Point-of-purchase research: 76% of buying decisions still being made in store

CHICAGO — Merchandisers angling for that impulse purchase take heart: As many as 76% of buying decisions are being made in the store, according to research published Wednesday from Point of Purchase Advertising International. The findings are part of POPAI's "2012 Shopper Engagement Study."

“The findings from POPAI’s '2012 Shopper Engagement Study' clearly tell us that as in-store and shopper marketing professionals we have some areas for opportunity and improvement,” POPAI president Richard Winter said. “Even as other emerging mediums and technologies alter the path to purchase landscape, this study underscores the importance of planning the in-store experience to win over shoppers where it matters most — the point of purchase.”

Even armed with the shopping list put together at the kitchen table, it turns out that more shoppers are using in-store marketing and branding cues to make an overwhelming portion of their purchase decisions, POPAI stated. The study found that nearly 1-in-6 brand purchases are made when a display with that brand is present in the store. When asked if they recalled seeing any in-store displays, 56% of shoppers indicated that they did recall seeing in-store displays, with endcap and free-standing displays being cited most frequently.

The study also determined that shoppers who use debit/credit cards are more susceptible to impulse purchases and make more decisions in the store. The average shopper misjudges the amount he or she will spend — whether high or low — by 35%. Even when accounting for impulse purchases, 57% of shoppers still spend more than they planned, POPAI stated.

The product categories in supermarkets with the highest brand lift were toaster pastries, pickles/relish, dishwashing soap and pet supplies.

To determine the in-store decision rate purchases based upon both pre- and post-shopping, interviews are broken down into four different categories — specifically planned, generally planned, substitutes and unplanned. The in-store decision rate is calculated by taking the sum of the purchases that fall under generally planned, unplanned and substitutes categories.