to purchase when they walk into a store.”
These key study findings are really not all that surprising. The beer, wine, and spirits category offers a huge range of choices, and there are new products and new labels coming out all the time. Because consumers of alcoholic beverages value quality and taste more than price, the goal of adult beverage marketers is to induce trial. In fact, a whopping 75%-80% of adult beverage consumers make their purchase decision based on taste rather than price. The range of choice, the competitive intensity, the drive to induce trial, and the potential to sway consumers purchase decisions in-store are all factors that help to explain why the adult beverage category is so promotionally driven and why POP displays are so important.
Furthermore, consumers of alcoholic beverages make in-store liquor purchases slightly more than once a week on average so keeping things fresh and interesting is important in influencing purchasing decisions. Creating the right display can have a big impact on sales, particularly among undecided purchasers. If you missed our blog entitled “POP Display Concepts for the Wine and Spirits Industry,” you see some of the displays we have designed that we believe can create sales lift at the point of sale.
In the alcoholic beverage market, as in other industries, creating an effective POP display requires an understanding of your target audience. When it comes to adult beverages, the buying behaviors of Millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers differ significantly. Baby Boomers represent 33% of the U.S. population, but they account for 50% of alcoholic beverage sales and 42% of retail wine category growth. Given the disproportionate share of alcoholic beverage consumption among Baby Boomers, there is likely to be an opportunity to drive product sales by creating point of purchase displays and instore marketing programs that specifically appeal to this demographic.
Similarly, Millennials are highly attracted to labeling that is creative, fun, and engaging. Millennials are more apt to experiment with new brands, whereas Baby Boomers are more likely to stick with brands they know and like. Millennials’ sense of adventure and desire to try new things is responsible in part for the growth of the microbrewery industry.
The beer, wine, and spirits industry is not dissimilar from other industries in which consumers make purchasing decisions when they are in the store. It’s a good reminder for brands to allocate a generous portion of their marketing budgets to POP displays and in-store marketing programs.