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POPAI Launches Marketing Research Initiative

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- POPAI, The Global Association for Marketing at Retail --—is launching retail-level research across multiple trade channels, including c-stores, supermarkets, drug stores and mass merchandisers, to determine what displays, marketing at retail materials and shelf layouts work best, along with why and how they turn shoppers into buyers.
The Marketing at Retail Initiative, dubbed MARI, was initiated five years ago to deliver industry metrics. The project will be the largest qualitative study on shopper engagement in the world and will help to develop a metric by which brands and retailers can gauge in-store merchandising effectiveness and quantify shopper engagement.

UK-based SheridanGlobal Group Limited will conduct the research using its purpose designed shopper insight technologies, and MARI will field in the United States in spring 2009 with the first wave of results delivered in late 2009.

Among participants in the study to date are 7-Eleven, Inc., Ahold, Frito-Lay North America, Walgreens, Pepsi-Cola North America Beverages and a major mass retailer, the association reported.

"Marketers and retailers are gathering shopper insight data and factoring that information into their strategic marketing plans which culminate in-store, where as many as 70 percent of all purchase decisions are made," POPAI President and CEO Dick Blatt said in the announcement. "The MARI project will help leverage shopper insights obtained at retail by delivering unprecedented qualitative findings regarding what displays are most effective and more importantly why, in virtually any category, among display type and in-aisle location. The possibilities are limited only by the retail environment. If it's at retail, we can measure its impact.”

The research is conducted in real stores with shoppers equipped with special ClipCam glasses to record video of their movement and field of vision in-store, which is tracked along with their purchases and product interactions. The video is then overlaid with consumer interviews, display audits and other information to create four ratios for each in-store display including impact, effectiveness, engagement and conversion, the association reported.

The approach was validated in proof-of-concept tests conducted during phase one in 2007 in the United States and the United Kingdom, and this year in a four-retailer MARI study in the Netherlands.

For more information about MARI, visit or contact Tom Sullivan, SheridanGlobal Inc., at [email protected] or call (203) 459-4582 or (203) 981-6913.
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