Pilsner Urquell: Which pallet, stand, or refrigerator sells the most?

unique measuring devices in 70 stores across CR and SR

increased sales with optimal pallet placement

pallets can be more efficient than stands

  • Achieving an increase in sales on the saturated Czech beer market is an extremely difficult and costly task.
  • After three years of measuring sales from individual POS displays, Pilsner Urquell have declared an end to emotional decision-making and taught the entire company to trust data.  
  • Pilsner Urquell has implemented smart shelves and smart scales from Adastra in 70 stores across the Czech Republic and Slovakia. They track everything that influences customers’ buying behavior.  

Best Shopper Insight project offered detailed insight into customer behaviour

Thanks to data measurement, Pilsner Urquell are much closer to shoppers’ needs and, together with retailers, are creating a better environment and shopping experience.

The objectives of the three-year Best Shopper Insight project were to:

  • connect data and knowledge of buyer behavior with actual sales data at the level of individual stores’ layout and types of display on the sales floor;
  • evaluate the effectiveness of secondary placement on the sales floor according to brand and layout;
  • compare secondary placement performance with and without promotional pricing.

Thanks to the internal merchandizing standards that Pilsner Urquell have developed based on data collection, the company is able to provide each merchant with detailed information on the secondary placement of specific products. They get the layout of each store and know exactly:

  • where to place a secondary display stand,
  • where to place a pallet,
  • where to put a refrigerator, and
  • which planogram to use to display the goods there.

Pilsner Urquell now know the answers to the following questions:

  • What is the impact of sales from pallets on total sales?
  • Where should the pallets be placed?
  • What share of total sales are made from refrigerators?
  • Which product saw the highest number of impulse purchases from a POS stand and in which part of the store?

Check out the smart shelves and smart scales in Adastra

The smart shelves and smart scales that Pilsner Urquell used to measure secondary displays for their products are part of an integrated multi-sensor solution that Adastra custom designs and implements for clients. The unique end-to-end solution integrates patented hardware devices with an adaptable IoT platform.

The result? Personalized reporting insights that allow the business to make informed decisions in real time.  

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“We knew we’d hit the ceiling of what we could come up with alone through our experience and gut feeling. We wanted to take the path to effectiveness, so we started collecting data on our customers’ behavior.”
Pavel Císař, Commercial Excellence Manager, OFF-TRADE CZ & SK

The best position on the sales floor? Pilsner Urquell know where to place their stands

What have they found by collecting accurate data on sales and buyer behavior?

  • There are two sales peaks during the day: Pilsner Urquell effectively adjust visits to merchants accordingly.
  • Campaigns are least effective on the day Pilsner Urquell launch them (this has been measured precisely).
  • Pilsner Urquell know campaigns’ exact share of daily sales turnover: the difference in daily sales share is up to 10%.
  • Communication at the point of sale should always be localized; the aim is to cover the entire path to purchase.

By collecting accurate data on sales and buyer behavior, Pilsner Urquell have discovered that customers shop where they want to shop, not where the display is.

The producer, therefore, has to meet the customer and offer the product where and when the latter needs it and wants to buy it.

“Most FMCG companies have to deal with POS smog and how to find the right balance between short-term or special displays and permanent ones. We have found that, in many cases, it is more effective to invest in long-term displays. An established product usually deserves permanent exposure.”
Pavel Císař, Commercial Excellence Manager, OFF-TRADE CZ & SK

Do only campaigns that get results

More isn’t always more!

How to deal with POS smog?

POS smog can heavily influence sales. If there are a lot of displays in the store, which are also heavily branded, then customers perceive them as distracting and basically stop noticing them.

The solution?

Recycle the stands and focus more on sustainability without impacting sales.

How to manage permanent displays? Adastra Lab is developing a smart stand that permits effective rebranding according to campaign, product, or brand. This eliminates campaign waste while, at the same time, continually monitoring customer behavior.

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What to do about banner blindness?

Customers often suffer from so-called banner blindness; they no longer respond automatically to something brighter or more colorful.

How has Pilsner Urquell addressed this?

The most striking part of the store is the section for non-alcoholic beer. Here, customers practically do not notice new banners anymore. One of the tricks to motivate customers to buy instead of the classic product display is to place a small stand with a hostess in the store.

“More isn’t always more – sometimes, it’s just less. We need to learn that communications at points of sale should really be localized, targeted, and in moderation. Otherwise, due to consumer blindness, we lose any ability to tell the customer anything at all.”
Pavel Císař, Commercial Excellence Manager, OFF-TRADE CZ & SK

Depending on where the pallet is placed in the store, you can see an increase in sales of up to 11%

Pilsner Urquell measure the marginal gains of each pallet. They have realized that, by changing the pallet’s location in the store, they can increase sales by up to 11%. This also depends on how many pallets are in the store.
Thanks to data measurement, Pilsner Urquell are further able to:

  • decide when it is worth placing a second pallet – it is not the case that two pallets will sell twice as much.
  • know what the optimal combination of products is on a pallet – the right products in the right place can increase sales by up to 12%.

Surprise! Stands are up to 20% less effective than pallets

Pilsner Urquell measured peaks in purchasing from stands throughout the day.

Stands sell less. In some locations, they can be up to 20% less effective than sales from pallets.

Compared to pallets, however, they are more conducive to impulse purchases; they can better capture customers as they move around the store and get a taste for the product.

By adjusting the planogram, you can increase sales from coolers by up to 5%

Sales from coolers are far lower than you might expect: at Pilsner Urquell, they found that they were actually up to 80% lower than they had previously thought.

Thanks to their understanding of peak sales on working days and on weekends, Pilsner Urquell know precisely which products are sold from coolers more and which less.

They have adjusted the planogram accordingly and thus increased sales by 5%.

They have measured the actual contribution of each individual cooler and know its marginal gains.

“We realized that the season doesn’t play a role in sales from coolers; they sell exactly the same amount in winter and in summer.”
Pavel Císař, Commercial Excellence Manager, OFF-TRADE CZ & SK

What about data?

Adastra's smart shelves and smart scales have helped optimize inventory & logistics

As part of measuring customer behavior, Pilsner Urquell have implemented integrated multi-sensor devices from Adastra in stores, namely, smart scales under pallets and stands and smart shelves in refrigerators.

More than 150 unique measuring devices in 70 stores across the Czech Republic and Slovakia

Smart sensors and scales are placed in refrigerators, on stands and on pallets, unnoticed by the customer. As time passes, the sensors monitor the load on each shelf.

Whenever you lift a product, the shelf recognizes it, records the information, and sends it to the application. This can alert responsible store staff in near real time when stocks need to be replenished. The app also evaluates and analyzes sales trends.

As a result, Pilsner Urquell know, for example, which brand in their product portfolio is selling most and which secondary placement campaign is performing best – in layman’s terms, which product sells best and where.

In addition, smart shelves help better evaluate campaigns, plan new ones, and tailor a completely bespoke offer to the customers of a particular store.

Learn about Adastra’s whole ecosystem of integrated multi-sensor solutions

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“We are interested in which products sell better from stands, pallets, or refrigerators. That’s why we measure which secondary display suits us best.” 
Pavel Císař, Commercial Excellence Manager, OFF-TRADE CZ & SK

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Petr Blabla
Digital Retail Division Director