Attention-grabbing tactics using in-store displays, merchandising activations, product demonstrations and brand ambassador programs can amplify impact and maximise sales in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
The retail sector has had a particularly challenging year in 2019, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures showing relatively flat sales year-on-year. Australian retail turnover increased 0.4 per cent in August 2019. This follows an unchanged result on the previous month.
With retailers looking forward to capitalising on the holiday trading period, the biggest opportunities remain in-store. Attention-grabbing tactics using in-store displays, merchandising activations, product demonstrations and brand ambassador programs can amplify impact and maximise sales in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
To ensure retailers are increasing foot traffic in-store, field marketing tactics can help retailers maximise sales opportunities and capture the customer’s attention.
“Buyers are seeking a more engaging and seamless shopping experience, which is why it’s important that brands create a close and engaging connection with the customer and ensure their products stand out in-store,” says Andy Kirk, Chief Executive Office, CROSSMARK.
Conducting a Brand Ambassador blitz
Brands should consider how they can maximise reach across different channels and touchpoints, giving the customer multiple opportunities to recognise their brands and make an informed purchase at one or more of these touchpoints.
An effective marketing strategy that can significantly boost sales targets is a short three or four week in-store product demonstration blitz with trained brand ambassadors. Executing short-term customer engagement strategies where dedicated field staff are placed in store as “brand evangelists” can pay big dividends from an ROI perspective. The key objective is to sell directly to customers by approaching and engaging them in or near the category to ensure every sales opportunity is maximised.
Outsourcing in-store merchandisers
External field merchandising teams can be a valuable resource during peak periods when there are so many complexities to juggle in peak trading periods, particularly as the focus shifts to pure retail 101: products on shelf, available and ready to purchase through accurate ticketing, stock replenishment, optimised facings and negotiating off-location displays as the throes of the season hits home.
An experienced field marketing agency can also assist retailers by providing valuable support during peak times. For instance, rolling out a national campaign across 2,500+ mass retail stores in a single day can be a logistical challenge for any brand. However, engaging a field marketing agency with expertise and appropriate technology can take the pressure off a brand’s internal team to seamlessly activate national campaign roll-outs, leaving internal teams to concentrate on fostering store relationships and sales opportunities.
Key areas for retailers to focus on in the lead up to and during peak season periods include:
1. On-Shelf Availability: make sure retailers have your support and that stock is replenished before any missed sales opportunities occur.
2. Merchandising: maximise on-shelf impact and ensure your product and brand stands out to help influence purchase.
3. Off-Location Stock Replenishment: Temporary off-location displays will only stay on the shop floor as long as there is stock. When it gets low, the retailer is motivated to throw away the display entirely, relocate remaining stock to shelf, and replace the spot with another brand with a fully stocked display
4. Prioritise Top Tier stores: use data intelligence to identify your best performing stores and ensure they are taken care of accordingly during crucial peak sales periods.
5. Review Tier B stores: identify what additional support can be provided to increase sales opportunities
6. Replenish Top 10 SKUs across a larger footprint and consider tactical strategies that can be developed depending on your brand’s performance in stores.
Remember, when choosing a field sales partner, it is important to consider their level of expertise and the value they can bring to your business. An experienced agency should be able to pool together resources and expertise and activate a campaign quickly and efficiently.
Use technology to track sales
CROSSMARK’s developed its bespoke StoreTrack technology with specific capabilities that enhance visibility and transparency into the performance of a brand within the retail environment. The data intelligence also provides retailers and suppliers with reports that allow them to make informed decisions that can instigate change if needed.
“While bricks and mortar stores are under increasing pressure to deliver ROI, planning and executing a strategic sales and marketing campaign during the seasonal sales rush can offer strong brand engagement and awareness, while driving in-store traffic and sales growth to the bottom line,” Andy says.
“Having the right level of support from a specialist field agency can help by doing a lot of the heavy lifting and ensure that you are ‘retail ready’ to execute well and reap the rewards.”
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