Danielle Fulton-Davis


Consumer spending habits have morphed into being frugal and retailers are responsible. Despite margin depreciation, retailers were forced to take deep marks on their 2008 Q4 inventory in order to survive the economic meltdown. How do we overcome the shopper’s mentality of expecting “clearance” pricing on brand new spring goods?

American shoppers are not easily defined: They are often creatures of habit and convenience but are also emotionally driven and unknowingly sensitive to influence. Marketing to the current consumer is harder than we would like to think, but taking time to target an emotional connection between the consumer and the product is our best bet.

Consumers more often make decisions about what to buy when they’re out shopping, not before. This gives retailers an opportunity: If they can strategically present information about merchandise— they can subconsciously influence the consumer’s decision. In-store marketing and signage navigates the consumer through the store and opens the opportunity for an emotional connection. 

Placement and content of signage are most crucial.

  • Is the sign simple and to the point? “Our Top Seller”
  • Does it convey value? “Multi-Purpose” or “All In One”
  • Is the story compelling?  “Why Buy Organic Cotton?”
  • Is it in a location that is appropriate; does the consumer feel comfortable standing there for a moment to read the sign or is it a heavy trafficked area?

An observation of the frugal consumer is that they will choose an item to purchase only to replace it once confronted by another option. Merchants have to take control over the consumer’s eye and not overwhelm them with emotional connections. Create a marketing calendar that is always changing out featured hero items, making it a new experience every time the shopper enters the store.

In store signage is the most crucial tool for achieving an emotional connection between the consumer and a product and protecting ourselves from margin erosion.



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