Off the shelves and into the hands of shoppers…
There is no doubt that Christmas is the busiest shopping time of the year and every city centre will be packed with thousands of potential customers. So if your product is already listed in a store, how do you make it stand out from the crowd of competitors – and get it to move off the shelves, into the hands and baskets of Christmas shoppers?
Showcase what your product can do!
With so many new products on offer, it’s not unusual for consumers to be browsing around a store and come across an array of new products or updated features that they have never seen or heard of before. Most of us will have been walking down the aisles at some point and spotted something and thought ‘what on earth is that’ or why is it more expensive than the others; picked it up but put it straight back. So what better way to empower customers with confidence to buy the product than a demonstration?
Experiential or in store demonstration?
Experiential demonstrations enable your products to be presented within a unique, interactive display area with your product on show that gives the customer a chance to try it out – which could prove to be the difference in sales. When placed onto high streets or inside of malls – the audience reach can be upwards of 50,000 people per day – who all get the chance to interact with it in a hands on way.
In a campaign for Epson showcasing their new 3D projectors; an immersive pop up cinema event area was created to showcase the impressive visual experience and super realistic 3D effects. This also included a booming surround sound system, and even a popcorn maker for that authentic cinema experience. On exiting the cinema experience, excited customers were greeted by the range of projectors on product display plinths – and co-ordinated sales representatives to provide further information on the product. From this over 200,000 interactions were generated with repeat deployment over multiple years, consistently creating massive sales and delivering real ROI in a highly competitive sector that demands a live experience to truly appreciate what the products can actually do.
Demonstrations for in-store sales maximisation
Arguably, one of the most influential spaces for creating measurable impact is at the point of purchase, on aisle, in store. It’s a this critical point that millions of pounds of advertising budget may fall at the last hurdle, if a similar product listed at a lower price that the customer assumes can do something similar to the one they originally came into purchase.
For example, in a campaign for the consumer cosmetics company Homedics, in store personnel demonstrated their laser hair removal kit.. .over the more cheaper, but painful waxing strip options (ouch!). The thought of home laser hair removal probably does not sound too appealing to a lot of consumers who have never tried it before, but the new pain free technology really is a marked step forward to previous methods available. 25 beauty professionals were trained to demonstrate the product across a number of stores and provide consultative advice and sales to shoppers. This resulted in highly successful sales, with multiple repeat deployments over a three year period, as the brand established itself amongst the brand leaders in this innovative sector.
What timing works best for your brand?
Some brands operate to a peak seasonal window of sales opportunity – that influences their optimum campaign timing. For the cleaning equipment company Karcher spring is actually more important than Xmas – so the Easter holiday period is key. To make the most of this peak sales period, product demonstration teams were placed in 150 B&Q stores over 12 key weekends and bank holidays. These professional and highly trained brand ambassadors gave potential consumers a chance to try out the product and discuss ideas on how it could be used for a range of tasks in the shoppers’ own homes. This pro-active consultative selling resulted in 800% sales uplifts being achieved, outperforming Karcher’s own internal sales staff on a 5:1 sales ratio.
The 12 new days of Christmas: out with the old, in with the new.
As the years have gone by, Boxing day has become less and less popular in terms of consumers venturing to their local town centre to pillage the stores and hunt out all of the post-Christmas bargains. So what are the key dates to be aware of throughout the Christmas period? Boxing Day is out and Black Friday is in. Over the past few years Black Friday and Cyber Monday (The Monday after Thanksgiving) have continued to expand their lead over boxing day, with boxing day no longer even included in the top 10 busiest shopping days of the year. Although the weekend before Christmas will no doubt be extremely busy; it may not be the best time for demonstrations as shoppers will likely be in rush to get their last minute gifts which such a limited amount of time until the big day!
A recent study by Hitwise shows that only 130 million shoppers ventured out on boxing day compared to the 200 million on Black Friday.
So how does this affect your strategy?
If your budgets are limited to running activity onto the key dates of the year – the new 12 days of Christmas (2018) now include:
17th & 18th November
24th, 25th, 26th & 27th November (Black Friday & Cyber Monday)
1st & 2nd December
8th & 9th December