The point of sale works independently in the case of companies that sell directly to the customer through their own stores, through intermediaries, or by combining direct and indirect sales, the point-of-sale is a critical and very important scenario for brands, as long as it is the point of where supply and demand converge and the purchase is decided in favor of one or the other.
Bearing in mind that for companies that reach the end customer through retail, the point of sale is a complex terrain, as not only are their products displayed on the shelves along with the competition but they must also deal with endless stimuli and distractions that the consumer has within the point of sale (and also with thousands of thoughts and worries that he has in his head), it is of little use for a brand to create several strategies to promote a product if it does not have considering those scenarios where decisive actions are generated and where about 70-80% of people according to several studies make the purchase decision.
No matter how differentiated and unique is the proposal of a brand, if it is not responsible for creating different trade #marketing strategies (something that in simple terms is marketing directed to the channel), your other efforts may not be enough to achieve the Expected sales volumes and win the preference of the customer, something that is especially critical when trying to position a brand or how much competition is very aggressive.
On the other hand, it is true that those companies that sell their products or services directly can deploy their arsenal with greater freedom to captivate the client within the point of sale and increase the likelihood of converting prospects into buyers, often issues related to the attention to the client within the establishment or the same organization of the premises (to which often it is not given the importance that it deserves), can greatly affect the purchase decision and the image of the brand.
For the sake of better marketing within the point-of-sale that influences the decision to buy people but also help improve the brand image and help build customer loyalty, the following creative ways of doing point-of-sale marketing can help you:
1 Change the service approach used to the point
Regardless of whether it is a promoter or a salesperson within a commercial establishment, usually the way to approach the prospective client at the point of sale is usually very similar. Instead of these people asking the traditional question “can I help you with anything?”, A better way to take advantage of that interest that the person is already showing when entering our store or having a look at our product in the supermarket is doing Let her be even more interested, awaken her curiosity and make what she is seeing even more desirable. A good way to start can be by giving an interesting data about the product or talking about what differentiates it from the other options. In this article, you can review some alternatives to start a conversation with the client.
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2 Free samples in places where they are not used
Usually, free samples of product (sampling) are one of the favorite strategies used by food brands to make themselves known. Although these usually tend to occur more in supermarkets, there is no reason why this type of activities cannot be carried out in other different establishments where the brand has presence as cafeterias or restaurants (in the latter case the sample could be delivered as part of an entrance and promote with it some type of dish that uses the product as part of its preparation).
3 Ask people if they want to receive useful information
Instead of requesting the mail to the people who buy to send promotions and discounts all the time (which are things that are no longer surprising), create a bulletin that really provides useful information on tips, recommendations or trends in your industry and ask to the buyer if you would be interested in receiving this type of information. In this way, you can have greater chances that people choose to be part of your contact list if you only ask for their mail to send them commercial information that today hardly manages to attract attention.
4 Create a document with valuable information
With regard to useful information, you may consider creating a document to deliver to the best customers of your distributors that speak about topics of interest in the industry and that focus primarily on providing value rather than selling. At the end of the document, you can include the logo of your company and invite these people to subscribe to your newsletter to be able to follow them by providing interesting information.
In the same way, for this initiative to be equally useful for both the company and the distributor, it is necessary that the document is created as if it had been a joint effort between both parties. Thus, once you agree on a strategy of this type with one or more distributors, include at the end of the document the logo and the contact information of them. Although it is possible that distributors generate a little distrust that you try to approach and relate to your customers through this initiative, you should try to give them all the guarantees that are necessary to effectively think that it is an effort to promote sales through the channel and benefit both parties jointly avoiding generating conflicts in the supply chain. For example, something that can help in this regard is to include in the document a specific link for these new potential subscribers where they can subscribe to a separate list of others that they manage in their email marketing provider. In this way, you can better manage your shipments knowing which contacts are customers of your distributors and can address them in a different way than it does with your other contacts.
5 Create mechanisms to make the client return
For example, with the justification for having made their first purchase at a point-of-sale, a brand could offer a discount percentage on their next purchase by giving a coupon, or in the case of a restaurant, offer free dessert at a dinner for two at the next visit that the client makes. Obviously when it comes to making the customer return the electronic bulletin is also part of this strategy along with social networks, so it is important to publicize the profiles of the company in the packaging and cards that are delivered to customers.
6 Design packaging with attractive design and good functionality
When it comes to marketing at the point of sale, the packaging is undoubtedly one of the most important elements that companies have. In these it is not only possible to put small stories that in the best style of storytelling help to give the product a much more special meaning; It is also a space in which brands can communicate other things, as if they contribute to some noble cause, if they offer some special guarantee and of course invite people to subscribe to their networks or to sign up for their newsletter. Finally taking into account that most people make the decision at the point of sale and that there are many options that exist in each category, the packaging design should not only look good from the aesthetic point of view, it is also important that differentiate in some measure from the rest making it truly useful and functional, but also at the same time make it communicates the values and the essence of the brand in a creative way.
7 Create combos or packages
Creating combos or packages is a useful way of marketing at the point of sale as they make it easier for people to make a decision, save time and increase the average transaction. Additionally, it is a good way to cross-sell with which you can take advantage of to offer complementary products or accessories.
8 Do cross-selling
With regard to this concept, something that should always be considered is to offer the customer at the time of purchase other complementary products or services in order to increase the average transaction and take advantage of an impulse purchase. In this article, you can see a great example of cross-selling in action.
9 Create creative or justified promotions
Although they are less and less surprising since they became part of the landscape, under certain circumstances the promotions can be attractive and even attract the attention of people. For example, a restaurant in Argentina created a way to give discounts to people who became their fans on Facebook or followers of their profile on Twitter. Once they did, they had to post a message alluding to the restaurant and thus earn a 10% discount. In the same way, a store in Miami created discounts for people who were not regular customers of the brand to generate traffic to the stores on days with little influx of people.
Whenever you carry out discounts try to use a good reason to justify them and communicate it in a way that does not affect the perception of value towards your product.
10 Consider the stimuli
On other occasions, we have spoken that each point of contact of the brand with the client, however small, has a significant weight in his perception towards it. For this reason, it is important that even the elements that you consider the most insignificant, send the correct message. But not enough with it, each of these touchpoints must express the personality and values of the brand. In this way, the sounds, smell and even the display or visual merchandising that is done should not only aim to generate a good image but to build a brand. Similarly, in the case of brands that rely on different channels to reach the final customer, it is necessary that they implement as much as possible strategies that, above all, visually within the point of sale, help them to excel. Even if they can not make brilliant exhibitions for cost issues, establish control mechanisms that allow them to maintain a good presentation of the product facing the customer and avoid that for example, the packaging suffer any damage that harms its appearance is key to Maintain the good image of the brand.
11 Give gifts or create contests with interesting mechanics
Delivering details to customers for their purchases or encouraging them to buy a certain amount to win prizes or access contests can be a great way to do marketing at the point of sale. Even when you sell your products through retailers, brands can leverage their promoters so that once customers make their purchases, seeing these the payment ticket can give buyers their prize. In the same way, taking advantage of the internet and social networks, you can create interesting competitions that allow your customers to get hooked with the brand to go beyond the typical raffles that outside the prize do not generate any emotion.
12 Make the experience pleasant at the point of payment
One of the things that negatively affect the experience at the point of sale is having to endure long queues within the establishment to make the purchase effective. On special dates, for example, this can be a big problem. However, cases like this one by Silvia Tcherassi, in which in their stores they offer wines, fruits, and cheeses to people, especially in seasons of high flow of people, makes the shopping experience pleasant and enjoyable that can help to create an atmosphere different especially when it comes to having to wait for the turn to pay.
13 Ask for customer feedback
Finally, consider asking for feedback from the clients always and listen carefully to their comments. The fact of being in exactly the place where this encounter with the market occurs must serve to extract valuable information from customers and know first hand what needs to be improved.
The point of sale is fundamental in the purchase decision process
Taking into account that as we said at the beginning, the vast majority of people make the purchase decision directly at the point of sale, the importance of the marketing actions that are made in it is too much to simply think that those that we do in other places and different fronts may be enough to make the product sell on its own. This does not mean that promotional strategies carried out outside the point of sale are unofficial, rather, marketing directed to channels tends to complement them. Failure to carry out actions within the point to influence the decision of purchase of people is tantamount to leaving such promotional efforts made by the brand unfinished and in most of the time means exposing ourselves to lose that great moment of truth while there are other brands and competitors that are implementing them. All this is especially critical while trying to position a brand, because once this goal is achieved, the client begins to develop a certain preference towards the product, which does not mean under any circumstances that from now on the actions within the point-of-sale must be left completely on the side and less when the competition is highly aggressive.