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?