Our scope of innovation & shopper research activities has always included strategizing on the appropriate channels of distribution, as well as category placement, for optimal reach of the consumer being served. Just a short 5 years ago there was never any question within traditional retail that product placement provided important context for the consumer on their path to purchase. But with the entire model of brick and mortar retail being turned on its head, the traditional way of thinking about product launches & shelf placement is quickly losing its impact.
Everyone by now has heard about Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods and are speculating what the future of online food & grocery services will look like, but all the other insights we’re collecting points to a future of hyper segmented channels and newly minted, non-traditional means for consumers to acquire the goods they desire. These disruptions to traditional retail are not always getting as much play in the popular press, but they affect how innovation & shopper teams need to think about the future. For example: items like Walmart advertising a new discount to “pick-up” products without shopping the shelves, shopper for hire and delivery services, as well as curated subscription models are all newsworthy items quickly shaking up the “traditional launch model.”
What that means is that Innovation and Shopper research Teams within consumer-packaged goods companies need to both learn how the first moment of truth (to use our old P&G lingo: the 3-7 seconds after a shopper first encounters a product on a store shelf) of a new innovation will happen within these new pathways. Mission-Field is helping our clients gather those cutting-edge insights as we help them test new items online, in Kickstarter campaigns, and other non-traditional testing formats beyond the standard brick & mortar format.