As 2023 draws to a close, and the disruptions of Covid-19 begin to fade, the FMCG sector is starting to see a boost in on-premise retail. With the pandemic having initiated the surge of click-and-collect and online shopping, grocery retailers now need to focus on engaging customers and increasing footfall back to their brick-and-mortar stores.
The FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) sector, like many others, has experienced significant shifts in consumer behaviour over recent years. As we look towards a post-pandemic landscape, it is crucial to explore the ways in which retailers can reconnect with consumers in-store by elevating the shopping experience. Although price and product quality remain imperative, it is also incredibly relevant to create an interactive and memorable shopping experience.
Signage is instrumental in guiding customers through these environments. From digital interfaces to wayfinding schemes, it plays an important role in creating a streamlined supermarket experience that maximises efficiency and engagement.
Store design & wayfinding
Store layout and visual displays are vital to a seamless customer experience. Wayfinding signage – or the grocery store GPS - helps customers navigate their way through stores and find exactly what they are looking for. These elements include directional, informational, and identification signs that remain consistent in design and iconography.
These signs should immerse customers into the grocery experience, using experiential graphics that combine typography, colour, imagery, and technology, to guide people through the brand’s environment from the moment they enter the door.
Ensuring that this navigation system is effortless makes for a seamless shopping experience that reduces congestion and drives customer satisfaction. Navigation should focus on getting people in and out with their desired product in hand, but also encourage shoppers to dwell and flow into different areas of the store that they would not usually frequent.
Experiential brand environments are driving forces in consumer involvement and retention, allowing brands to set themselves apart from competition in such a saturated industry. A recent grocerant business model is to transform the everyday mundanity of grocery shopping into one of experiential value, creating spaces which combine both the foodservice sector and the FMCG sector.
Creating various departments or ‘shops’ within a store is a popular way of keeping the environment fresh and engaging, such as a sushi bar, fruit and veg market, or even a small restaurant, all of which you can make into branded zones. This encourages customers to linger, dine, and seek their essential items all within the same commercial space.
A great example of this, and a project we recently worked on, is the new Food Hub concept areas introduced by Asda to increase store footfall. We had the pleasure of installing the signage for this new concession space, in which customers can now purchase pizza, coffee, and other grab-and-go products. Shoppers can place their orders on McDonald’s-style touch screen tablets, which makes for not only a quick and efficient service but also provides a new and exciting way to browse and buy in-store. This frictionless retail is the latest development in physical stores and uses technological advancements to create a grab-and-go experience without queues.
Keeping it fresh
In order to maintain levels of engagement within a branded environment, it is necessary to ensure experiential graphics do not remain stagnant. Changing and updating graphics, displays, and layout, helps to prevent ‘display fatigue’, in which customers begin to ignore signage that has been in place for a long duration of time.
Digital signage is great for keeping signage fresh, modern, and up-to-date. With its dynamic qualities, digital signage can be used to follow the latest trends, allowing you to update its messaging and imagery in real time. From digital screens and checkout signage to interactive touchscreens and digital menu boards, there is an array of assets that can be implemented to communicate with customers.
With more business being done online, it is now more vital than ever for physical retailers to consider methods of enticing customers back into stores. Whether it is a brand new development or a refresh of a current site, Astley can assist with the planning and visualisation of store environments, having offered years of expertise in brand implementation.
We have had the pleasure of working with some huge names in the FMCG sector, including Sainsbury’s, Asda, and Co-op. From built-up lettering externals and car park signage to branded wayfinding and ambient graphics, we are the perfect partner to help create an immersive shopping experience from the car park to the checkout.
To learn more about how we can help with your brand environment, please click here