There is no denying that the face of the Australian retail market is changing.  Brands and retailers are facing the need to evolve their marketing strategies in a bid to capture their share of the consumer dollar.   Whilst recently there have been positive signs in consumer confidence with the NAB Online Retail Sales Index, July 2014, highlighting that Australia’s retail spending is continuing to increase and is now valued at around $15.6 billion for the year to July 2014, there are still many challenges ahead. 

Despite a recent pick up in the bricks and mortar retail sector, online retail growth is still outpacing the traditional retail environment, so as a point of purchase design and manufacturing agency my thoughts go to how our business can help our clients make appropriate inroads and take advantage of the current uplift in consumer retail confidence.  

Again, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) also suggests that Australian retail sales are on the rise, lifting 5.8% in July 2014, but these growth figures are not indicative across all aspects of retailing and so brands need to be smart and calculated in their approach to displays.  At Creative Instore Solutions, we pride ourselves of designing and delivering truly iconic point of sale displays and in-store activations for our customers to ensure their brands stand out in what can often be a cluttered environment.  Yet, a true element to a displays success is one which can take pride of place in a grocery fresh food aisle or is equally at home within the liquor retailer giving our client maximum return on investment.

Across the retail landscape, especially in certain sectors, there can be stringent ‘clean store’ policies that have the potential to restrict the design and potential placement of a brands point of purchase display.  Whilst it is true that these longer-term show-stopping displays are bucking the current retail in store trend, the ROI for both brand and retailer can be well worth the investment. 

If the consumer heads to a traditional bricks and mortar retail store capturing their attention should be a key driver.  Consider the online features shoppers are greeted with. Often there is a mechanism for suggesting recipes or meals based on their basket, ultimately adding to the cart size by the time the transaction has been completed.  Truly successful point of purchase activations can achieve the same result suggesting meal solutions, recipe ideas in an off premise location that entices the consumer dollar.    More than just brand uplift, many displays which positively impact the average weight of the consumer purchase (AWP) do so because this link brands to fresh food, beverages or liquor.

The key for a display is finding ways to engage the shopper, much like an internet pop up window, having high brand visibility and ensuring ease of shopability.    Incorporating features such as display mobility and planogram flexibility can also capture long term ROI with capability for occasion based promotions or seasonal produce updates.   Many successful activations started as a trial to highlight these key attributes to a retailer in a concerted effort to capture and keep a permanent footprint.

Whilst all the latest retail research is indicating year-on-year growth in retail sales there is still uncertainty if the drive in consumer confidence will be long term. So if consumers are engaging in a traditional shopping experience perhaps it is time to follow the lead of those brands and agencies forging the way and engaging them in some drama, an in store theatre if you will, staging your brand as a hero in a display with long term viability.


First published in Retail World 29th October 2014