In store demos are used in department stores and grocery supermarkets in order to introduce customers to products and by doing this, increase their chances of purchasing the product. A retail in store brand ambassador showcases products and give potential customers the opportunity to experience, sample or taste the product. Demos can be effective in increasing sales if handled properly. As a retailer, you must be aware of your customers’ needs and make necessary provisions for these needs. One of the features of demos that can increase the chances of attracting potential customers is the cleanliness of the demo table and surrounding space. When planning an in store demo, put in mind the size of the store and create enough space between aisles and keep walkways free of merchandise. As much as a demo is meant to increase the probability of a customer buying a product, it can also reduce sales if there are cramped spaces in the store due to a product demo and it can turn off potential customers. Below are some of the important tips for a great in store demo:
Engage Your Consumer
In order to have a great in store demo that will add value to sales, you must be willing to engage your consumers. Speak with them and know more about their needs. The more people get to know you, the more they trust you and the more they are likely to buy your product. Most consumers make buying decisions based on their emotions and the more you connect with your potential consumers during in store demos, the higher their chances of buying your product and there is a likelihood that they might become loyal customers.
Have a Great Story
During an in store demo, a product demonstrator must be able to inject anecdotes and funny stories instead of making the potential customers feel like they have been sucked into a sales pitch. For example, if the product is about kids and your potential customers have their kids with them, you can tell a story about how much your kids love the different flavors of the product you are demonstrating. This will make your demonstration more like a friendly conversation and it can make your customers stick around if you can find a way to relate to them and this in turn will increase their likelihood of purchasing the product.
Have a Great Brand Ambassador
One of the key features that can improve in store demo sales in any retail center is the in store demonstrator. An in store demonstrator is the one who introduces a customer to a product and helps them try it as well. The importance of a great in store demonstrator cannot be overemphasized. Customers will most likely prefer to listen to a friendly and knowledgeable sales person than an aloof and overly professional one. Having an air of friendliness and professionalism can improve customers’ willingness to buy a product.
Pick Items that You and Other Staff Members Really Like
During an in store demo, your display of enthusiasm towards a product can increase the likelihood of a purchase. When you like a product and you have full knowledge about it and how it works, you will be very enthusiastic to introduce it to potential customers and your enthusiasm can be infectious thereby, prompting consumers to purchase the item. The next time you want to do an in store demo, choose a product that you like and watch your sales increase as a result of your enthusiasm.
Have the Product Nearby
Another important point to note during an in store demo is the ready availability of the product. Consumers are more likely to buy a product if they can grab it right away than when they have to walk down the aisle to find the product. In case of the latter, there is a probability that they might forget about it by the time they get there.
Have Adequate Knowledge About the Product
Customers like to ask questions about a product and as an in store demonstrator, you must have adequate knowledge about the product as this will give customers the assurance that they are in good hands. When customers ask questions and they are not satisfied with the answers, this can decrease the probability of them purchasing the item.
Question 1: Do In Store Demo Work?
Yes, if carried out effectively. In store demos are a great way to bring customers in touch with products and if done in the right way, it increases sales and can also promote customers’ loyalty to a brand. Most consumers get stuck in the routine of buying the same products over time but in store demos is a great way to showcase new products to consumers and give them a taste of something different from their regular routine and this in turn might increase their likelihood to purchase a product thereby, increasing sales.
Question 2: Who is a Brand Ambassador?
A Brand Ambassador or a product demonstrator is a person who shows consumers how to use or sample a product and helps them try it. Often, a product demonstrator is a store employee and an expert on the product at hand. There is nothing more powerful than a great product demonstration. When done correctly, it allows the customers to see and feel how things will be better if they buy a product and it takes the skill of an experienced and skilled demo person to sway the emotion of potential consumers. A product demonstrator does not have to be necessarily expensive to afford instead, any member of the staff who has adequate knowledge about the product and has an aura of friendliness and professionalism can be a good demo person. The person must be enthusiastic, outgoing, well spoken and quick to learn. The person must possess good communication skills and must be able to draw from personal experience during a product demonstration.
There are several write ups about Amazon acquisition of Whole Food Markets with everyone attempting to clearly state their own opinion. This is seen from different sectors including pundit specification from industries which is channeled towards an unavoidable disruption of the grocery industry. This is with the primary aim of having an analysis of the Whole Foods price reductions. Joining the choir was my own way of offering my opinion and observation from an industry ecosystem participant perspective.
Whole Foods Stores
Over the years, there have been a scale up in the traffic seen with Whole Foods stores. This was noticed only after the acquisition as well as lower pricing of some selected items. However, vendors, distributors and brokers have sent no reports showing that they are dissatisfied with the internal operational changes. Complaints about the availability and quality of organic produce on the store shelves are becoming quite disturbing and these complaints are received mainly from the Whole Foods shoppers.
Whole Foods Management
There is currently no evidence to indicate a positive change from the perspectives of shoppers or the grocery ecosystem. There are only indications to show that a hands off approach to Whole Foods management was adopted by Amazon as they continue with the implementation of operational initiatives even before acquisition takes place.
Major grocery retailers are already announcing their significant investments into technology. This is with the aim of combating Amazon’s scour for food to their territory. The likes of Kroger have already started to court smaller, regional product brands threatened by Whole Foods abandonment. This may be a good development for nonindustrial food manufacturers, when and if it materializes.
Analysis you would find are only focused on the impact of the Whole Foods changes on publicly traded companies. There are only few write ups about how the food brokers, independent groceries, demo agencies, small batch product manufacturers and merchandisers are affected by the changes. In fact, there are only evidence to show that there is lower foot traffic as well brand promotional activities on the store floors of the aforementioned. However, many grocers we spoke to are in denial that a small grocery eco-system will be materially affected. And that is a mistake.
Thanks to Jeff Bezos's relentless focus on the quality of customer experience, i.e. long term sustainability of Amazon business, everyone assumes that the acquisition will produce some magical result and force a major change in how we buy our food. So far this "earthquake" is yet to produce a tsunami of change. Amazon does not always succeed, but it succeeds most of the time. Change now. Before you have to.
The small and independent grocers can obviously not compete with bigger technological investments, rather they can mobilize partners within their ecosystem to provide a better and more personal experience to their shoppers. This should be their prime focus because Whole Foods sidelines their trade partners who helped them to become successful, independent grocers could use this opportunity to forge closer alliances to provide more engaging shopping experience in their stores.
In recent years, retail has evolved into a business where proficiency, versatility and creativity are all needed to become very successful. Brands no longer market products just to make profit alone. You might be wondering where I am going with this, but humor me a bit. Brands now strive to appeal to the customers emotions. They want them to feel attached to the brand or product or even the store. This spurs the people to get the product at any cost. There are various techniques through which brands make this happen and one of those strategies is a successful in store demo. The best way to get to your audience is by capturing their attention and what better way to go about that than giving the people a feel of your amazing product.
In store demos are ways brands and retailers engage with the shoppers directly, fostering human connection that will help them in experiencing the product. You may wonder whether in store sampling are necessary for all stores - well, they are, especially if the area of specialization is very competitive like food products in grocery stores and supermarkets. These demonstrations are cheap investments in making sure you stand out among the rest.
We can say to an extent that your performance as a grocery store lies in the success or failure of your marketing strategy. Thankfully, positivity is one of the tenets of retail and that's why we'll look at the essentials of having a memorable in store demo.
PROMOTE PRODUCTS ON THE STORE FLOOR
This is an essential tip for you to have a successful marketing strategy. However, this depends on the effectiveness of such promotion techniques - Let me explain. You are not just going to attack the customer or force him or her to try the product. NO! People like it when you approach them calmly and speak confidently about the product. Most likely, they might have heard of similar products but your job is to give them a feel of that they have never heard before. This will give them the impetus to want to try the product. Furthermore, successful in store demo programs are done with care and precision. They are well planned and coordinated because in the end it is your reputation and revenue that is at stake. You would not want to see one of your customers going to another store to get the product elsewhere. Brands promote products on the store floor because of the lower customer acquisition costs which is preferable to the conventional or digital advertising.
THE BEST BRAND AMBASSADOR
It is important to have an experienced brand ambassador in your corner as he or she is a major stakeholder when it comes to in store sampling. In addition to recruiting a certified influencer, you will need to find a profitable location where you know your products are going to thrive; a place where traffic is just right for you and your store. Let's look at these two extremes to get a clearer picture of why location is important to you and the brand ambassador. If your store is situated in a place with low traffic not even the best and most creative packaging will save the product demonstration there. On the other hand, if there is too much traffic, your brand ambassador might be swamped and end up giving out too many samples that do not turn into sales. Double bummer if you ask me. In essence, find your product niche and settle there.
SUCCESSFUL IN STORE DEMO
There are a lot of intricacies when planning for a successful in store demo. You have to be able to combine these steps to get positive results. First of all, you need to consider the shoppers demographics of the store. Make adequate research on the type of people that come into the store on a regular basis, know the age range, sex, religion, background of some of these people. In store sampling will be easier this way. You then have an idea of how to plan for subsequent demos with the information you already have. Plan a frequency with which you can schedule a series of demos in that store. You already have an edge with the information gathered from the research. What some smart brands do is to invest in a small number of stores instead of wasting money on many stores in a bid to cover the whole market.
LATEST RESEARCH TO MEASURE DEMO PROGRAM EFFECTIVENESS
All that has been said are all key elements in achieving a successful in store marketing strategy. However, without understanding how to measure the effectiveness of the program, you might get stuck. Let's look at some metrics that are apt in measuring in store demo effectiveness.
Traffic management: This explains the percentage of shoppers who stop to taste the product in the store.
Product engagement: It represents the amount of time the shopper spends at the demo table, which may include interacting during the product demonstration
Conversion rate: This is more like a combination of the previous metrics. It is the percentage of shoppers who tasted the product and went on to make a purchase.
NPS ( Net Promoter Score): It is a management tool used to gauge the loyalty of shoppers or customers relationships.
Conclusively, There are a few other tips that were not examined but are also essential for a successful in store demo. You need to come early for the setup preferably at least 30 minutes to meet with the demo coordinator . Also, have every employee or majority of the employees in the store try your product. This will help in promoting the product even more. Another tip is to bring flavors the store doesn't have.
It is very important to note that an in store demo program cannot happen without a quality product. Hence, before you think about all the elaborate marketing strategies to captivate the people, you need to make sure that you have the right product. Bearing that in mind, you need to understand that times have changed, customers have evolved and you need to join the wagon in improving your product and profit making strategies.
HOW DO YOU CHOOSE A BRAND AMBASSADOR?
Some brand activation managers find it hard to get a quality brand ambassador for their product as this is a very crucial aspect of their business. Firstly, recruit a professional. Someone that is experienced and reliable; who would invest time in learning about your product. Secondly, take out some time to train the ambassador, provide him or her with the primary source of information about the product. Another point is to select an ambassador with the relevant personality, someone who can stand by his or her word. Finally, maintain strong relationships with the person, get to know each other and take it up from there.
HOW DO YOU PROMOTE A PRODUCT TO A CUSTOMER?
You can ask the employees of the store to try out the product. Surely, they will get employee discount but understand that this will work in your favor. The employees of the store will have better rapport with the customers and no matter how much research you do, the employees will know them better. Also, during product demonstration, you have to give the customers facts, especially things they haven't heard about. It is a good way of promoting a product to the customers.
In marketing, in store demo refers to the demonstration of products in large retail locations such as shopping malls or supermarkets in order to attract potential customers. In store demo is a means of introducing customers to products with the hope of getting them to purchase them.
One of the advantages of in store demo is that it gives customers the opportunity to taste or touch the products before they buy them. A product demo is one of the best sales tools that can be used when you have a high quality product for sale. A product demo is a very effective way to make potential customers know about your new products and the features. One of the important sales demonstration skills is to know your audience. The key is to put together what each customer cares about and make them available.
During in store demo, don’t just show your audience the products, engage them by allowing them touch, feel or hold the product. Also, don’t make a product demo like a sales pitch; spice it up by injecting anecdotes or telling funny stories. Avoid making turning an in store demo to a training session; stick to the basics.
Planned product demos are one of the best ways to introduce a consumer to your products. If well planned, it can get the attention of shoppers and passersby which will in turn increase the sale of your product.
The Objective of the Demonstration
The benefits of in store marketing cannot be overemphasized. It increases the sales rate of the brand because consumers who see the products in the middle of a shopping spree are most likely to buy the products. It also gives customers the opportunity to try something different from the brand that they are used to. Below is some of the key importance of in store demo
1. Creation of Desire
In store demo helps in creating desire of purchasing a product in passersby or shoppers. For instance, in a grocery store where cookies are offered to customers who wait to watch the product demo, the customers may like the product and they may decide to buy more quantities of the product. Or if it a coffee machine, you can invite customers to come up and try out how it works and this in turn may spike up their desire and can lead to an interest in purchasing a coffee machine.
Product demo provides visual aids which enhance the quality of your sales presentation. Some customers prefer to see a product in order to grasp its value and potential. The ability to feel, see or even smell a product can be more appealing than just listening to a sales pitch. In store demo provide potential customers the opportunity to see the features of a product and can strengthen their desire to purchase the product.
2. Brand Positioning
In store demo aids brand positioning which involves differentiating your brand from your competitors’ brand and this helps give a lasting impression on your target audience. A well defined brand position gives your brand several advantages which include providing a conceptual framework for your brand, marketing messages, services and pricing structure.
In store demo aims at communicating to your consumers the unique features of the product you want them to purchase. It gives producers the opportunity for direct communication with consumers about their product and its attributes and the benefits it provides. In store demo helps your brand stand out in competitive retail markets.
3. Consumer Education
In store demo offers potential customers the opportunity to closely inspect products during a product demonstration. Printed information can be given to customers to enable them get a better grasp of the demonstration. The demonstrator should take up the role of a teacher and educate the consumers about the way a product should be used. Consumer education helps improve day to day satisfaction with your product and increases their trust in your brand.
Customers’ satisfaction soars when they are properly educated in the way a product works or how it should be used. During in store demo, customers become engaged in a product demonstration and this in turn increases their likelihood to purchase your product. Increased engagement in a product leads to higher chances of renewal or repurchase of the product.
In sales demo when properly carried out can increase customers’ loyalty to the product as a result of proper customer education.
What is In Store Demo?
In store demo is a form of product demonstration that is usually performed at large retail locations such as shopping malls and supermarkets in order to introduce potential customers to a product. It is an effective way of making sales, if properly done.
In grocery stores, in store demo gives consumers the opportunity to taste a particular product and this in turn increases the likelihood of the consumer purchasing the product if he likes it. In store demo can help sway a consumers’ buying preference and help boost sales and increase brand loyalty.
In store demonstrators must be professionals who can connect with the consumers in a way that will increase their likelihood to purchase the product and they must be knowledgeable about the product and always ready to provide answers to customers’ questions.
Why is Product Demonstration Important?
The importance of product demonstration cannot be overemphasized. It helps boost brand awareness and increases product sales. When customers have a closer, out of the box look of the product that is on demonstration, it affords them the opportunity to touch or feel the product.
It also gives producers the opportunity to tell customers the features of their products and teach them how a product works. Product demonstration gives demonstrators the chance to show their knowledge skill and answer questions about the products. It boosts brand loyalty and helps in swaying the interest of consumers to the products and if they like it, increases the possibility of a repurchase.
It could be frustrating when you put in a lot of work into making your business thrive and at the end of the day, nothing tangible to show for your effort. It happens frequently, especially in a competitive market such as the food industry. Emerging grocery brands find themselves in a bit of a dilemma when it comes to their marketing strategies. It could be the product, planning or the execution of the ideas that has some flaws. Customer experience is one aspect of marketing strategy emerging brands often miss to address, yet it could be a crucial element that can prove very crucial in the success of your business.
Startup Marketing Budget
Many supermarkets now are making shelf space available for emerging, local grocery brands. So getting your products on the shelf is less difficult than it used to be only a few years ago. However, there are on average over 30,000 items carried in a supermarket and you cannot leave it to chance that consumers will find and decide to try your products. Surely creative packaging and media advertising could improve probability of success, but these require very large marketing budgets to produce any results. Small company with an emerging brand will not likely outperform well established competitors with multi-million dollars in media budget and familiarity to the consumers. However, an excellent field marketing program can help reduce the strain caused by these established brands in your products.
In Store Product Sampling
Consider an example of a product (chocolate bar) from an emerging brand that sells only 5.8 units (SKU) per month in a single store. Since only a few dozens of stores carry the product now, advertising in print, radio or TV, even if you had the necessary budget, would be very ineffective and wasteful. The price discount typically generates a two times product sales increase during the time of promotional period. However the residual value of promotion is very negligible. In other words, very few consumers become loyal customers as a result of a TPR. In store product sampling of your product, on the other hand, often creates lasting sales volume increase for months to come.
In the above mentioned example, a single in store demo resulted in a 65% increase in monthly units sales per store. That does not take into account the number of units sold during the four hours of demo. The most important fact is that even the smallest producer can afford a focused demo campaign. KIND brand started it’s field marketing efforts with $800 to build 1.5 billion (assets) company. Now their product sampling budget is $10 million.
In Store Demos are Very Effective
In fact, many emerging brands had a very positive initial experience with in store demos as a very effective means of introducing their products to the consumers. Admittedly, the in store marketing campaigns are often initiated by the retailers, as a precondition of stocking the brand new, unproven products. In many cases these demonstrations are conducted by a brand owner. Even when you are "coerced", it's hard not to appreciate the value of this direct form of experiential marketing effort - as shoppers have an opportunity to experience your product, you have an opportunity to experience an immediate reaction of these shoppers.
While learning opportunities and emotional gratification of connection with your customers are abound, there comes a time when you need to focus on scaling your brand growth. While it is hard to imagine that anybody could possibly promote your product with more enthusiasm and expertise than you do, you cannot be everywhere it needs to be done. Besides, you have to open new territories, hire new distributors and ... basically do you brand manager's job. That is where really good field marketing management software can provide a great benefit of well thought through workflows that can help to scale your operations in a very short time.
Regardless of whether you plan to manage the demo program in-house or to outsource it, nothing can replace a clear understanding of the workflow and market intelligence (data). As your brand starts to take off, you would have to make choices:
A truly successful demo is not a discrete event, but a customer relationship exercise that has a lasting effect on the store's re-order pattern. It is wise to correlate these trends for the future planning and leverage local market knowledge of your brokers and distributors.
Well formalized workflow will make much easier to schedule demos, as continuous juggling of stores' and brand ambassadors' availability can challenge one's sanity after few cycles of changes. Even when you decide to outsource, the scheduling process is often remains a brand responsibility as most demo companies are focused on staffing, not the management of relationship with retailers.