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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- PepsiCo is going to the videotape to increase beverages sales in convenience stores and supermarkets. To reach its goal, the beverage giant is closely observing shoppers' "path to purchase" in the stores.
"Because our products are discretionary and impulse based, we really need to understand what's going on in-store in terms of behavior," said Kent Bassett, senior director of shopper and channel insights for PepsiCo North America Beverages.
PepsiCo is working with VideoMining Corp., a provider of in-store measurement technology that automatically converts video into statistical data on the shopping process. The technology gathers data through a network of cameras placed in the store, producing a feet-on-the-floor tracking of each consumer. The network, according to a VideoMining release, also captures every "do I buy or don't I buy?" moment and relates them to sales and conversion.
The initial observations from the initiative include how Hispanic buyers differ from non-Hispanics. It has also led to a test of new equipment merchandisers and a new convenience store layout, according to the release.
"I am a big believer in methodology and technology," Bassett said.
Based upon the numbers, PepsiCo has found 59 percent of purchase decisions are made in the store; 64 percent of liquid refreshment beverage (LRB) is purchased for others; 58 percent of beverage growth is from Hispanic shoppers; and 50 percent of shoppers are aware of new products in the store.
According to Bassett, PepsiCo judges itself by four metrics: is the company bringing in more buyers; is the company increasing its conversion rate; is it increasing shopper incidence; and is the company increasing the items and dollars? These metrics tell PepsiCo "what exactly has to change to be successful in the marketplace," he explained.
Using the video technology, the company can fill in the gaps found in existing data. "With IRI and Nielsen data, we can understand trip units, incidence and trips per buyer, but they fail to get us the answer of where, when and why that happens," Bassett said. "So we have to use this technology to bring new solutions to the marketplace."
In the convenience and gas channel, PepsiCo is focusing on category conversion, traffic flow and display conversion. Bassett said this is a "must-win channel" because it consists of 62 million trips and 36 million beverages sold per day. Other than gas, LRB is the top-selling product in convenience stores.
To take advantage of the unique shopping behavior in c-stores, PepsiCo is testing a three-sided display case at Rutter's Farm Stores, a c-store chain based in York, Pa. "We created this three-sided end-cap to attract traffic and impulse purchases," Bassett said. "We have to do more of these endcaps and display units to capture shoppers wherever they are in the store."
PepsiCo has also developed a "model store" that it is promoting to retailers around the country. The layout capitalizes on the impulse nature of c-store consumers.
"We are in the process of rolling it out now," he said. "We created a model store based, in part, on these shopper insights." Included are ideas for merchandising, signage and other touch points in the store.