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A New Way To Navigate?

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Like most people, I didn’t acquire a taste for wine until later in life. So it’s easy for me to recall my first shopping trips to purchase my new favorite libation. I knew I didn’t want a white wine, but beyond that, I was lost in a sea of shyraz and merlot. Did I want a bold? A blend? A Bordeaux? If only a store like Bottlerocket had been around.

Bottlerocket, a charming yet innovative vino only NY retailer, pushes the envelope when it comes to category navigation for wine. The store layout is clearly driven by the way a shopper thinks about a wine purchase. I would love a bottle of wine to go with my takeout. Which wines pair with poultry? It’s celebration time; I need a good bottle to share with friends. Bottlerocket takes their understanding of the shopper and merchandises their wines accordingly, using playful, oversize icons to represent occasions. These icons are used both in-store and online.

Another interesting planogram win is the decision to put SKUs in multiple places — making it easy to find the wine you want, regardless of how you’re thinking about it.

Not only do I highly recommend Bottlerocket for the shopping experience, I believe they can provide inspiration for more traditional retailers. Think grocery. We’ve seen the same categories presented the same way for years. But shoppers have changed. Here are some of my wishes: Why can’t there be an aisle dedicated to cooking for one? Couldn’t the pizza — be it frozen or fresh — all live in the same spot? How about a permanent mini cooler for milk on the cereal endcap? Why can’t visual cues help me find what I’m looking for — rather than the unreadable menu board? Imagine how different the shopping experience could be if we all sat back, corked a bottle of wine, and started thinking about the possibilities.

 
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-Contributed by Shelley Airhart
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