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Wednesday, Jun. 23, 2004 at 12:41 am

Milk! It Does A Grocery Store Good

By Persuasion Architects
June 23rd, 2004

It’s 9:03 am on a Monday

The steam from your decaf ribbons skyward from your Styrofoam cup, you find yourself in the conference room at your favorite grocery store chain headquarters.

Meeting subject: Increase Sales

The Regional Veep Steps brazenly to the front of room.

“I have found our silver bullet! It is an area where we can dominate the other grocery stores, where we can be the best, where we can squash our competition. Ladies and Gentlemen I want to create the worlds greatest easiest and most convenient grocery store. From this day forward, our customers will be able to find the most commonly purchased items, specifically milk, right next to our check stands. Early consumer tests indicate we will be known far and wide for having the most user friendly, intuitive, and convenient store layout in the industry. Our Customers have been dreaming about easier quicker access to the milk cooler …this will explode our store traffic and sales. “

“Sounds like a wonderful idea”, you ponder, “In fact why didn’t I think of this? Hmmm maybe I should switch to caffeinated!”

On the web, usability is similar to product placement and store layout in the brick and mortar world. Future Now’s Chief Persuasion Officer, Mr. Bryan Eisenberg defines usability this way…

Usability- The ability to implement effectively the body of knowledge concerning the human-computer interface in order to remove any obstacles impeding the experience and process of online interactions.

Future Now was privy to a recent survey conducted by Jupiter Research that queried CEOs from some of the states largest companies to identify some of their biggest website challenges. “Usability” topped their list of concerns.

The milk snuggled up all cozy with the checkout stand rings like a wonderful ‘usability’ coup for any of us that make the dreaded trek to the rear end of the grocery store for a singular gallon of milk. And this ‘usability’ revelation is bound to sell more milk. At the very least 98% of respondents will scream “Hell yes please do it” on any usability test. (The other 2% don’t like milk)

But there is a problem with this scenario, Grocery stores must sell a lot more than just milk. Implementation of this idea would result in lower average sales and in turn lower top line sales. Have you ever noticed all the things you snag along the way to get the milk?

Usability is not the silver bullet to better conversions and better sales, but only one factor in the equation.

So what actually is usability’s role in conversion? The team will have more on that later.

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Comments (5)

  1. I’m thinking of putting in 3 grocery outlets in KC…..with no experience in that arena. What’s the best architecture for the artsy types….what will bring them in?


  2. @AD Graves … hopefully you tried this and got some results with it … my feeling is that it worked … i’m thinking on implementing a similar system on one of my products. hopefully it will work …

  3. well .. no wonder “Usability” topped their list of concerns … if i were a CEO i would have the usability a top concern as well as it helps the sales grow when the user has easy aces to his milk.

    speaking of milk … i feel thirsty now :)

  4. Hi,
    I really like your topic .. Topics I’ve shared your facebook .. Thank you very much again ..

  5. great article and good points about usability one of the keystone factors in conversions… also, we can’t forget about having qualified traffic in our grocery store, namely the “milk drinkers” of the world. to build on the grocery store example, selling milk to the lactose intolerant ain’t the best idea. also, as to usability, as long as the milk fridges near the checkout stands don’t block access to the cashier! :)

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