In-Store Causal Metrics Paint a Picture

As a supplier, you have an impression in your mind of what your brand looks like in retail outlets. How it appears on the shelf, where it’s promoted, how it compares to competing brands. You spend an incredible time and expense to make sure the packaging, promotions and pricing are just right. But how can you be sure those efforts aren’t being thwarted by poor placement, lack of stocking or other in-store factors that could drive customers away from your brand?

Shelftrac and Promotrac, quarterly in-store audit services provided by the Beverage Information & Insights Group, survey the beverage alcohol landscape and provide key insights in all categories. Metrics include display incidence, cases and price on display, POS presence, stocking incidence by size, number of facings, shelf level and more.

These are all causal metrics – they directly correlate to what drives consumers. More data about how your brand performs in retail outlets means you can track return on investment for a particular promotion, gauge wholesaler adherence to your marketing plans and eliminate strategies that aren’t working.

One of my clients is a Cognac brand that was basing decisions solely on how their brand compared to a select group of competing Cognacs. In reality, consumers entering a retail store were faced with dozens of Cognacs to choose from, so only looking at a slice of the category wasn’t providing an accurate representation of the marketplace. Every brand on shelf is taking up space and competing for share of mind and share of wallet, so it’s important to look at the big picture.

Another client tracked something we called the “consumer traffic lane,” which took note of every brand mention consumers walked by before arriving where that client’s product was located in-store. By tracking the co-promotions and displays in the traffic lane, they could determine whether the right customers were seeing their message before making a buying decision.

Recently, our sister publication, Beverage Dynamics magazine, surveyed its readership to find whether retailers thought value-added packaging was an effective sales tool. More than 60 percent answered yes, while just under 40 percent said VAPs didn’t result in increased sales. For smaller brands, creating a VAP can be expensive, so it’s important to know in advance whether it will help sales and build brand recognition.

Those are just three examples of how in-store data can provide valuable insights to brand managers. For more information about how causal metrics can improve your brand’s perception and positioning in-store, visit


Marybeth Came is Director of Client Services at The Beverage Information and Insights Group.

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