Hershey looks out of the box for impulse sales

Discussion
Jan 28, 2015
Avatar

Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from the monthly e-zine, CPGmatters.

Some shoppers order groceries from their desktop and have them delivered to the home. Others order online and then pick up groceries curbside at the store. Either method results in lost impulse sales that otherwise might have occurred inside the "box."

Chris Witham, senior manager, front end experience for Hershey, spoke about the challenge of lost impulse sales at an Executive Breakfast Briefing at the NRF Big Show. The event was sponsored by Wincor Nixdorf, a provider of retail IT solutions.

Impulse or unplanned purchases are picked up because of "experiential elements" in the shopping process that make the shopper feel recharged, charmed, spoiled, delighted, or indulged.

"The thing that overrides the discussion of impulse is dwell time," Mr. Witham said. "Anytime there is a pause in the shopping trip and shoppers take a look at some of the merchandising that is available, that is dwell time. It’s very important to understand what shoppers are doing with that dwell time. As they get to pay points, how much is a good amount of dwell time [going] to encourage impulse purchase, but not have a detrimental effect on the shopping trip as a whole?"

With self-checkout challenging impulse buys, Hershey is focusing on dwell time both inside and outside the store in relation to lost impulse sales. It is testing or planning to test three concepts this year:

Kiosks: "If you are in the car [at curbside to pick up groceries], you can purchase an impulse item before you finalize that order," said Mr. Witham.

Dispenser at Self-Checkout: Hershey is working with Wincor Nixdorf to develop a dispensing machine that could be set up next to the self-checkout unit in the store, or it could be the self-checkout unit itself. The concept will be tested in 2015.

Vending Machines: "Vending will be a big deal. This is a way to get to shoppers whenever they may not be in the store. We think there will be some dispensing opportunities around [gas] pumps," said Mr. Witham.

Likely to be driven by Millennials, consumers scanning products with their mobile phones and other devices while they shop also promises to reduce or eliminate dwell time at checkout.

"How will Millennials use mobile technology to come up with a good shopping experience for them," asked Mr. Witham. "What does that mean to retailers, and what does that mean to impulse sales? We want to drive general awareness around that topic."

Do you see dwell time opportunities that may encourage impulse purchase for grocery home delivery or pickup? Is mobile self-checkout necessarily a negative for impulse purchases?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.

Join the Discussion!

8 Comments on "Hershey looks out of the box for impulse sales"


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Nikki Baird
Guest
Nikki Baird
4 years 10 months ago

I think this sounds more like trying to solve a problem by throwing more of the old solution at it—”They’re not dwelling in the checkout line so let’s chase them into other places.” The reality is that there is plenty of dwell time that happens online too, as consumers check on lists and decide which items to add to their shopping lists. While Hershey may be thinking of primarily instant gratification snack items, they could achieve the same effects if the retailer is any good at cross-merchandising online.

Oh, wait. We’re talking about grocery retailers. I guess Hershey better load up on vending machines.

Steve Montgomery
Guest
4 years 10 months ago

The concept of vending impulse items at the gas island sounds like a great idea. Research indicates that only 20 percent to 25 percent of the people who are making a fuel purchase enter a c-store during the same shopping occasion. Plus there is little to do at many gas islands other than watch the dials spin around (admittedly the dollar dials are spinning slower right now).

That dwell time means Hershey would not have to fight for the consumers attention on the island. True some retailers have incorporated a form of video entertainment/advertising, but this could be used to support their efforts to drive impulse sales. I look forward to seeing how this proves out.

Adrian Weidmann
Guest
4 years 10 months ago

Understanding, leveraging and/or creating dwell time seems to be overlooked by retail. Good merchandising is about politely interrupting the shopper’s journey or understanding a shopper’s dwell time. It is NOT about creating an ambush point just because you know the shopper has to pass by a particular location. Rather it is about creating zones where shoppers can catch their breath and get their bearings to continue their planned journey or mission.

If you can keep a shopper in the store longer and keep her happy, she’ll purchase more stuff. Any initiative that can enable the first two will be successful!

Ed Rosenbaum
Guest
4 years 10 months ago

Sometime, somehow this will become a reality. Don’t ask me how. I am not smart enough in this area to even glean an answer. But what I do see is when it does become real there will be a bidding war to get a good “position” and space on the buying screen. The retailers will be big winners when this happens.

Gordon Arnold
Guest
4 years 10 months ago
As we move further into the age of convenience the nation-sized land of impulse products is headed for the land of the Mayan cities, as in empty buildings. Home deliveries of repeat orders like laundry, food and living supplies will continue to expand especially in the urban areas where the costs can more easily be absorbed. Remote areas will use delivery services to consolidate large, less-perishable orders to save investment dollars. The growth rates of the impulse items show staggering losses in product sales that call for a complete revamping of the market approach. The investments we see in this discussion do show promise for near-term solutions, but what about solid growth. A close look at the missed opportunity of days gone by will show the key missing ingredient, time. Following the time factor is, of course, consumer interest and desire. These three ingredients when properly addressed will help to make impulse items into something newly categorized as a need and included with every order. The sales results we have today in this product category… Read more »
Peter Charness
Guest
4 years 10 months ago

Pick-up time is too late. A customer ordering online and picking up in a “kiosk” outside a grocery store isn’t predisposed to do some more leisurely shopping and exploring. They have already ordered, paid and just want to get out of there. The opportunities for add-on purchases are at the time of product selection, and also with personalized messages delivered to a mobile device during the drive time. A message that says, “We noticed you may have forgotten to buy some salad dressing to go with your order, can we include a bottle of your favorite XXX and charge your card and have it included for pick-up?” That will probably work well. Chocolates, vending machines, not the height of convenience when someone is just trying to pick up and go.

Lee Kent
Guest
4 years 10 months ago

Sure it has something to do with dwell time but let’s face it, we’re talking about impulse items here. Why not create the impulse in the aisle? Make my shopping fluid and easy. Just the way I like it.

Buying mouthwash? Why not an impulse reminder and handy display to pick up breath mints for when you are on the go. Or perhaps a snack bar display right when I come in that reminds me I haven’t eaten lunch and hungry buyers often spend more than they plan. Grab one and snack as you go.

Okay, a retailer would never discourage spending more, but you get the message and my 2 cents!

Jacob Suher
Guest
Jacob Suher
4 years 10 months ago
I think the focus on “dwell time” is a little misleading. Yes, retailers and brands should use experiential elements to delight the shopper. On the other hand, a more powerful mechanism underlying impulse purchasing is exposure to products. The more products a shopper sees, the more likely they will be reminded of a need or a new want will be created. The goal is not to have a shopper stand still and dwell in one area, it is to encourage them to move through more merchandise as efficiently and painlessly as possible. E-commerce and mobile checkout is an unprecedented opportunity to better match unplanned products with shoppers’ individual needs and wants. I think this starts with retailers creating dedicated spaces for cross-merchandising and recommendations. Just like an end cap in bricks and mortar, dedicate screen space to unplanned products during shopping and checkout. Once this space is created, the challenge is to deliver what the customers wants or needs at the right time. The article focuses on impulse purchases that are the result of intrinsic… Read more »
wpDiscuz

Take Our Instant Poll

Where do you see as the biggest opportunity for impulse grocery purchases?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...