Beverage Brand Marketers know that the changing retail landscape affects all of their sales channels differently. Navigating these changes in ways unique to each retail channel is critical to success. In this article, we’ll discuss how changing consumption and shopping patterns have affected the Mass Retail Channel, and outline how these changes present new challenges and opportunities. We define the Mass Retail Channel as encompassing big name warehouse stores, such as Wal-Mart and Target. These venues are primarily catering to families and those looking for a one-stop shopping experience that fulfills all of their shopping needs under one roof. By recognizing and adapting to how the Mass Retail Channel has changed in recent years, Beverage Brand Marketers can ensure that peak brand exposure to consumers is maintained, while also allowing their customers to stay competitive in beverage sales.
One of the most significant ways that the Mass Retail Channel has changed in recent years is through the incorporation of perishable grocery shopping into their offerings. Big named retailers have begun to deploy a widespread effort to include comprehensive food offerings that allow their customers to complete all of their shopping at one location. This has brought them into direct competition with grocery stores, which heretofore had previously only experienced competition with other grocery stores. One advantage of the Mass Retail Channel moving in this direction is through their scale, they are able to offer perishable and non-perishable groceries at a significant savings for the consumer. Additionally, the Mass Retail Channel has recognized that the retail landscape has changed over the past decade. Today’s consumers are looking for a total shopping experience under one roof, as this allows them to save time and money. Today’s consumers are also looking for value and speed in a shopping experience, both of which are offered in the Mass Retail Channel.
For Beverage Brand Marketers, the decision of mass retailers to enter into the grocery business has created new opportunities within the Mass Retail Channel. Foremost among these is the opportunity to expand brand exposure to a much wider base. Beverage Brand Marketers can capitalize on brand awareness created in other channels, such as the Convenience Retail Channel, to capture a larger share of purchases within the Mass Retail Channel. One significant difference between the Mass Retail Channel and both the General Merchandise Channel and the Convenience Retail Channel, is the scale of purchases by consumers. Within the Mass Retail Channel, consumers are looking foremost for value. Value from the consumer’s perspective comes in the form of bulk packaging. This is a significant difference from the primarily single-serving options offered in the Convenience Retail Channel. Consumers are more likely to make purchases of beverages in multi-packs or take-home quantities, rather than ready-to-consume options, within the Mass Retail Channel. By recognizing this fact, Beverage Brand Marketers can ensure that their customers stock value-rich beverage offerings. This allows both Beverage Brand Marketers and their customers in the Mass Retail Channel to meet the expectations and desires of consumers within this channel, by offering high value purchases in larger quantities.
By recognizing how consumption patterns differ in the Mass Retail Channel, Beverage Brand Marketers will be well-positioned to meet their consumer’s expectations and desires. The Mass Retail Channel offers a unique avenue for a larger scale of both sales and brand visibility. The scale of purchases within the Mass Retail Channel allows Beverage Brand Marketers and their customers to create value rich offerings that increases the amounts of beverages purchased per transaction, while also meeting the consumer’s desire for a higher value product. Beverage Brand Marketers can capitalize on brand awareness created in other channels to sell larger, value-rich packages of beverages that their consumers desire. In this sense, the Mass Retail Channel allows Beverage Brand Marketers to harness the power of brand awareness and loyalty to drive increased sales. At the same time, within the Mass Retail Channel, by changing offerings from ready-to-consume products to take-home quantities, both Beverage Brand Marketers and their customers are able to meet the consumer’s desire for an expedited shopping experience that is characterized by convenience and value. The Mass Retail Channel offers an opportunity to Beverage Brand Marketers to leverage the power of scale to meet consumer’s expectations within the shifting retail landscape.