More and more consumer goods companies have conducted both consumer and shopper research. And most are getting much better at using this to create clarity on what needs to be done in both the consumer and shopper marketing activities to get consumers to love and use the brand, and critically to get shoppers to buy it too. But all that great insight is worth naught if retailers don’t buy in. All that research data could be useful to convince retailers that they really need to take action. Yet, time and again, the way I see research data presented to retailers is far from ideal. While there are many approaches, and many nuances, here are six steps to “shopperize” your retail sales presentation and really make it zing!
Show that there is demonstrable consumer demand
OK – so this isn’t strictly speaking a shopper element: but shoppers buy to meet the needs of consumers, so bear with me! Too many new products fail: many in-store activities don’t pay back. So retailers can be forgiven for being a little cynical when first presented with your proposition. They know that you are here to sell, after all! So our sales presentation needs to demonstrate that there are a group of consumers out there somewhere who have an unmet need. Whether you are presenting a new product or looking to expand sales of a current one, if the retailer is to believe that this initiative is going to increase sales, she needs to believe that there is consumer demand that is currently unmet (or not met as well as your brand can do it). It doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does need to be clear.
Ensure your sales presentation references the retailer’s shoppers
Consumer demand is all very well, but the retailer is really interested in shoppers. And not just any shoppers – ideally she wants to know whether her shoppers will be interested in this new initiative, and she’d like to see some evidence that this is true. So, our sales presentation needs to join the dots between the consumers who need this, and the shoppers who buy for them, and to show that these shoppers shop in this retailer’s stores (and ideally, how many of these shoppers do so).
Show that shoppers would buy if current barriers were overcome
Looking good so far: but will shoppers actually buy? At this point it would be great to be able to show why a shopper doesn’t currently buy. If it’s a new product, then perhaps that is obvious, but for an existing product, why don’t they currently buy? Do they know it exists? Do they understand the proposition? Does it represent good value? Or have they just not had a chance to try it yet?
Show why the activity will effectively change the target shoppers’ behavior
Whatever is detailed as a barrier, must now be overcome. This is a great way of selling our activity plan: each piece of activity is justified because it overcomes a particular barrier. In-store sampling creates trial. Leaflets will give the information. A trial pack might overcome a price barrier. Our sales presentation needs to convince the buyer that it is possible to get shoppers (their shoppers, remember!) to change their behavior. A useful sense check is: it should be possible to connect each in-store activity back to a clear shopper barrier.
Make sure your sales presentation clearly quantifies the size of the prize
Massively important, a retailer, as with any customer, wants to know how much this is worth to them. They know they will need to invest (in inventory, if nothing else) and it will take time, so they need to know if it is worth it the cost and effort. The size of prize needs to be from the customer’s point of view – so we must talk category profit and sales, not just our brand. It can be built up by quantifying the value of the change in shopper behavior. And don’t forget, if the shopper is switching from one brand to another, allow for any substitution effect. Otherwise you will lose all credibility immediately.
Make it clear what the retailer needs to do to get that prize
A piece which is often forgotten is this last bit – to make it clear specifically what you want the retailer to do. This is your wish list: the opening stance of the negotiation to come, if you will, so make sure you ask for everything you could possibly get.
Leveraging insight to create change at retail is what shopper marketing is all about. If you want to learn more about how to leverage shopper marketing to drive your business, why not check out one of our workshops? If you’d like to be notified next time we run a workshop in your country, click here.
“The Shopper Marketing Revolution” is coming to London! Join the founders of engage, Mike Anthony and Toby Desforges, for their “The Shopper Marketing Live” workshop. It is a shopper marketing workshop like no other! Places are limited, so please book now.