Welcome to Polyproland!
WARNING: if to solve a complex problem such as retail sales, it only took a few lines, or the problem is quite easy, or the solution is not serious at all.
The world is changing fast.
And these changes have involved the entire human ecosystem: the environment, the marketplaces, the way people think, in short, everything that has to do with human beings.
Like all sudden changes, it happens that someone cannot adapt to the new mechanisms, remaining behind. And therefore, according to the Darwinian principle, destined for extinction if it does not change in time.
One of them is, alas, the world of retail. The physical one I mean, the high street shops.
At first glance, this problem would seem to be limited to these commercial realities. Still, the effects have a significant impact on the world of distribution and production.
It is widely believed that this retail crisis is linked to the rising of new distribution models, especially those related to development, better to say to the explosion, of online sales.
The Internet has changed things, and in particular, has contributed significantly to the change in the way consumers shop. But if I may express my opinion, for the better, not for the worse.
But how, you may be wondering, just you who deal with marketing for the store “defend” Amazon & Co?
I’m not defending anyone, let me clarify.
E-commerce offers endless advantages both to businesses and consumers.
If well managed, it is a fast and safe way either to sell or to buy products.
However, what not many people have understood, is that this model of sales – and on the other hand, to buy – is actually not good stuff for everyone.
As a matter of fact, the real origin of the problem is not related to the inability of some managers or entrepreneurs to understand, but the false information they receive from the industry media, or worse, from the priced marketing consultants.
You know, when one thing seems to work, the media speculation starts immediately and is sold as the ultimate solution.
But e-commerce doesn’t work for a particular type of business or even for a specific kind of people.
It’s not suitable for companies that don’t have a well-known brand and the ability to produce their products in an extremely competitive way.
The authoritative Philip Kotler explains this in a succinctly but extremely effectively phrase:
“If you're not a brand, you're a commodity, and if you're a commodity you'll have to beat the competition on price alone”.
Nothing to add, I would say.
It’s also not suitable for those who want to see, touch and experience what they are buying.
They are those who see in the act of purchase, not only the satisfaction of a real need but – and most modern consumers are – the realisation of a “personal” desire.
In other words, people don’t buy out of necessity – I repeat, they almost never do it –but because of how they feel while buying a product(and then, at the idea of having bought it).
It is the idea of owning that drives new consumers, not the real need.
To paraphrase Descartes, today we could say that “I buy, therefore I am”.
From these two simple remarks passes the growth or the final extinction of a store, and consequently, that of the companies which distribute through these channels.
I understand that this situation is quite frustrating for you that manage a company and you have chosen this distribution model right not to have to deal with it – also! – retail sales.
And now you have to endure the problems as if you don’t have already enough of yours.
In fact, this difficulty is touching an open nerve of the manufacturers: the almost total lack of control of the final sales.
A problem that has been remained latent until now, but which now, in the light of the new scenarios, becomes real and insidious.
But, as we shall see, every cloud has a silver lining.
That said, please now follow me carefully in the reasoning, because once you understand it, you have in your pocket the key to truly achieving the success you want in retail.
If most people buy for an idea, for a way of feeling, to satisfy an unconfessable and hidden emotional bias, what should a shopkeeper – and as we will see, a company – have to do to exploit these mechanisms?
The answer is seemingly obvious: give them what they are looking for, just when they are looking for it!
Which does not mean standing behind the cash register to make receipts – also because in a little while they will disappear from the shops – but activating themselves with competence and professionalism to offer their customers the experience they are looking for.
For doing this, there are several ways, which are mostly related to the different aspects involved in the management of a store.
One of these, fundamental for a physical store, is how the products are presented and displayed in the store.
It is the Visual Merchandising world, whose goal is not only to show off the merchandise but above all, to create a story, a background, an idea, in short, the evocation of a feeling that reflects the way consumers want to feel.
The issue, however, is that in most cases, the individual shopkeeper is unable to create this momentum, and needs the support of the manufacturers.
It is here where companies can, indeed, must step in to increase sales and get out of the trap of the price war.
Although many companies to support sales have always offered tools together with their products, most of them today are useless and ineffective, if not even counterproductive to the image and sales of the company itself.
In fact, in this respect, companies face the huge challenge of being able to ensure visibility to their products necessary to stand out from the thousands of competitors.
In short, I mean, it is no longer enough to take your products “off shelf”, but it is a crucial factor to offer consumers the perception of superiority of your products over those of competitors.
Unfortunately, nowadays the competition is really numerous, and then rest assured that you will not be the only one to use exhibitors to give more visibility to your products.
Which, in fact, delete all your effort. So what to do?
But the difficulties for companies do not end there.
For these, today, more than ever, it has become vital to optimise investments and refine the financial efficiency of the company, in all respects.
The strong competition has made the management of sales margins particularly sensitive, so special attention is needed to the results obtained in the face of the expenses and investments incurred.
That’s why it’s not important how much a company invests in promoting the sales, each has its budget, but how much revenue, or better profits, these investments bring back.
There are too many entrepreneurs and managers who, even today, consider the purchase of promotional displays a mere expense, without realising that without them, the sales would be much lower.
The fact is widely demonstrated: the use of an exhibitor leads to an increase in sales by up to 40%!
Not only that, but considering it an unproductive cost, they give up to look for the solution that, instead of costing as little as possible, offers the greatest return on investment possible.
In these cases, more than an unfortunate investment, I would call it a complete waste of money.
But everyone is free to spend – or throw away – as they prefer, their own money or those of the company they work for; provided that they will accept the consequences.
Unfortunately, there is still a long list of difficulties facing companies.
Always tied to the investments and resources used, not only an adequate return in terms of profits and turnover is necessary, but it is essential that all potential risks related to distribution and sales activities are minimised if not even zeroed out.
I am talking about those hidden costs, which erode margins, employ resources, and reduce the operational and financial efficiency of the company.
I am referring above all to the fact that, too often, time – and money – is wasted on running after problems that, on the other hand, should be solved by the supplier who has been paid for a specific result.
But we know that most of the time it’s not.
Finally, today a very controversial topic, but always relevant, is the preservation of our planet and the management of the precious resources it offers us.
Unfortunately, human foolishness has brought us to a dramatic point for the health of our World, and now we are forced to batten down the hatches quickly.
However, as happens when mass hysteria takes over, decisions taken are not always helpful. In fact, sometimes they’re a lot worse.
We live today a period in which plastic is demonised almost as if it were the evil of the world, forgetting, however, that it is thanks to it that the Earth is still alive.
The problem is not the plastic itself, but how it is used, with a particular focus on the “disposable” aspects.
Whatever the solution will be, it must go in the direction of the concept of re-use, being also evident that there are materials, such as paper, and wood, whose use is devastating to the environment (I am referring in particular to deforestation and carbon dioxide emissions linked to the processing processes of these materials).
For companies and managers, the scenario that presents itself is considerably complicated and not easy to solve.
But, as he says, “when the going gets tough, the toughs get going.” Isn’t it?
My name is Giuseppe Tripodi, and I have been designing and producing in-store displays from 25 years.
I grew up in my parents’ cardboard company, and once I finished my studies in law, I committed myself to the development of my company.
I wouldn’t want to look cheeky (… well, yes, I’m a little bit so…) but I’m the creator of innovative stands solutions and the owner of several international patents, all concerning product display made from polypropylene sheets.
Over time I have been able to create a new product category at an international level: the corrugated polypropylene free-standing display units.
I’m not a designer (…on the contrary, my freehand sketches are horrible, but thank goodness there is Autocad…), but I have an excellent three-dimensional vision. My creations are particularly appreciated – and alas, equally copied – both due to the innovative technical solutions that make them particularly functional, both for the explosive aesthetic impact.
My most successful projects were the design and creation of the display stands for the “Jewel” campaign of Beiersdorf GmbH – NIVEA (about 200,000 floor stands produced in just over two years) and the seasonal reintroduction of Ferrero chocolate pralines (more than 1,750,000 counter displays produced in three years).
But in my career, there were not only successes but also significant failures, one of which forced me years ago to rebuild everything from scratch.
I am passionate about marketing and technology, and I continuously study the dynamics of the store and the consumer’s buying process.
The latter, I try to reflect on the design and realization of the Polypro FSDU.
Today I am in charge of the development of the polypro S.p.A. business, of which I am also responsible for customer acquisition strategies and of course product design.
Recently I enjoy writing articles for some industry magazines dealing with the headings about the Visual Merchandising strategies for the stores.
Going back to the reason why you came to this page and decided to read so far, what can I actually do for your company and for your work?
The answer is closely related to the problems we’ve seen before.
In fact, I realized that it was no longer enough to simply produce stands, for this, there are already many companies that do it, but to solve the problems that plague the sales and coffers of companies, it took something different, more effective and complete.
That’s why I developed the More Sales with No Hassles system, initially referred to the fact that our polypropylene displays are particularly sturdy and do not break – Zero Hassles – and of course, they help to increase the sales a lot.
But over time I found that customers also really appreciated some other aspects of our work.
In particular, the way and time that we usually take to offer, both solutions to their new needs, but above all, to the thousand problems, large and small, that inevitably arise in the distribution and sales activities of their products.
Not only that, but they said, working with Polypro was like being on another planet.
So I decided to give this “world” a real name: Polyproland.
I know, this all seems extremely self-referential, but believe me, that’s how it really went.
Polyproland is the world in which, as I like to say, companies that want to triumph in retail, live.
Of course, this triumph is not only to our credit, but it is linked to their strategies, their products, and their results.
Here – and we are quite proud of it – we support their activities and their choices, making available to them all our passion and expertise to achieve their goals faster and without… Hassles.
The display stands are just the tip of the iceberg, the visible part of the solution, the big one is below, and you only find it out when you enter this world.
Polyproland is ruled by the laws of the More Sales with No Hassles system, the methodology that allows you to increase sales and at the same time reduce distribution costs.
If you want to know in detail how it works and how it can help you in the realisation of your sales campaigns, I invite you to go on the page dedicated to this methodology: here is the LINK.
In this new world, you are going to find the solution to all the problems we have seen above and that afflict companies and employees engaged in the distribution of retail products.
In summary, here’s what you can do:
Solving the problem of emerging from the ocean of competitors and make your products look better and more valuable.
Solving the problem of supporting, promoting and training retailers to better sell your items and not those of competitors.
Solving the problem of running around with delays, hitches, and even accidents that can hinder the implementation of your sales campaigns.
Solving the problem of taking part concretely to the protection of the environment without giving up promoting your sales effectively and professionally.