The In-Store “Audience”

Herb Sorensen
TNS Sorensen


With shoppers spending an estimated quadrillion seconds in stores around the world each year, thinking of these exposures as a potential “audience” for advertising seems eminently reasonable. Of course, the store has long been the venue of a variety of point-of-purchase advertising, including packaging—the dominant in-store medium. In the current context, however, in-store advertising is being regarded as a mass communication media vehicle that reaches a mass audience.

This article considers ways in which in-store shoppers are unlike traditional audiences. It identifies empirical generalizations that relate to the heart of the purchase process. It also provides examples of how interactive digital media can play a substantial role in overcoming purchase barriers in the store.