The Hershey Co. has released a new report showcasing how to extend the concept of search across digital and physical retail. 
In “The Power of Search in a Shopper’s World,” Hershey experts outline four strategies for building a “total commerce approach” where shoppers can find snacks whenever, wherever and however they choose to shop.
Under the banner of fictitious retailer, Medley, Hershey shares shopper-centric concepts that address the retailer’s challenge of engaging shoppers in a world where 50 percent of all purchases are digitally influenced. Consumers expect the blending of online content, creative merchandising and immersive experiences as they make purchasing decisions across traditional and digital platforms. 
The payoff for retailers is significant, however, with shoppers spending six times more when they shop a retailer’s total commerce ecosystem.
“Our report outlines Hershey’s commitment to putting the shopper first,” said Doug Straton, chief digital commerce officer, The Hershey Co. “As we deepen our understanding of when, where and how people search for snacks, we’re building a stronger muscle for advising our retail partners in an environment where shoppers seamlessly move between digital and physical retail.
In addition to sharing retail search strategies that apply to both digital and physical shopping, Hershey provides updates on front-end and in-aisle merchandising concepts presented in last year’s ‘Shopper’s World’ report.
Among them is the concept of queueing, or exposing shoppers to more product as they snake through a checkout line. Hershey is also testing different candy aisle arrangements at 20 locations, incorporating digital elements with physical features.
And with Hershey’s new emphasis on snacking — the company purchased Amplify Brands earlier this year — the company recommends installing a single-serve “Snack Zone,” which a majority of shoppers Hershey surveyed said they appreciate.
‘The Power of Search in a Shopper’s World’ is published by Hershey’s Global Customer Innovation Center, a space where retailers and Hershey collaboratively solve challenges facing the confectionery industry.