There is a widespread belief that in-store demos only benefit vendors. However, the truth is that they offer even more numerous benefits for retailers. The well designed in-store demo strategy will bring customers back to your store over and over again, and keep them engaged with the brands you offer, which are not being promoted at the demo time. Let’s look at some reasons why vendors retailers should initiate host in-store demos.
Why Retailers Should Host In-Store Demos
In-store demos offer many benefits for vendors such as creating brand awareness, boosting sales, and increasing long-term purchasing habits. However, they also offer many benefits for retailers. Some reasons why stores should initiate in-store demos include:
It’s no secret that in-store demos can make a retail store more popular. Customers are more likely to flock to a store if they believe they will receive free samples or coupons from a demo station. In a sense, in-store demos work as free promotion for retailers brands. However, like any promotion activity, it works best when there is a regular and steady schedule.
The costs of hosting in-store demos are usually borne by vendors. They pay for scheduling the demo, hiring brand ambassadors, and providing product samples.
One may believe that retailers must also bear some costs as the demo is being held within their store space. However, these come under the existing costs that the retailer is already paying. After all, retailers have already hired staff to manage their store. The retailer employees who will help organize the vendor demo are already being paid for their time, and would be present at the store regardless of whether a product demo is being held or not. However, they have many other responsibilities and demo coordination is quite low on their list of priorities. Thankfully, automation tools like Demo Wizard are available to resolve this problem.
Improving the Retailer’s Reputation
Vendors often strive to put on the best possible in-store demos to help their products stand out. They use various strategies to grab customers’ attention and wow them in different ways. All these techniques help elevate the consumer experience.
A great in-store demo will improve customers’ perception of your store and encourage them to return in the future. All this can be accomplished without the retailer having to make any additional investment.
Getting an Edge Over E-commerce Stores
In-store demos stand above E-commerce promotions because they engage each of the customer’s senses. For example, an in-store demo of a perfume allows visitors to smell the fragrance itself. They also get to learn about the fragrance composition from the brand’s representative directly. This is in contrast to online promos where they can only see a picture of the perfume bottle and communicate with faceless chat bots or clueless support associates.
Similarly, in-store sampling of food items allow customers to taste a new product. This deeper level of engagement helps win them over and encourages them to come back and try the brand’s other food products.
In-Store Demo Strategies for Retailers
Retailers can enhance the customer experience and increase their sales by implementing the right in-store demo strategies. Some of the methods they should consider include:
Scheduling Concurrent Demos for Multiple Product Categories
Retailers may notice an uptick in sales following a single in-store demo event for a particular product. This may encourage them to host in-store demos from many brands in the course of a single month. However, a smarter strategy may be to host in-store demos for multiple product categories simultaneously. This method works especially well if the products being demoed complement one another.
For example, a retailer can host an in-store demo from a smoked salmon brand around the same time as a demo from a food storage containers brand. Customers who sample salmon at the demo station will be eager to purchase the product. They may then shift their attention to the storage containers in-store demo and gain an interest in purchasing tupperware to store their newly purchased salmon in the fridge.
This strategy increases sales for both brands, giving the retailer a significant boost in revenue. Retailers who wish to attempt this strategy should spend some time deciding which brands’ in-store demos they wish to host simultaneously.
Hosting Themed Events
Retailers often capitalize on sales during special times of the year. For example, a grocery chain may predict an uptick in candy sales around Halloween. Similarly, they may expect an increase in sales for frozen chicken wings during Super Bowl season.
Hosting in-store demos for products related to such events or holidays is a great way to increase sales and attract higher number of customers. For example, retailers can encourage candy, costume and decorations vendors to set up in-store demos in the week preceding Halloween. They can then use this opportunity to brighten their entire store with Halloween themed decorations. This arrangement will wow shoppers and also attract new customers who wish to indulge in the Halloween spirit.
Offering Coupons During the Demo
Retailers can also enhance the shopping experience for customers by offering coupons during in-store demos. These coupons could be for the product being demoed, or they could be for complimentary products that customers may be interested in.
This strategy encourages customers to make a purchase quickly. It also increases their likelihood of returning to the store in the future in the hopes of obtaining new coupons.
Tips for Running Successful In-Store Demo Campaigns
Now that we have learnt the different ways in which in-store demo campaigns win over customers, here are some tips to use them successfully.
Involve Your Marketing Team
Too often in-store demos are being set-up as one off events by the Buyers and Category Managers. Involvement of the marketers to publish and promote monthly schedules of in-store demos, will greatly improve the outcomes.
Encourage More Demos With Great Brand Ambassadors
A brand ambassador could spell the difference between success and failure for an in-store demo. A great brand ambassador understands the vendor’s target audience and knows how to pitch the product or service to them successfully.
Retailers can use software such as Demo Wizard to evaluate the effectiveness of brand ambassadors for different brands. They can then encourage brands with the top performing brand ambassadors to hold in-store demos in their store more often and block those with disappointing performance.
Analyze and Refine Your Strategy
There is always room for improvement when it comes to in-store demo campaigns. Vendors should aim to collect data related to their campaign’s success and look for ways to improve it further. This is possible with the help of in-store demo management software such as Demo Wizard.
As you can see, retailers can benefit greatly from hosting in-store demos without having to invest additional funds or resources. Most retailers are aware of demos and experienced the results they generate, BUT they see it as one off events initiated by Vendors and tolerated by Retailers INSTEAD OF as a valuable marketing strategy initiated and promoted by Retailers. In-Store Demo Strategy is an intelligent design of how to manage continuous, consistent, or at least regular presence of demos at the retail store locations for effective generation of outstanding customer experience economically. So consider trying the aforementioned tips if you want to improve your store’s sales and reputation.