Shoppers still want to physically interact with products, seek advice and discuss options, all of which take place at the point of purchase.
Shop! ANZ General Manager Carla Bridge, and CROSSMARK CEO Andy Kirk agree that use of technology and point-of-sale marketing techniques can notably increase sales.
Ms Bridge especially emphasises the importance of 'less stock, more story' and keeping the end goal in mind.
The consensus is that POP constitutes a specialised area brimming with opportunity, especially as technology makes for more personalised and convenient shopping.
POP's crucial space
According to CROSSMARK, which works within the 'last six feet' of a sale to influence customers at POP, "POP is retail".
CEO Andy Kirk says research shows that three-quarters of buying decisions are still made in-store.
"This means that fundamentals such as products being on shelf, ticketed, well presented and available to buy are still major factors," Mr Kirk said.
"Brands invest significantly during promotional periods and in gaining space within stores, so ensuring that they're compliant across stores from the first day of promotion is critical in maximising the sales opportunity and campaign impact."
It's easier than ever for consumers to have their desired products delivered within a few days of using online shopping, Mr Kirk says, but shoppers still want to physically interact with products, seek advice and discuss options, all of which take place at the point of purchase.
He suggests retailers should design their stores in a customer-centric way in alignment with how people like to shop, "particularly now it's fundamental for stores to deliver a better customer experience and increased convenience".
"Field marketing partners implement design and logistics and can advise retailer on what works, cost optimisation, stock considerations andother elements within physical displays," he said.
Rise of the silent salesperson
According to Mr Kirk, a "silent salesperson" has emerged in certain channels through live interactive store displays as a way to educate and engage with shoppers.
Brands are investing heavily in research and development, electronics, shelf space and merchandising to create and maintain these fixtures, he says.
"CROSSMARK plays its part in implementing and maintaining up-to-date retail displays, as a broken or malfunctioning live device can provide a negative customer experience," he said.
Going forward, more technology will be developed to deliver an integrated customer experience that provides personalised shopping assistance and greater convenience, Mr Kirk concludes.
This excerpt feature is from Retail World's October 2019 issue.
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Andy has a deep understanding of the Australian retail environment and its shifting dynamics. Prior to CROSSMARK he has held a number of senior leadership roles in Australia and the UK, delivering retail strategy and field marketing initiatives for the blue chip brands. Andy is a firm believer in the power of data analytics to boost sales performance for brands and retailers.