Survey – Consumer Buying Behavior Heavily Influenced by In-Store Digital Ads

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Is the digitization of physical stores the next mega-trend in retail? That’s certainly the hope of Cooler Screens, the software technology company that powers in-store digital media and merchandising for retail.


On the heels of an Insider Intelligence report showing that in-store retail media audiences are an average of 70% larger than digital audiences at leading brick-and-mortar retailers, Cooler Screens recently conducted its own poll of 3,750 brick-and-mortar shoppers. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the firm found that 79% of shoppers report that in-store retail media and digital ads have a positive impact on their shopping experience, and 82% find in-store digital ads memorable. 

More than half of shoppers (56%) told Cooler Screens they’ve made unplanned purchases prompted by ads they’ve seen in-store.

While the data highlights shopper interest for in-store media and the influence digital advertising is having on sales and revenue in 2023, it also points to the potential for brands to build longer-lasting connections with shoppers through in-store retail media.

“The key finding in Cooler Screens’ survey is the overwhelmingly positive response to in-store digital advertising, with 79% of respondents reporting a positive impact on their shopping experience,” says Cooler Screens Founder and CEO Arsen Avakian. “The survey findings align with feedback from both merchants and shoppers, emphasizing the value of in-store media. The fact that nearly 60% of respondents made impulse purchases prompted by in-store digital ads indicate its effectiveness in capturing consumers’ attention and influencing in-store behavior. It drives incremental sales and revenue for retailers.”

Interactive media experiences built into store shelves, end caps, cooler doors, and checkout aisles have become commonplace over the past few years. Cooler Screens is one of the number of software technology companies working to gain market share by inking partnerships and exclusive deals with national retail chains like Walgreens, Kroger, Giant Eagle, and CVS.

With more than 80% of purchases taking place in brick-and-mortar environments — and with food, beverage, and health now accounting for over 90% of purchases in-store — it makes sense why in-aisle advertising would eventually come to play such a critical role in the brand advertiser’s playbook. By combining close proximity to the checkout with mobile technology, brands and retailers are reaching what could be the final frontier in personalization and consumer targeting.

“Brick and mortar is still and will remain where the majority of sales take place, but consumer expectations have been irreversibly shaped by their online experiences,” Avakian explains. 

According to data from Cooler Screens’ own internal trials, brands advertising on the company’s in-store retail media network saw an average incremental sales increase of 5% to 8%. Those results, when coupled with Cooler Screens’ new consumer poll, points to the importance — and potential — of in-store digital media and merchandising in providing a higher level of ease, relevance and transparency to consumers. 

The results also come at a crucial time for brick-and-mortar retailers, as heightened consumer expectations are prompting increased engagement, and as retailers are searching for more innovative ways to engage customers and drive sales.

Avakian believes that will ultimately drive consumer satisfaction, loyalty, and sales, leading even more retailers to invest in real life retail media in the coming years.

“Merchants and advertisers should leverage these findings to improve their advertising and marketing efforts,” Avakian says. “By incorporating in-store digital media and merchandising that is engaging, memorable, and relevant to consumers, they can enhance the shopping experience, create long-lasting connections, and ultimately drive consumer satisfaction, loyalty, and sales.”

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.