Because each shopper has her own view on category importance, companies must be aware of which purchases are planned at store level and brand level, and which purchases are not planned at all. Most pre-store decisions are brand driven: the shopper has purchased the product in the past and will continue to do so in the future. In-store decisions, however, are often based on perceived value, merchandising, and packaging. As a result, promotions and displays are a good investment.
Aisle and shelf organization also play a big role in purchasing decisions. It makes sense to organize shelves by brands, but products need to be merchandised in the least confusing way possible. For example: a health-conscious shopper will shop based on ingredients and preparation and will seek brands that meet her needs; the more time it takes a customer to understand product attributes and benefits, and to compare prices, the less likely she is to browse unplanned categories and products; the fewer the products browsed and bought, the more money the store loses, proving the point that time is money.
By studying shopper insights, retailers and manufacturers can understand and address the difference between product consideration and product closure. Was packaging a consideration? Was their first choice out of stock? Was price a deciding factor?