Wine shelf - Tips to convert wine window shoppers into buyers

He is eyeing up the wine shelf. But how do you convert this “browser” into a “buyer”?

Studies from the Yale School of Management 1 have shown that it’s all about shifting a consumer’s frame of mind, from what psychologists call “deliberative” mode – where you’re busy weighing up practical factors like value for money, into a more “action-focused” purchasing gear.

Switching “browsers” into a buying mentality can be kick-started by offering products that need very little consideration such as a highly practical and low cost product e.g. an umbrella if it’s raining. Once one purchase decision has been made, shopping momentum builds up. A study2 has shown that once consumers have decided to buy a first item, they buy more items overall.

Putting reasonably priced, complementary products near more expensive items also increases shopping momentum. Wine Intelligence accompanied shopping research has shown that having wine displays around a store (not just in the wine area), particularly placed with other items (BBQ stuff, cheese section etc.) can encourage wine purchases. Studies have shown that offering complementary products appeal to a shoppers’ “abstract” mind-set. This means the consumer is not just thinking about a product rationally, but is thinking about it in an emotional context – considering the product in the bigger picture of how it will fit into their life.

Wine shelf

Beyond visual displays, other sensory devices in-store can really influence what we decide to buy, such as music. Playing music from a particular country of origin has been shown to increase sales of wine from that place 3. German and French wine brands were given equal shelf presence in the alcohol section of a supermarket and German and French was music played on alternative days over 2 weeks. Consumers who bought either wine were interviewed at checkout for reasons of underlying purchase. The result? On French music days, French outsold German wines 3 to 1 and on German music days, German outsold French 3 to 1, despite the fact that 86% specifically said music did not affect purchase decision.

Further reading and sources:

Wine Intelligence Neuromarketing presentation from London International Wine Fair 2012, to download please click here.

    1. “The Irrational Consumer: Four Secrets to Engaging Shoppers”, Ravi Dhar, Director, Yale Center for Customer Insights.
    2. Ravi Dhar, Joel Huber, and Uzma Khan (2007). The Shopping Momentum Effect. Journal of Marketing Research: Vol. 44, No. 3, pp. 370-378.
    3. North, Hargreaves and McKendrick (1997): In-store Music Affects Product Choice, Nature, 390, 132.