Shelf Ready Packaging (SRP) has become a popular choice for grocery and supermarket retailers in recent years. SRP is a secondary packaging item that is designed to be easily opened and placed directly onto store shelves, eliminating the need for unpacking and repacking of products. This can save retailers time and money, while also offering potential benefits for brands and shoppers.
From an operational perspective, SRP is certainly beneficial to retailers. By eliminating the need for unpacking and repacking, retailers save time and reduce costs associated with labour, transportation, and waste.
SRP was originally introduced as logistics tool by retailers. Most SRP is designed to be functional and efficient, but it often lacks the aesthetic appeal and branding elements of traditional packaging. This often results in reduced brand recognition and loyalty, as well as decreased perceived value among shoppers.
"I'm constantly surprised that in this world where it's so difficult to engage with shoppers in-store, more brand owners haven't embraced this opportunity of using the box that’s right in front of the shopper browsing the shelf."
A significant amount of time and money is spent, creating the most effective marketing mix and the optimal primary product packaging, to ensure brand stand out, appeal and optimal sales. However, although used in many large supermarkets worldwide such as Carrefour, Tesco and Sainsbury’s, hardly any attention is paid to the marketing function of Shelf Ready Packaging
Having studied the impact of SRP on brand performance many times, and more recently, conducted a literature review of academic secondary packaging research, I have identified as massive, massive, missed opportunity available right now for many (including leading) brands.
Here’s the problem:
SRP is a retailer driven necessity, often sourced, and provided by the procurement or buying departments within major brand organisations. Perhaps the most critical KPI for brand procurement departments relates to cost saving. They constantly strive to improve their efficiency by streamlining processes, reducing costs and improving overall buying performance. KPIs such as procurement cycle time, procurement-to-pay cycle time, and cost per purchase order can also drive efficiency.
Procurement is rarely measured in relation to brand awareness, perception, or sales. This is the job of marketing and category management. These departments play a critical role in driving the success of a company's brands. Here are some key performance indicators (KPIs) that brand marketing departments and category management teams base their effectiveness on:
Sales: This is perhaps the most critical KPI for brand marketing departments and category management teams. They devise, develop and implement marketing and category management strategies aimed at driving brand awareness and sales.
Those KPI’d to source the SRP rarely have much incentive relating to increasing brand sales.
Market share: Growing market share is critical to the company's position in the market relative to its competitors. This KPI can help assess the effectiveness of brand marketing and category management strategies in capturing market share.
Those KPI’d to source the SRP rarely have much incentive relating to increasing market share.
Brand awareness: This KPI relates to the extent to which the company's target audience is aware of its brand and its products. It partially hinges on the effectiveness of brand marketing strategies in increasing brand awareness.
Those KPI’d to source the SRP rarely have much incentive relating to increasing brand awareness.
Customer engagement: Improving customer engagement further builds the effectiveness of brand marketing strategies. KPIs such as customer retention, repeat purchase rate, and customer lifetime value can help quantify customer engagement.
Those KPI’d to source the SRP rarely have much incentive relating to increasing customer engagement.
Return on investment (ROI): ROI is critical to quantifying the effectiveness of brand marketing and category management strategies in driving revenue growth. KPIs such as marketing ROI or category ROI can help measure the return on investment from marketing and category management activities.
Those KPI’d to source the SRP rarely have much incentive relating to increasing return on investment.
Category growth: Driving category growth is critical for category management teams. This KPI assesses the effectiveness of category management strategies in driving revenue growth and capturing market share within a particular product category.
Those KPI’d to source the SRP rarely have much incentive relating to category growth.
In summary, marketing and category management go to great lengths to deliver on their KPI’s. They design packaging, promotional initiatives, in-store campaigns and interventions that are key to the growth, health and well-being of their precious brands. And key to their success or failure is how shoppers respond to them: How visible are they, how appealing and engaging are they and most importantly, do shoppers buy as a result of exposure to them.
So, why, with so much investment and expertise devoted to maximising brand performance, is the final key visual presentation of the brands given over to a department who simply want to get products on shelf as quickly and cheaply as possible?
It beggars belief that some SRP is allowed to be so s**t. Can you imagine any CEO being told by their organisation that serious amounts have been spent building their brand only for the initiatives to be demoted to mere mediocrity because the department responsible for what the shoppers actually see at the critical moment of truth is the responsibility of… …procurement? No offence procurement, but it shouldn't be your responsibility.
This is a common issue that is wiping £ millions if not £ billions off the in-store performance of brands – And it really needn’t be this way. There is a simple and obvious solution to this. But as the saying goes: The obvious isn’t always apparent!
- Sales of a Health & Beauty product increased by 76% just from changing the base colour of the SRP.
- Sales of a different FMCG brand dropped by 31% as a result of merely changing the design of the SRP.
- Category share of a Food to Go brand increased by 11% when the SRP was designed to enhance the product packaging, not fight with it.
SRP Design Considerations
Your SRP design will influence shopper perceptions and their propensity to purchase. To create an enhanced shopping experience, be on the lookout for trends in category key words and experiment with incorporating strategic language and visuals into your SRP design.
Make the most of meeting shopper needs. Just about every brand in every category has what is termed a purchase decision hierarchy. These are the key aspects that shoppers seek out and their relative order of importance. Brands that use their SRP to enhance the main points of their purchase decision hierarchy will be providing shoppers with more of what they want, at the precise time they are making purchasing decisions.
Never underestimate the power of emotion! They are processed by our brains, 3,000 times faster than rational thought and are 24X more persuasive. Using SRP to communicate your emotional brand values can be an influential way of increasing visibility, driving appeal and growing sales in-store.
Don’t depend on brand loyalty to win the day. Brand loyalty is not guaranteed, and shoppers increasingly make their decisions while they browse the shelves in-store. Marketers in any product category can benefit from strategic use of key words and design elements that resonate for the category. In other words, brands can always sweeten their shelf appeal by optimising the design of their SRP.
Adcock Solutions have been improving the marketing communications of leading brands and retailers for more than 25 years. We explain how your customers think and make decisions so that you can engage with them more effectively.
Come to us for Behavioural Science insights and expertise that improve your brand's visibility, appeal, engagement, and sales.
Why not Enhance your SRP, brand performance and shopper marketing by incorporating the principles of psychology and behavioural science with the help of a dedicated Chief Behavioural Science Officer (CBSO) from Adcock Solutions Ltd? Your own resident expert available for 1-off assignments, set numbers of days, per week, month or year, or other bespoke periods to suit your needs.