Dazzling Them with Demos
By George Anderson
Warehouse clubs such as Costco do it. Niche grocers such as Trader Joe’s do, too. Upscale merchants such as Marshall Field’s definitely do it, and not just with perfume.
What these and a growing number of retailers are doing is stepping up the amount and quality of in-store product demonstrations because shoppers love it and it moves product.
Denise Rice, a mother of three, looks forward to her trips to Costco. She told the Kansas City Star, “When they’re set up with six or eight booths, I can have lunch.”
Retailers such as Costco understand that while Ms. Rice and others are taste testing products in the store, they’re also spending more time there and that invariably adds up to increased sales, even if the sampled product isn’t purchased.
Wayne Lafollette, a grocery manager with Price Chopper, said that has led stores to increase sampling activity. “Sampling has been around, but it was nothing like they do now”, he said. Mr. Lafollette has been in the grocery business for 35 years.
Dan Borschke, executive director of the National Association for Retail Marketing Services, said it’s not just about the amount of demos but the presentation, as well. “It’s food entertainment,” he said.
Moderator’s Comment: What is involved in developing a successful demo strategy and then executing it successfully in stores? –
George Anderson – Moderator