In keeping with our series on busting retail myths, there’s a prevalent feeling among retail executives that store sampling events don’t move the needle. Even when a store demo results in an increase in sales, the sentiment is that even sales that reach increases of around 500% aren’t worth the effort. Why is this?
For one, it’s essential to keep things in perspective. If a brand ambassador can sell 50 units during a four-hour store sampling event, while the product usually only sells about 10 SKUs per day, this increase is pretty significant when looking only at percentage increase; however, when viewed from the perspective of a category manager who curates thousands of products, this increase may not seem like such a big deal for a one-time event. Even though your store ends up selling more products in a category during an event, and the percentage increase per unit looks excellent, this event alone doesn’t seem to move the needle in terms of overall sales.
Despite the perception that store demo marketing does not move the needle, situations like the one described above are where operationalized store demo management becomes a necessity since it’s not possible to measure long-term gains based on a single in-store sampling event. Much like how one dose of cough syrup does not cure a cold, one single event should not be used as a measure of success when dealing with field marketing and developing CPG brands. Instead, utilizing store demo management solutions is a long-term strategy that requires repeated field marketing exposure to move products and build a reputation for customer experiences in your store.
Costco didn’t build its sales per square foot supremacy on a handful number of store demos, and your store shouldn’t expect to do so either. True success and real sales growth come from repeated, testable marketing ideas explicitly designed to get customers returning to your store as a destination for valuable experiences in addition to pricing, selection, and service. When held consistently and managed properly to maximize time, space, and resources, store demo events have the potential to move the needle in a big way.
Another reason retail category managers often feel that field marketing doesn’t move the needle in terms of sales gains because they aren’t analyzing the right metrics. In fact, some aren’t analyzing demo-related metrics at all. If you aren’t measuring success when it comes to your retail marketing strategy involving store sampling events, it’s pretty apparent that you won’t see the needle move. You don’t know what you don’t know, and if you’re not relying on a retail demo management solution like Demo Wizard, you may not even know where to look when it comes to metrics that define the success of an in-store product showcase.
Vendors do, however, measure the effectiveness of in-store demos and often use KPIs like sample-to-purchase conversion rate and customer acquisition cost to do this. Sometimes, these indicators overlap between what vendors measure and what retailers measure. Still, by and large, vendors are focused on measuring how successful an event or a campaign is based on more than just how many products were sold during the store demo.
When store managers don’t track product order levels in the aftermath of a store demo, this may leave them wondering what the benefit is of store sampling as a whole. Vendors do measure these KPIs, and when combined with a store demo management solution like Demo Wizard, it’s easy to work with vendors to gain a greater sense of how a store demo event has impacted sales, both now and in the future.
Demo Wizard is a solution for efficient store demo management that simplifies tedious tasks like inventory checks and scheduling, but Demo Wizard also provides a mechanism to collect and analyze data for each event. When aggregated, this data is an invaluable tool for retail category managers who want to improve the performance of their product demonstrations. In addition, this attention to detail helps retail managers to stage in-store demos consistently without expending labor costs, all while also reaping the long-term benefits of increased sales and store traffic.
Retail category managers also count on Demo Wizard for data analysis to better understand how the needle is moving and by how much. Taking care of this on your own is time-consuming, and it can be easy to miss important aspects of metrics that can show you where your field marketing is paying off.
Additionally, one of the more crucial aspects of moving the needle is measuring the number of created customer experiences generating word of mouth marketing opportunities that can be replicated repeatedly when you showcase the right products from quality CPG brands.
Demo Wizard has relationships with CPG brands that are ready to fund in-store demos in your stores that can drive WOM marketing and help move the needle in terms of current and future sales. Through Demo Wizard, you have a ready-made solution to attract the right CPG brands for your locations and customer base, and all of the details are handled by Demo Wizard’s automated retail marketing solution.
Contact us today to schedule your free consultation and online demo of Demo Wizard’s in-store retail marketing solution.