Green Hills’ Center for Advancing Retail & Technology Studies Display Effectiveness

The Center for Advancing Retail & Technology (CART), an in-store live technology lab at Syracuse, N.Y.-based Green Hills Market, worked with General Mills and its technology partners to answer one of the retail industry’s top in-store merchandising questions: “Is this display working?” by quantifying the impact of in-aisle fixtures and displays on shopper behaviors such as engagement, conversion, and purchase choices.

The study, “Measuring Display Impact, Brand Messaging, and Shopper Behavior,” was completed by CART using ShopperGauge technology, which incorporates RetailNEXT, an in-store shopper monitoring platform from BVI Networks, and best-in-class display and fixture products from RockTenn Merchandising Displays. The goal of the study was to understand the impact of fixtures on sales of products in the aisle and for retailers wanting to understand the effect of fixtures on shopper behavior, aisle traffic, conversion, and purchase decisions.

Conducted in late 2010, the study tested the impact of introducing an in-aisle cereal display for General Mills cereal products and featured dominant messaging around “Whole Grain Goodness.” The 8-foot “Smart Showcase” display was visible from both ends of the aisle and prominently framed the General Mills cereal set, visually separating it from other products in the cereal category. The study sought to validate that shoppers do indeed care about choosing healthy cereals and that messaging and displaying the products within this context could impact purchase decisions and convert more shoppers to buyers. The expectation was increased conversion and sales for the entire category and that shoppers would increase purchases of the featured brand even more significantly because of the appeal of the “Whole Grain Goodness” message.

Cereal aisle shopper traffic (21 percent of total store traffic) averaged a duration of 23 seconds. Fifteen percent of the aisle traffic stopped at the display, and 47 percent of those shoppers purchased a General Mills brand product. During the test period, Green Hills shoppers spent 17 percent more on General Mills products than before. The number of shoppers who stopped and engaged with the General Mills brands increased by 200 percent, and overall shopper conversion increased 8 percent.

The CART study summarizes key findings for manufacturers in areas including shopper purchase intention, conversion of brand-loyal shoppers, conversion of uncertain shoppers, and the impact of targeted messaging on transactions.

To download the complete case study, visit


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