Who's looking at checkout screens?

January 8, 2009 by Dave Haynes

Advertising Age published an interesting piece this week about the dynamics of how people approach grocery store checkouts, suggesting three of four people unload their shopping carts in such a way that they’re not really going to notice in-store marketing there.

Some people push the whole cart straight through and toss the goodies forward onto the counter, while others deliberately step up front and pull the wire basket through and unload onto the conveyer.

The majority of people are, in fact, pullers, with almost three-fourths (74%) of those surveyed saying they pull into the lane. And contrary to what (market researchers) Relevation researchers hypothesized, men and women are equally likely to be pullers.

So what? Well, while it may only seem to be a simple and interesting insight into human behavior, it could actually mean a lot to the grocery stores, retailers and marketers that make significant sales by marketing to people who might not be, in fact, pushing their carts through the lane at the front of the store. Could all that in-store marketing be, well, backward?

At this point, you may be wondering, “Yeah … so???”

Keep in mind there are several networks out there in grocery and other big boxes that have screens installed on a post immediately in front of a POS station, and some that have screens dangling (like Shopcast’s Walmart Canada network) above the end of the checkout area. 

Image from IPG Emerging Media Lab 

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