Sampling and On-site Sales in Experiential Marketing
by Chris Clegg
Not all product categories, brands, activation times, and campaigns are equal. There is a lot that goes into retail sampling in experiential marketing. We’ve seen hand-selling reach 50% of engagements and we’ve seen it at zero. So, what it is about retail sampling that drives on-site sales?
Let’s assume your retail activation is up to snuff and your onsite staff are excellent. Everything I mention here won’t mean a thing if your staff isn’t great. The single, most important factor in your retail activation is the quality of your staff. Period. So let’s assume they are top notch.
Not all product categories are the same.
When setting expectations with the brand team, it is critical to carefully consider where you expect sales to be generated. You have only a few sources. You’ll drive sales at your experiential marketing activation, because you’re either converting customers of the competition, introducing new consumers to the category, or increasing consumption of current customers. That’s it. Understanding why you’re selling on-site starts there.
People buy different product categories in different patterns.
If the consumer stocked up on toothpaste last week, you’re not likely to sell to them a tube today, no matter how compelling your event set is. However, they may buy orange juice or beer today, even if they bought their preferred brand yesterday. They’ll just drink a little more today.
Reaching the right person at the right time.
We recently found that hand sales were low when the team activated in the morning, but in the early evening things changed significantly. That was because the target consumer was stopping by the store on the way home from work for their regular “what’s for dinner” shopping trip. Time of day matters, because, although target consumers different may be different, nonetheless, they all share common patterns. Tap into the right pattern for your experiential marketing target, and you’ll see the returns.
Don’t ignore seasonality either. You are less likely to sell sunscreen in the winter. You’d be surprised how often seasonality is not taken into consideration. The opposite is also true. Position the brand as a special gift for that special someone around the holidays, and you’ll see the great returns. That’s a time when we observe 50% sample conversion rates.
This information comes directly from your experiential marketing field staff recap. Collect it on the right event marketing metrics, after every day of activity, for every activation. You’ll have what you need to discover these important shopper marketing insights.
Photo Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jronaldlee/