Shelf test: Assertiveness in the Competitive Set
The success or failure of a newly launched product or a re-designed established product will become obvious at the point of sale at the latest. Crucial for the success at the POS are in any case an attractive positioning and a superior package design. Since purchase decisions at the POS are usually made fast and without much conscious thinking, a package design needs to catch attention instantly and be stronger than competitors’ products.
The central questions are: Will the consumers notice the new package at all? What standout does the new design have, will it be seen among the other products? In our test approach we watch shoppers’ reactions to your product on the test shelf. The results will give you reliable recommendations for optimizing packaging, design and positioning.
IMPACT EVALUATION IN A REALISTIC ENVIRONMENT
Initially, each respondent sees a monad-specific package alternative on the test shelf in a realistic environment of competitive products. The results not only give initial hints on the package’s stimulation of purchase intention and its communicative power but also demonstrate spontaneous impact and eye-catchiness of the package.
Afterwards the package design is evaluated in detail. Amongst other factors overall acceptance, likes/ dislikes, purchase intention etc. are evaluated. Through additional open questions the communicative power in relation to design and different target groups is analyzed.
Moreover, communicated product features and usage characteristics as well as potential target groups are identified next to a scaled evaluation of the package’s look-and-feel (e.g. sympathetic, modern etc.).
In a simulated purchase first and second choice are prompted, including reason why, in order to understand preferences and their causes clearly.
Another important aspect of the test is the brand fit, which can be particularly important for the new package design. Does the new design even fit to the brand? What do consumers think about it? The test identifies factors that support or counteract with the brand.
Towards the end of the interview alternative designs of the packaging can be shown to respondents. This direct comparison of several designs will help to determine clearly strengths and weaknesses as well potential for improvement.
ONLINE SHELF TEST FOR QUICK RESULTS WITHOUT DUMMY PRODUCTION
Naturally the shelf test can be conducted online with a virtual shelf. The online shelf test is useful when quick results are needed, or when there’s no budget for expensive dummies or when testing in several locations/ countries at the same time.
The online shelf test allows virtually the same interaction as with a real shelf. Every respondent can take products from the shelf, look at them in detail from all sides, including a zoom function for texts and images. Depending on preference the respondent can choose to put the product into the shopping basket or back on the shelf. Every such action is traced and recorded for later analysis.
Testing with product images true to the original and with prices opens up a number of possible applications: New package designs can be tested; prices and price thresholds as well as new displays can be evaluated. Furthermore, decision processes can be retraced.
ADVANTAGES OF ONLINE SHELF TESTS
Compared to the classic shelf test in a central location the online test offers a number of advantages. For example, the high costs for producing dummies or prototypes can be saved. Also, the respondents’ search and orientation patterns, their contacts with products as well as their decisions can be recorded continually.
Also, modified package variants or new competitor products can be included quickly. Fieldwork is not dependent on any particular location and large samples can be handled in shorter time. In fact, the sample can be recruited with a wide geographic spread while the setup and organization of the study is comparably short.