We are witnessing something of an 'imperfect storm' in FMCG right now, with continued pressure on price, the impact of range rationalisation that is seeing brands fighting for shelf space, and (certainly for the UK) the effects of trade promotions falling to their lowest levels in the last decade. Then there are innovations in e-commerce and new technologies online and via mobile devices, which is making the path to purchase easier than ever before and fundamentally changing the way we shop.

It seems that many of the levers traditionally used by brands to influence shoppers' buying decisions are slowly being eroded; a concern for both manufacturers looking to grow their brands and for retailers looking for category growth. All of this is throwing the spotlight on in-store execution and shopper marketing activity. The role of shopper marketing has never been more important with effective activation now firmly at the heart of brand growth.

Definitions

In-store and Point-of-Purchase (POP) are marketing activities that happen at the time and place where a purchase is made. In physical stores, typical activities include product sampling, on-shelf communication material, merchandising displays and out-of-home - inside and surrounding the store.

The in-store experience