This educational post was provided by Redemption Plus.

You walk into your local grocery store in search of one thing: ice cream! Right away you know what part of the store you need to go to — the frozen food aisle. From there you can browse different types of frozen items. Everything from frozen vegetables to frozen pizzas to your desired treat — ice cream — is going to be in this part of the store. Can you imagine how confusing it would be if frozen pizzas and ice cream were in completely different areas?

Humans naturally process information in categories. We need a way to efficiently narrow down all grocery store items to just the one type of thing we’re looking for.

This same browsing technique applies to how your guests shop through your redemption area.

By including categories in your redemption display, you create a more enjoyable shopping experience, increase the likelihood of more revenue and save yourself time in your ordering and merchandising processes.

According to an article by Shopify, “Grouping products with other similar items will give your customers additional reasons to buy more items from you. But grouping products also has a more utilitarian justification: it saves shoppers time. They don’t need to wander around your entire retail store trying to mix and match things. It’s one of the reasons grocery stores will put dips right beside their chips, or peanut butter with jams.”

This heightens the importance of categorizing product in your redemption area by two-fold:

1) Organizing by category gives guests a place to start
They will naturally be drawn to a section of product that appeals to them. The redemption area is typically the last stop for your customers in your center, and a child having an overwhelming experience can leave parents feeling frustrated.

Sectioned categories create a more enjoyable experience for your shoppers. They’re able to make decisions faster and are happier with their prize(s) — more on that later.

Not only are your guests more satisfied when shopping by category, but by reducing decision time, you’re able to service more customers. which opens the opportunity to add new revenue.

2) As the above quote mentioned, the quicker shoppers can process options, the more likely they are to make impulse decisions.
In a family or bowling entertainment center, this means a guest might find a prize in his desired category that he doesn’t have enough tickets for. Since he was able to process this information quickly — and there’s still 30 minutes before his family has to leave — he can beg mom or dad to purchase more game credits, so he can try to win his desired prize. And what does that mean? More game revenue for you!

People are also more satisfied when picking from a category. I know what you’re thinking, you hardly have time to organize the birthday parties scheduled for this week, let alone your entire product assortment. Sure, your redemption area might be fine as it looks today but investing time in a merchandise plan can make or break your guests’ shopping experiences.

Research by Stanford University shows people are more satisfied with items when choosing from a category — no matter how meaningless that category might be. An article, The Way the Brain Buys, by the Economist explains these findings:

“In a study of different coffees, were more satisfied with their choice if it came from a categorized selection, although it did not matter if the categories were marked simply A, B, and C, or ‘mild’, ‘dark roast’ and ‘nutty.’”

Categories not only help you organize your redemption orders and assortment, but they can also provide your guests with a more enjoyable shopping experience.

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