Just over a third of shoppers observed in the shampoo and conditioner category considered other brands before making their choice.

This behaviour was driven principally by the offers available at the display. These offers also helped encourage people who had not intended to buy to make a purchase.

Those who were at the display but did not put a product in their shopping basket were checking whether a particular item was stocked at that store, looking at the offers out of interest or trying to remember whether they had run out at home.

A third bought branded products and over 40% were buying shampoo for family use. A quarter said they were buying for their children, 22% for themselves and 12% for their partners.

As you would expect there was a relatively low purchase frequency, with over half buying from this category approximately once a month. But a surprising number, 38%, bought once a fortnight.

Buying for children seemed to increase the frequency of purchase, with a few mothers saying that their kids seemed to use rather a lot when washing their hair.

Shoppers have a repertoire of types/brands, driven by who they are buying for as well as by the offers. Over half said they did not always buy the same brand or type.

This does mean that out of stocks is not a major issue because these shoppers are willing to try other brands and to be influenced by promotional activity.

This is the first health and beauty category we have observed since starting Shoppers’ Eye and the first thing that strikes is the relatively low footfall when compared to food categories. The display therefore needs to work more efficiently to help shoppers find what they want and to trade up.

Several shoppers found the display too confusing, having difficulty sorting shampoos from conditioners. This was the single most common dislike. There was no clear demarcation of these products.

However, the displays were neatly arranged with minimum out of stock. The colours and different bottle shapes made them look attractive and inviting.

The brand signposts were also good as were sympathetic adjacencies. But there were no testers nor trial products and shoppers were seen opening bottles to smell the shampoos. There was also scope to offer information and advice as none was evident at the fixture.

We asked shoppers whether they ever thought of buying shampoo as a treat for themselves and 53% said that they had.

Think about the mood these shoppers could be encouraged to slip into if this were played out at the point of purchase. What a great opportunity to get them to trade up. Remove the barriers to purchase and give these shoppers permission to treat themselves when doing the routine shop.

A third of shoppers postponed purchase. This is the rate we would expect from a health and beauty category. However, it does illustrate how important is it to have a good level of footfall and to raise people’s awareness of product offers and range.