How hardware brands are driving sales in the bricks and mortar stores

One of the biggest benefits that outsourcing field staff to a national field marketing agency offers is access to an existing sales team around the country – even in remote regional areas.

Like most industries in 2018, the hardware retailer is competing with a rapidly expanding online marketplace. It’s hardly surprising therefore, that more and more hardware brands are changing their traditional approach and calling on field marketing agencies for help in-store. Above all, a field marketing agency creates a more agile resource, with specialist expertise and technology, for a more successful presence within physical retail spaces.

The field marketing industry is experiencing steady growth in the hardware industry with one of the largest market players, CROSSMARK, doubling its number of hardware clients in the past five years. More hardware brands are not only using field agencies to enhance their business sales strategy, they are also benefiting from a national footprint of trained staff that can be scaled to work instore alongside their products when and wherever they’re needed, ensuring product lines are always merchandised smartly and efficiently on shelf.

A large national agency can offer so much more to brands than their often limited internal resources; from replenishing stock using the latest real-time reporting technology to ensuring merchandising intensity is at an optimum. It’s these ‘over and above’ services that are helping hardware brands grow their sales in-store.

Access to a national sales team

One of the biggest benefits that outsourcing field staff to a national field marketing agency offers is access to an existing sales team around the country – even in remote regional areas. Many hardware brands simply don’t have the people to mobilise and service all of their retailers around Australia, however, a national agency does. At CROSSMARK we work very closely with many Bunnings’ suppliers, for example, but not all of these suppliers have staff to regularly visit every store across the country, especially in remote locations such as Kalgoorlie or Airlie Beach. This is where we come in.

Leveraging off locations and displays

In large hardware warehouse environments, off locations can be lucrative opportunities to incentivise sales.  A good field marketing agency can help to leverage brands using off locations and displays such as pallets, sidestacks and clip strips, creating greater exposure in-store and inspiring those all-important impulse purchases. While suppliers can be restricted by the retailer’s planograms, a good field marketing agency with strong store manager relationships can negotiate product positioning for their clients to help optimise sales results.

Building relationships with retailers

On the topic of relationships, it’s the large field agencies who are managing multiple brands that have likely built a stronger store relationship thanks to more frequent face time.  Unlike a brand’s own team of in-house staff, who may have limited contact with store managers, large field agencies have generally created a tighter rapport due to the sheer number of relevant brands they manage within the retail environment.  For example, it’s not unheard of for our Hardware team to negotiate an extra box of product for a brand so they don’t run out, or to set up an additional side stack for instance.

Equipped with all the technology

These days, leading field marketing agencies are arming their field staff with sophisticated technology, such as 2D scanners and iPads, to track and order stock in store. The power of technology is another reason for hardware brands to consider using a field marketing agency which can facilitate more transparent real-time reporting. This visibility allows brands to monitor their instore performance as staff submit reports live from their iPad. Real-time reporting is much more efficient and means stock can be replenished rapidly, helping to minimise losses due to empty shelves.

With the building and renovation sector currently experiencing a boom period, hardware brands are looking to maximise every opportunity. Implementing a smarter, more efficient approach to in-store merchandising using an experienced, national field marketing agency can deliver a win-win situation for the retailer, manufacturer and consumer.

We simply love retail, to see how we can help your business or start a conversation about the retail landscape, please feel free to contact us via email or on +61 2 9439 1233.