How To Win During Key Selling Periods: From Spring Races To New Year 2021

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From November to January, celebration is at the center of our lives: Spring Races, Christmas, New Year and the start of Summer. As temperatures start to rise, so does the alcohol sales! They increase by 20% during Christmas according to Quantium.

This key selling period represents therefore a major opportunity for the liquor industry. But with stakes so high, it’s worth reflecting on the best strategy to adopt to win the battle in store and meet shoppers’ expectations.

In-store display outside of the aisle is the number one touchpoint influencing shopper’s purchase, and the number two for inspiration and research and therefore crucial for brand execution and sales. (GfK,2016) 

With increasing competition and limited space in store, brands need to maximise touchpoints and fight for their share of visibility outside the aisle to disrupt shoppers’ path to purchase and inspire them during key selling periods.

Each year, we analyse in-store execution, particularly off-location displays, during this important period. In 2019 between November and January, our community of shoppers reported insights in 300 stores nationally across banner groups. We assessed the share of display by category, measured which brands over-indexed in off-location space and evaluated the most impactful activations from a shopper-centric perspective. Below are some findings from last year’s Spring Races to Summer report, with some implications for this year.

Festive period intensifies fight for display

Snooper Industry Report highlights share of display by category and display penetration by brand, which allows brands to discover which category had the biggest spike in share of displays during Festive season for example, or to benchmark themselves versus competitors to asses how they performed in display penetration. 

Last year, between spring racing and Christmas, we have witnessed the overall number of offlocation displays increases by 60 per cent, but it should be noted that spring racing displays are under-represented overall. This might be explained by the prominence of the occasion in the on-premise. Either way, it represents an opportunity for both brands and retailers to dial up.

As expected, wine was the most off-located category throughout all key retail events with Pepperjack, Oyster Bay and Jacob’s Creek displays featuring heavily. However, we had a few surprise when analysing the share of display of the other categories including Sparkling Wine & Champagne, Beer, Spirits and Ready-To-Drink over the whole Festive period. 

‘Gifts that will never be returned’ at BWS

Themed displays trump promotion only

Whilst location remains the number one lever for impactful displays, during the festive season the importance of themed displays leapfrogs price and discount into second place as shoppers look for inspiration. 

Our Snooper Industry Report is all the more important that it highlights quantitative and qualitative shopper insights on most impactful activations. This gives key players precious informations to understand the underlying reasons for the ‘most impactful’ displays voted by our community of shoppers. 

Interestingly last year nearly half of shoppers selected multi-category displays – rather than single brand displays – as being most impactful. 

Likewise, shoppers are looking for themed products and packaging relating to festive occasions, as well as appropriate promotional mechanics such as occasion related prizes or gifts with purchase. 

Christmas themed display with Tanqueray

Key findings from last year’s Snooper Industry Report 

Taken together, last year’s findings would indicate that whilst location is still key, best results come from a themed display that also includes some sort of festive packaging or promotion, whether price or otherwise. 

There is an opportunity for brands to block the three month period with theming for spring racing, the festive season, and summer respectively. 

Given the changes in several categories in the past 12 months, we expect the findings of this year’s study to vary in a number of respects from last year. 

We look forward to seeing if the percentage of themed display will increase and if the same brands will win the battle for off-location space during the most important period of the year. 


‘Christmas gifts made easy’ at Liquorland

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The Snooper Industry Report about Celebration Period includes 20+ pages PDF report, online dashboard access, online photo gallery and excel raw data. 

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