Research Outline

In-Store Marketing and Display


To identify insights on the following:
1. In-store marketing best practices for over-the-counter medication
2. Research on in-store shelf and end aisle display
3. What shoppers need to know, hear and see
4. How messaging can ease customers' in-store experience through education
5. If it is better to have one overarching message or communicate multiple product's claims
This will be used for a marketing strategy.

Early Findings

Empathetic Retailing

  • Empathetic retailing” shows customers that a business cares, understands, or takes their interests to heart. It tries to engage the consumer on a personal level.
  • Pharmacists sometimes have more intimate relationships with their customers or "have an understanding of what the patient’s life is like and what they are looking for". It is recommended to carefully curate an assortment of products catered to consumer requests and needs.
  • For example, one pharmacist displayed mobility aids at the front of his store because this was what customers wanted.
  • "Pharmacies that mirror community values and needs tend to be successful on the front end."
  • "70% of purchase decisions are also driven by pharmacists’ advice on a specific product."

Create Convenience

  • Pharmacies should think of ways to create convenience. A store’s interior layout should ideally make it easy to pick up and check out items. Waiting in line for five minutes can also be too long for customers who want to come in and out quickly.

Omnichannel Approach

  • An “omnichannel” approach is also recommended to combine in-store services with online or tech-enabled capabilities. A social media presence also supports the promotion of products.
  • "Pharmacies should also investigate e-commerce platforms that enable consumers to order products online for in-store pickup or include options for home delivery."
  • "73% of customers go online before visiting physical points of sale."

Consider Seasonality

  • Using the seasons to guide product focus, such as cold and allergy season, is recommended as a way to utilize merchandising for maximum impact.
  • It is also recommended to display season-specific items on shelves or tables around areas or zones where customers frequent in a store.
  • "Front and endcap displays should highlight the most relevant or popular products customers will be searching for."
  • "Merchandise with large format, and popular brands on the left at eye level. The customer will scan shelves as they do when reading from left to right."


  • For the initial hour, we tried identifying as much of the requested information as possible. We were able to identify early insights on in-store marketing and messaging.
  • This research found that empathetic retailing or showing customers that a business/ brand cares or understands their customers is likely what shoppers need to hear and see in terms of messaging. Marketing focused on this type of messaging appears to be recommended over messaging around a specific product's claims.
  • Seasonality was also considered an important aspect when marketing specific products, especially for sinus relief, cold, flu, cough, and sore throat products. Drug store retail sales typically increase during Christmas and cold and flu periods.
  • In the course of our research, we also came across additional insights on marketing in pharmacies and more general insights on visual merchandising and in-store marketing best practices, which might also be of interest.
  • Feel free to add or select an option below.