Family Dollar to Study Real-Time Impact of Shopper Marketing

Extreme value retailer Family Dollar Stores launched its first large format ShopperGauge Retail Learning Lab across a set of 20 stores where the retailer and its suppliers can test designs, displays, and promotions with customers in a real live setting with the goal of ultimately improving the in-store shopper experience.

ShopperGauge is the result of a strategic relationship between RockTenn Merchandising Displays and its technology partner, BVI Networks. With the BVI advanced in-store business intelligence platform integrated with RockTenn best-in-class displays, ShopperGauge systems provide an in-store shopper behavior insights solution developed to deliver clear, actionable information and measurable ROI.

“This will give us the ability to test every element that goes into driving traffic and conversion,” Don Hamblen, Family Dollar SVP, customer marketing told Progressive Grocer. “This includes price, signage, assortment, and design, as well as many additional factors. What’s more, we can see how this impacts shoppers in real time.”

Indeed, this monitoring is not only in real-time, but real-space, as well. The ShopperGauge in-store behavior monitoring system utilizes video and advanced analytics to automate the process of collecting and analyzing shopper behavior in real-time as shoppers move about the store and interact with brand messaging and displays. This data is then married to the store’s transaction log data to generate quantifiable metrics showing how many shoppers visited each location and which brands were most effective in engaging and converting them to purchase.

“For example, we may find that sales in one particular area of the store are below our expectations,” said Hamblen. “In the past, we would just throw more marketing at the problem. Now, we can use ShopperGauge to determine how to actually solve the problem. Perhaps a design change is needed instead of more marketing, or a change in product adjacencies. It will also help us to develop best practices that we can bring to our suppliers.”

In fact, Family Dollar plans to incorporate some of the learnings from ShopperGauge into the company-wide remodeling of its stores. So far, the 7,000+ store retailer has remodeled more than 1,000 stores and opened 300 under its new concept format. Future remodels and ground-ups will include assortments and design tweaks based on ShopperGauge research in its test stores.

“Family Dollar is committed to providing the best in-store shopping environment to our customers," said Hamblen. "We are always looking for ways to better understand how to meet their needs, and design our stores accordingly. The ShopperGauge Learning Lab will provide us with instant access to shopper insights, allowing us to incorporate the voice of the customer into our in-store merchandise and marketing decisions. In addition, our supplier partners can work with us to measure the impact of their merchandising with the Family Dollar shopper. We can help our participating suppliers be more efficient and effective with their shopper marketing and promotional programming, ultimately bringing better value to the Family Dollar shopper."

The ShopperGauge system was introduced in 2010 and has been live tested in several retailers. Major blue chip consumer products brands have participated in the testing with successful results, according to ShopperGgauge.

"The ShopperGauge insights system is unlocking answers to many of the most critical questions in retail and shopper marketing,” said Jon Kramer, ShopperGauge managing director. “For the first time, we are learning what shoppers really respond to and how to activate their behavior in store. The advanced video analytics-based technology at the core of the ShopperGauge system allows instant visibility into the exact numbers of shoppers visiting, dwelling, engaging and purchasing at any pre-identified point, cooler or fixture in the Family Dollar stores."

Matthews, N.C.-based Family Dollar operates approximately 7,000 stores in rural and urban settings across 44 states.


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