08 September 2010

Free marketing up for grabs?

Sept phil PJH

Phil Anderson, commercial director at PJH Group, highlights one way of defending your sales in a tough market...

As we enter our industry's peak selling months (September to November), now is the time to really push for sales, especially with the VAT increase to 20% just around the corner. Many retailers promote their showrooms in various different ways, but are you taking full advantage of the range of marketing support on offer from your suppliers

It's clear from all the published consumer confidence data that buyers are looking for a deal. We know consumers get inspired by great product that is well displayed, but I would suggest it's key in this tough market that retailers take advantage of the quality marketing materials available to them to drive interest and help footfall into the store and then conversion. 

Certainly, we have seen great results from some of our customers who have followed this approach through using material specifically designed for the retailer to attract and inspire consumers and help them to make their purchase.

The key is to find out what's out there - ask your suppliers. From the dressing of your showroom to product training, I would suggest you make sure your chosen suppliers are providing the right marketing materials and support.

Point-of-sale and merchandising materials, such as ceiling banners, posters, window and product stickers, show cards, swing tags, display stands, literature and brochure bins are your 'silent salesmen' and chosen wisely will maximise your showroom presence and consumer appeal. 

POS is crucial to encourage sales, but ensure it complements your displays. It should be eye-catching but not tacky, communicate your key messages clearly and follow a theme/brand.

POS is a perfect vehicle to promote sales as it can effectively communicate product USPs to the consumer in an instant, as well as translating hi-tech jargon into user-friendly terms and encourage browsers - for example, to open drawers and examine product quality. 

No salesman is expected to know every bullet point about all products, so why not make the process easier? And change is also essential for keeping displays fresh and vibrant. Regularly update point-of-sale material to support product launches or promotions.

Training is equally important. Why not take advantage of what suppliers can provide? This will cost you time, but time I would suggest that is well spent keeping you and your sales team up to date on the latest innovations. So you've got nothing to lose.

What do you think? Email the editor