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Shopper Marketing – Stimulate the Senses

When you walk into a store, what is the first thing you notice? The window display? The aroma? The music?

Shopper marketing seeks to understand how sights, sounds, aromas and appeals to the senses inspire customer interest and affect their decisions. These marketers gain insight into the factors that drive purchases and use them in their design of packaging, shelving, and promotions.

Shopper marketing includes the design of eye-catching Points of Sales Materials (POSM) such as table displays, hanging displays, and posters.

It also includes demos, taste tests and other promotional activities that attract customers to come up close and experience the product. Alluring aromas and lighting are also ways to arouse customer interest.

By-Health Drug Store Island
By-Health Drug Store Island

Experts in shopper marketing create ways to make a brand and product appealing just as the shopper is ready to buy.

How the five senses entice customers

A successful shopper marketing strategy is a subconscious appeal to a shopper’s senses. The following are examples of how the five senses can stimulate and inspire a shopper to buy a product.

1. Visual design

Eye-catching colors and designs on product packaging and shelves draw a shoppers’ attention to a brand. A uniquely elegant or creative design displays the value of the product to the customer as she walks by.

Whisper  POSM Visual Disruptive 3D Center
Whisper POSM Visual Disruptive 3D Center

2. Aroma

The fresh scent of flowers, coffee, or baked bread can draw the customer near while she is walking through the store and inspire an impulsive purchase. The scent of a perfume or essential oil can be the deciding factor for a customer to purchase the item.

3. Sounds

The right music or ambiance, such as spa music where essential oils and diffusers are sold, can put a customer in the mood to buy the products. Positive upbeat music can inspire people to buy products associated with the mood and products in the store.

4. Taste

Sampling food such as cheese and crackers, sauces, and beef enables the customer to understand how to prepare and eat the product. The delicious taste persuades the customer to buy once they’ve tried it.

5. Touch

A person is more likely to buy a product after she has touched it. She has experienced it. She has felt the fabric of that dress on her body and has held that bottle of wine in her hands. She has built a positive connection to the product and now is much more likely to buy it.

Whisper POSM touch and feel demo kit
Whisper POSM touch and feel demo kit

Why is shopper marketing important?

According to the Grocery Manufacturers Association, as many as 70% of a customer’s purchasing decisions are made in the store. That means the in-store shopper experience is key to influencing the person to buy a product.

In addition, 40-80% of purchase are done so on impulse according to the Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services. What shoppers buy is often due to stimuli they experience as they shop.

People also make decisions based on their mood at the moment. Some buy a product to reward themselves when they’re in a good mood or to turn a bad day around or to increase their sense of self-worth. Shopper marketing strategies can also be used to influence a customer’s mood.

An understanding of shopper behavior and how to influence it is key to the success of any product.

Knowing how to create designs to attract customers and inspire a purchase is key to a product’s success.

Paradise Design specializes in shopper marketing design and has served famous global brands for 20 years. To see some of their designs, click here.

Paradise Design has English-speaking Account Executives that can provide offshore design services to any place in the world. For a consultation to learn more about how their expertise can help your brand, email natalie(at)

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