Handstand Innovations holds a patent on the antimicrobial belt covers, which are self-aligning and can be installed in as little as two minutes. The materials are in place at several retail locations around the U.S. and other countries, including large format stores like Costco and smaller format stores with one or two locations.
As checkout areas evolve, the company has been working with retailers that have convertible stands in place that can be used for either full-service or self-service scanning. In addition, MessageWrap offers printed antimicrobial counter mats that can be installed on surfaces in self-checkout areas.
As for content, ads on the belt coverings span a variety of topics and frequently include QR codes to tie together the physical and digital store experience. “Some are for charity programs, others are to promote private label. Originally, we thought the messages would be mostly from CPGs, but the retailers think that it’s such a high-profile experience that they want to use it,” said Nathan Vanderploeg, adding, “Most commonly, they are used for quarterly programs, but the MessageWraps can last six months or more.”
One program, a custom belt covering created for the Washington state lottery, demonstrated the value of the concept. “Two years ago, we did a 13-store pilot that resulted in a 25% increase in sales and a 13-to-1 dollar return. It was tested three months before, three months on, and a month after the MessageWrap was on, so it’s a pretty good case study,” reported Brett Wildman, client services manager for Handstand Innovations. This summer, new wraps touting the latest Washington lottery campaign will be reinstalled in Safeway and Albertsons stores in that state, Wildman noted.
Finally, as Handstand Innovations expands its relationships with grocers at a time when hygiene and messaging are top of mind, the company is planning other improvements to the concept. “We are working on ‘What is the afterlife?’ of this product. We have a couple of things that we are looking at,” shared Nathan Vanderploeg.