How successful is your In Store Sampling Program

March 1, 2019

In recent years, retail has evolved into a business where proficiency, versatility, and creativity are all needed to succeed. The brands no longer market products to make a profit alone. You might wonder 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,  product, or store. This strategy spurs the people to get an experience of 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 campaign. The best way to get to your audience is by capturing their attention, and what better way to go about that than by giving the people an experience of your fantastic product?


In-store demos are ways CPG brands and retailers engage with the shoppers directly, fostering a human connection to help them experience the product. You may wonder whether in store sampling events are effective for all brick-and-mortar stores - well, they are, especially if the area of specialization is very competitive, like food products in grocery stores and supermarkets. These product demonstrations are high ROI investments in making sure you stand out among the rest.


To a great extent, your performance as a grocery store lies in the success or failure of your retail marketing strategy. Thankfully, pragmatism 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 


Here is an essential condition for the success of your successful marketing strategy - the continuous presence of product samplings in your store will surely increase traffic and the length of time shoppers spend there. We both know that increased traffic and shopping time will translate into more revenue per customer and increased sales per square foot of your stores. However, these results depend on the effectiveness of how well you plan and execute such promotional campaigns. - Let me explain. 


Odd products from random brands demonstrated by untrained people during miscellaneous days and times will not generate a customer experience that makes shoppers want more and share with others to start WOM Marketing wave.


A successful retail marketing strategy anchored in-store demo programs planned and executed with care and precision to yield desired results. 

They are well-planned and coordinated because, in the end, it is your reputation and revenue that is at stake. Brands promote products on the store floor because of the lower customer acquisition costs, which is preferable to conventional or digital advertising. The challenge for retailers is the availability and costs of additional, skilled labor to design and execute such a strategy. The good news is such efforts can be fully automated at a minimal price.


THE BEST BRAND AMBASSADOR


Experienced brand ambassadors in your corner are vital, as they are significant partners in making an effective in-store sampling. In addition to recruiting and training a qualified brand ambassador, you will need to find a suitable location where you know your products will sell well and 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 has low traffic, not even the best and most creative planning will save the product demonstration there. On the other hand, if traffic is too heavy, your brand ambassador will be swamped and likely give out too many samples that do not turn into sales. Double bummer if you ask me. In essence, find your product place 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, you need to consider the shoppers' demographics of the store. Make adequate research on the type of people that come into the store regularly and know the age range, sex, and ethnic background of some of these people. The in-store sampling will be more successful 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 the same store. You already have an edge with the information gathered from the research. What some intelligent CPG brands do is invest in a small number of stores instead of wasting money on many stores in a bid to cover the whole market.


HOW TO MEASURE DEMO PROGRAM EFFECTIVENESS?


You must consider all critical elements in implementing a successful in-store marketing strategy. However, you also must understand how to measure the program's effectiveness to avoid getting stuck. Let's look at some metrics you can use to measure in-store demo effectiveness.

Traffic Engagement Rate: This measures the percentage of shoppers who stop to taste the product in the store.

E2P Conversion Ratio: The percentage of shoppers who experienced the product and went on to make a purchase.

Brand Exposure: Total number of shoppers who experienced the product during the store sampling event.

Product Units Sold: Total number of product SKUs sold during the event.


Conclusively, There are a few other tips that should have been examined but are also essential for a successful in store demo. It would be best if your brand ambassador came early for the setup, preferably for at least 15-30 minutes to meet with the store demo coordinator. Also, have the employees in the store's department try your product and listen to the product pitch. This practice will help in promoting the product even more. 


It is imperative to note that an in-store demo program can only succeed with a quality product. Hence, before you think about all the elaborate marketing strategies to captivate the shoppers, you must ensure that you have the right product. 

FAQ

HOW DO YOU MANAGE A BRAND AMBASSADOR?

Some brand activation managers need help to recruit, train and keep a quality brand ambassador for their product, as this is a crucial aspect of their business. Firstly, recruit a professional—experienced and reliable; who would invest time in learning about your product. Secondly, take some time to train the ambassador, providing them with the primary source of information about the product. Another point is to select an ambassador with a relevant personality who can stand by their word. Finally, maintain strong relationships by respecting their time and commitments, scheduling events, and paying for their service regularly and transparently.

HOW DO YOU PROMOTE A PRODUCT TO A CUSTOMER?

You can ask the employees of the store to try out the product. Treat them as your customers because some may become one. The store employees will have a better rapport with the customers; no matter how much research you do, the employees will know them better.