Welcome to The Mind's Eye

The Mind's Eye offers an insight into the quality of Virtual Store, Visual Merchandising, Retail Communications and In-Store Marketing work we do at Fifth Dimension for our portfolio of Retail and Manufacturing clients around the world.

Co-operatives’ Award Winning Website

2008 saw the launch of the award winning The Co-operative Media website.  This innovative site enables third party suppliers and affinity partners of The Co-operative to interrogate media communication channels and plan a marketing campaign online. Co-operative’s Head of Commercial Marketing, Susan Beetlestone, made it her mission to create a site that was easy to navigate but also gave suppliers a clear understanding of the return on investment for all retail media.  As a bonus, the site also calculates the “multiplier” effect of advertising a product in multiple channels; a metric that the industry has never had access to before.

Virtual  Co-operative Bank

The Rise of Retail Media

But first things first, what is Retail Media?  Traditionally, it was thought that a header board or barker card was the first and last word in retail media, but that was then and this is now!
At The Co-operative group they recognise many different forms of media; till screens, magazine adverts, mail outs, in-store radio, the list goes on, each one a piece of retail media to be utilised to best effect.  In this initiative, The Co-operative has provided many innovative ways for a forward thinking manufacturer to get their message out to shoppers.

So how does it work?  The website is available to all suppliers to The Co-operative and allows them to plan their media spend on-line, providing a “one stop shop” for Retail Media.  The site boasts numerous media channels across The Co-operative’s broad portfolio of businesses, from Food to Pharmacy, Travel to Electrical. This is a very powerful concept when you consider that The Co-operative Group has the largest digital screen network in Europe, with their till screens being seen by 17 million customers every week.  Couple that with 1.9 million members receiving a copy of the membership magazine last November (compared with 135,000 receiving BBC Good Homes) and you can understand why, for a supplier investing in The Co-operative, media is guaranteed to bring returns.

When the website launched 2 years ago there were 35 media items, there are now 50 and the site offers an innovative index allowing suppliers to balance their spend based on building brand awareness, enhancing consumer education and sales activation.

The site has seen a 40% increase in income year on year,  and according to a recent econometrics study, this spend has translated into £13.4m worth of incremental revenue in Co-operative Food sales over the last two years. The site provides its users with a budget calibrator and an ROI calculator.  These features allow their suppliers to work out what return they are likely to get from their activities and how much they would need to spend.  This has resulted in suppliers buying more multi-channel media because they can predict the financial return and the in-store impact it’s going to generate.

Another benefit of the site is that The Co-operatives labour costs are kept to a minimum whilst maintaining a consistent offer to their suppliers.

Co-operative Media Website

Communicating the Opportunity using Virtual Reality

One issue that The Co-operative needed to address was bringing to life all of the channels within the website.  Susan Beetlestone says “When the issue of communicating the channels came up, I knew exactly who to call.  Fifth Dimension had created a number of virtual reality movies showing how our store refits were going to look and I was sure they’d be able to help.  Fifth Dimension created four virtual reality movies that are accessed via the site.  Each movie shows a channel and the various media items that are available.”

Retail Media Case Study

As an illustration, an overview of one of the many successful case studies on the site has been reproduced below.

Co-operative Food (Discovery Foods) – (Booked June 2008) – Campaign active in August 2008 (Revolutionise your chicken)

Length of campaign: The radio campaign ran for 3 weeks

Campaign exposure level: The media campaign ran in 2259 stores

Brief overview of the campaign:

  • To drive sales of Discovery’s Fajitas which will be on promotion and to direct the customer to the Mexican food section of the International Food aisle.
  • It will also, for example, encourage customers to try salsa sauce and guacamole with their tortillas.
  • The goal is that once they have tried the product they will make repeat purchases.

Chosen no. media hosts engaged: 1, The Co-operative Food

Chosen mix of channels: 2, Shelf talker and radio advert

Brief overview of the methodology used in researching this case study:

  • We use 514 Co-operative stores which do not have radio (control stores) to measure the effect of the media campaign. (For the purpose of this campaign, Shelf Barkers are present throughout all stores).
  • Sales from the campaign and control stores are indexed over the period, and the sales % uplifts compared.
  • The only difference between the 2 sets of stores is that the Campaign stores heard the ad, and the control stores did not. Therefore the effects of other variables (i.e. seasonality, other promotions etc) are removed.

Brief overview of the observed results:

Analysis of the control stores indicated the radio campaign was responsible for a 20.1% sales uplift during the campaign

  • Units
  • Sales within the International Cuisine – Americas Food category grew by 204.3% during the Campaign period, The Discovery Foods range sales grew by 221.2% during the campaign.
  • The Discovery Foods range category share grew in the Co-op from an average of 79.7% before the campaign to 84.1% during the campaign.
  • Value
  • Sales within the International Cuisine – Americas Food category grew by 106.4% during the Campaign period, The Discovery Foods range sales grew by 111.5% during the campaign.
  • The Discovery Foods range category share grew in the Co-op from an average of 81.5% before the campaign to 83.5% during the campaign.

Gold Award Winner

The success of the site seems to continue and in June, The Co-operative Media won the 2009 Grocer Gold Awards Business Initiative of the Year award.

Susan Beetlestone said “This initiative is proving extremely successful, not only in terms of the number of different brands engaged with the website but also in relation to the range of opportunities and high levels of service that they receive. I am delighted that this achievement has been recognised with a Grocer Gold Award, which is a tribute to the media team, headed by Rachel Bartfield, who have worked so hard to get this project off to such a flying start.”

The media centre is living proof that The Co-operative isn’t just “good with food”










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