‘The right product at the right time:’ How demos, digital couponing drive velocities

By Ryan Daily

- Last updated on GMT

Source: Getty/freemixer
Source: Getty/freemixer

Related tags retail sales retail channels

In-store product demos and digital couponing can help brands vying for retail distribution by boosting sales and velocities, Luke Abbott, founder and CEO of VDriven Consulting, explained during an International Dairy Deli Bakery Association webinar.

Promotion and in-store demos can be crucial tools to driving velocities — how much sales a specific brand or SKU generates for a given period — and provide clues on how a consumer feels about a specific product, Abbott explained. An effective demoing campaign will not only lead to sales increases the day of the demo, but it should have a knock-on effect for the days and week that follow, he added.  

“I do a demo. I sold a lot that day — fantastic, that is great — but that is only maybe a third of the story, maybe a quarter of the story. The real win ... is the post-demo lift — the people who actually come back and buy it again. If they do not ... there could be a problem with the quality or consistency or taste of the product,” Abbott said.

Brands should work closely with their category managers to ensure they understand their sales, velocities and ways to boost them in stores.  

Leveraging digital coupon tools to move velocities

When a brand is not meeting its sales goals, it can also use a digital-coupon platform like Social Nature — which works with retailers like Kroger, Whole Foods Market, Sprouts, Publix and Target — to provide a quick way to boost product trial and accelerate velocities, Abbott explained.

Brands can set up their Social Nature account for approximately $30,000 and set up digital coupons within four to eight weeks, making it quicker than traditional advertisement routes, he added.

Depending on how big the discrepancy is in sales, brands might give 100% off coupons or deeply discount products to attract consumers to the brand, Abbott explained.

“Social Nature is a tool I would use if I got a note from my category manager [that said], ‘You need to turn this around now. You are way below the goal. I need you to get up there, or else you are going to go away.’ Then, I would probably post some $5,000 [to] $10,000 spends ... on those free products or digital coupons to gain even more consumers," he said.

‘We have to have velocity stories and be growing categories ... to stay on shelf at retailers’

While promotional activities and demoing happen in stores, brands can ensure they have the best chance to achieve retailer benchmarks by having strong co-manufacturing partnership agreements and proper business metrics, including the cost of goods sold (COGS) and profit margins, Abbott said.

“We have to have velocity stories and be growing categories ... to stay on shelf at retailers but also for other retailers to see that data that want to bring us in,” Abbott said. “The core [of the strategy that] we came up with is the idea of the right product at the right time. If I do not have the right product, I can go and spend a crazy amount of money to make things happen, but it is going to be really an uphill battle.”

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