Benefits of Using an FSDU In-Store

Benefits of Using an FSDU In-Store

A Free Standing Display Unit (FSDU) maximises product visibility and enhances your brand's appearance. FSDUs can contribute significantly to brand awareness.

Do you connect with your audience? Is your display on-brand? Are your products visible? It's time you consider the psychological effects of your brand displays.

What is an FSDU?

An FSDU is a Free Standing Display Unit (FSDU), the use of which helps to maximise the impact of your promotions and build brand awareness in the retail environment. FSDUs are stand-alone sales tools which have high impact and ensure new products to stand out from the crowd. Cardboard FSDUs are a cost-effective way to increase product visibility in-store, not to mention easy to assemble and get in front of your audience quickly, offering a POS display (point of sale) optimised for converting shoppers into consumers.

Aisle vs. FSDU

In comparing the main aisle display to a free-standing display unit (FSDU) secondary siting for a well-known drink, we discovered that a secondary FSDU, sitting away from the core category, improved the psychological performance of this brand by 37%.

The displays researched

A few factors contributed to this:

1. Attention

As a species, humans are hard-wired to pay attention to things that contrast or are out of the ordinary. This is precisely why the out of aisle FSDU outperformed the in-aisle display by a ratio of 5:1.

Unsurprisingly, the FSDU display is significantly more attention-grabbing and eye-catching than the much less impactful product offering in aisle. The FSDU is some 5X more effective at catching shoppers' attention, scoring 64%, vs. the in-aisle score of just 13%.

2. Appeal

Secondly, we turned our focus to how well each of the display solutions initially appeals to shoppers in-store. The FSDU design and colour palette were particularly more effective in this regard. Specifically, the imagery on the FSDU generated a definite emotional connection with passing shoppers.

Does your brand appeal as much as it could on shelf?

3. Engagement

How psychologically engaging is each display as it sits there in-store? With this metric, once again, the FSDU was a clear winner, returning an effectiveness rating of 56%, almost double that of the in aisle offering (33%).

FSDUs vs Aisle Displays on 14 metrics

In summary, the FSDU presents the brand emotionally, while there is a much more rational display in aisle.  And as the saying goes, “emotion sells, reason merely justifies.”

Ever wondered how engaging your brand is in-store?

Range & Layout

Moving our attention to the range available, the in aisle offering outscored the FSDU (56% to 44%). This is because the off fixture FSDU only contained a single SKU, and perhaps could have accommodated 2 or more? It could use the discounted variant to appeal and engage shoppers, but then offer them a full priced alternative.

Purchase Conversion

Next is the browse to purchase conversion ability of each display solution: How effective are they at actively closing out browsing shoppers, from a behavioural science viewpoint. The scores were, in-aisle 44%, off fixture FSDU 56%.  

Both brands had an attractive special offer (half price), that although wasn’t communicated ideally, was financially tempting for shoppers.

How well does your brand convert browsers into paying customers?


With regard to images used, the in-aisle score was just 14% (only the brand logo really used), compared with the FSDU that scored 50%.

From a psychological perspective, the aisle has merely colours and words on pack, whereas the FSDU has generated strong ‘evolutionary’ aspects from the animal image.

Science tells us that concepts that are processed by viewing pictures are easier to mentally process and more frequently recalled than are concepts that are processed by viewing the written word.

Is your on-pack imagery as good as it could be?

Eye-catching and emotion stirring packaging


What about the pack and FSDU colours: The bright and vibrant in aisle colour palette from the range of variants scored 67%, while the warm but less varied colours on the FSDU scored marginally less, 60%. Both displays utilise social, eye-catching, sensory colours to enhance the social nature of the products.

Shopper attention is naturally drawn toward stimuli, including colours, that are visually salient. And whenever a concept enters our mind quickly and easily, it produces a pleasant sensation in our brain. We then falsely attribute that pleasantness with our liking of that stimulus. Psychologically, these packs have an effective colour palette.

What's the best colour for your brand in-store?


On fixture/pack copy: How well do the words on each of the display solutions communicate with shoppers: The aisle packaging (as that’s the only real communication there was) scored 26%, while the FSDU returned a score of 50%. More surface area and an opportunity to communicate with shoppers. However,both locations lack a distinct call to action in terms of ‘buy me’ or ‘switch to me'. In addition, increasing the surface size of text, especially emotional words (on the FSDU), could enhance the emotional impact of those words.

What does your pack say about your brand?


We then went on to analyse the psychological effectiveness of the fonts used. The on-pack font (in aisle) scored 43%, while the additional information on the FSDU was presented in a font that scored 67%.

Psychologically, there is an opportunity to introduce more creative fonts. Because, when people exert greater effort to process information, they encode the memory in greater detail. So not only would obscure fonts enhance the perceived quality of the product, but they’d also create a stronger emotional connection with that brand.

Which brand in your category has the most effective font?


Specifically looking at how the prices were communicated in aisle (27%),they were less effective than the promotional FSDU (31%). But It is well-known that from a psychological perspective, the way most supermarkets display prices remains frankly, poor! For example, a lack of any psychological graphic hierarchy on the Shelf Edge Labels (SELs), and a psychologically poor layout of all things numerical.

What does the Shelf Edge Label (SEL) say about your brand?


What about the non-price related numbers used on each of the packs: In-aisle 34%, FSDU 31%.

Specifically, more could be done to relate the number of bottles in pack, the sizes of the bottles and the relatively positive GDA details. For example,the GDA figures that should be perceived as low, are rightly positioned towards the bottom left, of the pack. But some are concealed by the FSDU itself.

In addition, the ‘6’ as in ‘6 bottles in a pack’ could be more prominent so that it anchors shoppers to a higher number than the ‘3’ in £3 (price)

Can you count on the effectiveness of any numbers on the packs of your brand?

New Metrics for 2019

As we continued to develop uP2P audits, we added new metrics for 2019.

Regarding the psychology of choice in-store, in-aisle scored 39%, while the FSDU scored 32%. As already mentioned, perhaps the FSDU should have stocked more than just a single variant.

Another metric we’ve added is Emotion. And the FSDU won this with an impressive score of 80% (compared with 60% for the aisle). Quite simply, the imagery used on the FSDU was better than the lack of imagery used on pack.

These retail effectiveness audits, are designed to help brands like yours make retailing better for shoppers, better for brands and better for businesses. Each brand we analyse is painstakingly measured against as many as 612 specific psychological metrics. The recommendations are then disseminated from a database of 1,200+ behavioural science related insights specifically relating to shoppers and shopping.

Just think, if we increase your brand performance by just 1% in each of the 14 metrics shown in the chart above, the would result in a massive uplift overall: Marginal gains in action.

Access to this database of priceless shopper understanding is now available to you. If you would like to know how your brand compares to the competition, follow this link.

As a result of 30 years of analysing the behavioural science of shoppers and shopping and enhanced with key learnings from leading neuroscientists from around the globe. We have created The Ultimate Path to Purchase (uP2P).

Quite simply, the most comprehensive database of shopper insights available. You can now access this valuable shopper resource in the form of shopper-based retail effectiveness audits from Adcock Solutions Ltd.

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About Phillip Adcock

My name is Phillip Adcock: I have more than 30 years of human behavioural research and analysis, and have developed a unique ability to identify what it is that makes people psychologically and physiologically 'tick'.

Would you like to know more about how shoppers and consumers think? Download my FREE guide now. Alternatively, check out, where there are more FREE downloads available there. Or why not simply email me with what's on your mind?

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Phillip Adcock

Phillip Adcock CMRS
Psychology & Behaviour
Change Consultant

Phillips Signature

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