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5 steps for success in ‘new normal’ retail

Watch now as we explore the new physical retail world and its place in a transformed omnichannel marketing mix

In the fourth in our series of 'Marketers lockdown recovery guide' webinars, we explored 5 ways you can do more for less with your in-store/POS budget by understanding:

  • How consumer mindsets are changed right now and how they might behave in the aftermath of the crisis
  • What brands will need to change in-store to reassure customers that they’re safe
  • How brands can create engaging in-store marketing in the new environment
  • How new technology can prove the effectiveness of your changes before costly rollout
  • How to keep selling to those customers who have shifted online and miss your POS

Watch now!

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Here's the transcript of the event

Alan Thorpe, Sales and Marketing Director EMEA: Welcome. My name's Alan Thorpe and welcome to the fourth in our series of Marketers Lockdown Recovery Guides.

Each webinar unpacks how you can optimize an aspect of your marketing to keep consumers, that's us, engaged buying and getting our economies energized again as we emerge into what we hope will be post-pandemic sunlight.

We're a global village today with attendees grappling the levers that drive marketing success in the UK, France, Germany, Singapore, Portugal, Vietnam, Switzerland, Spain. Well, it's like a rundown of desirable holiday destinations we all might fancy when the planes once again push away from the ground.

Change even when unwelcome always brings opportunity for fast thinkers. it's their chance to take advantage of disruption and outsprint less progressive competitors. Today we're with focusing upon the shopper experience. What's changed for consumers. What needs to change in point of sale, and omnichannel to ensure that mostly reduced marketing budgets are grabbing the attention of changed consumers.

We'll be exploring

  • How consumer mindsets have changed right now and how they might behave in the aftermath of the crisis
  • What brands will need to do in-store to reassure customers, that's us, that we're safe
  • How brands can create engaging in-store marketing in the new environment
  • How new technology can prove the effectiveness of your changes so that you know what's going to work before it sucks up your often reduced marketing budgets
  • How to keep selling to those customers who have shifted online and perhaps miss your point of sale all together.

So like a calming cafe connective between the balm of browsing that retail therapy gives us let's launch into exploring how your marketing can be faster, cheaper, and better.

Now please do interact with us during the webinar as usual using the chat function and we will try and answer your questions as we go along. And of course our resident King of the pollsters, Jon Croft will be running a series of instant interactive Q and As to gauge the mood in the room.

He'll be giving us all a temperature check hopefully virtual, Jon please, so we can measure how all of us today spend us seeing our changing world. Morning Jon.

Jon Croft, Sales Director: Good morning Alan.

AT: Fingers at the button ready?

JC: Yeah, I'm ready to go.

AT: Excellent. Good, good, great. So please, can I introduce our speakers? First of all, welcome Emmeline Kite. Em, our global strategy leader. Hi Em. Thanks for leading today's webinar and joining us again. How are you enjoying your new cycling habit brought about by lockdown and tell us a bit about your credentials in this area?

Emmeline Kite, Head of Planning and Strategy: Yeah so cycling has been much improved since the introduction of a gel saddl…

In terms of my experience, so 20 years or so across retail and FMCG clients so the likes of Kenco Co-op, Lloyd's Pharmacy. So yeah and obviously as consumer shopping habits have changed and platforms and channels have evolved, actually seeing the impact on those kinds of... those retail environments and online has been very, very interesting. And that's, I guess the focus of what me and my team do.

AT: Brilliant thanks Em and joining us from Cambridgeshire is Marcus Iles, executive creative director. Hi Marcus. Is it true that you once sold invitations to a wedding you didn't fancy on eBay and while you think about that, whether if you're going to fess up to that, tell us a little more about your retail expertise.

Marcus Iles, Global Executive Creative Director: Well, yes, it's true. I did. I made up a story years and years ago when eBay was just a young thing. I quite like this idea of selling tickets to a wedding, just because I didn't want to go to it. I made it up.

It went global and got all sorts of journalists excited about it being a true story. So yes that was fun. I guess that could have been my entry into retail.

Since then, I have worked for global brands like Essity, I've worked for Heineken. I've worked for Iaccount. The automotive experience I've had as retail too, PMI, all sorts of bits and pieces. So yes, I know the challenges well.

AT: Brilliant, thank you, Marcus. And back to share yet more webinar words of wisdom, please welcome our resident data genius, Steve Lowell.

Steve Lowell, Global Director of Data and Insight: Yes. Morning. So, so yeah, I've been in and around data analytics and retail in particular for the last 20 years on both client side and agency.

AT: Brilliant, thank you, Steve. And can we flip on please? So I'm literally going to give a whistle stop introduction to Indicia Worldwide because I appreciate that we've got lots of people on this call today and not all of you are as familiar as others with our organization

But essentially Indicia Worldwide is quite an unusual organization in that we are entirely dedicated to creating new value for our clients. But unlike most agencies, which tend to focus on either improving the effectiveness of marketing or the efficiency of how that marketing is delivered, we do both because we believe that that's where the real opportunities are to deliver more from limited budgets.

So for example, Nissan on the left hand side there. We're the business that combines all their customer data and helps them to understand what car someone's likely to buy next and helps them to make sure that they maintain contact with the owners of their vehicles and keep them in the dealer network and keep them happy with their products.

And then we're also the business that enables Unilever to get all their products in-store around the world and the printing that supports that. So if you're drinking Lipton tea, then we've probably been involved in that somewhere along the line.

And then of course, of course, Marcus is currently working on LoveHoney, the sexual happiness people who, well, I mean, it's been Lockdown hasn't it? What more can I say? But the key to it is that we use some fantastic technology to make sure that we're enabling our clients to use, to capture data, use it effectively to drive better strategy and better creative.

And then we're able to execute that in well, it's 30 plus countries around the world through our the buying power that we have in our print and production capabilities, our creative production capabilities so that they are making sure that they're achieving the kind of results that they need to create new value for their business. Em.

EK: I think it's fair to say, excuse me, that one of the impacts of COVID there's a heightened sense of uncertainty and insecurity that's been created for all of us, so us as consumers, but also marketers as well. And we will all have seen over the last few months that consumers have necessarily been pushed online for their essential shopping.

And of course their non-essential shopping as well. Although the emphasis of spend has been on those essential rather than non-essential purchases. And of course as brands and retailers and marketers, we've had to adjust and many brands have found themselves struggling in that context.

And I think anyone who has tried to book an online grocery delivery slot, certainly in the early stages of Lockdown in the UK is nigh on impossible. And even now you have to be there ready and waiting to pounce on the next releases of grocery delivery slots.

So it's fair to say that the volume of traffic online and the demand has created challenges. And clearly there have been challenges in the form of the fact that the Lockdown has meant shops have had to be closed apart from supermarkets and other small retailers.

So it's a very different and challenging environment. Now we're starting to open up so globally the physical retail spaces is starting to open and certainly in the UK non-essential retailers opened their doors on Monday.

And if you read some of the reporting on that, then there are some retailers that have seen huge queues around the block, certainly at Vista Village near Oxford there was such crowding that 3,000 businesses signed a petition for the shopping center to be closed again.

Whereas other retailers have had a slower start. And I think although there's definitely been pent up demand and people have started to return to the high street it's not at the numbers of this time last year for example. Some reporting by Springboard attest that shopping numbers are well below this time last year.

So, so it's definitely a difficult and uncertain environment but whatever happens over the next few weeks and months, brands and retailers will need to pay really close attention to what consumers are doing, how they're behaving in order to be able to respond in the right way.

So what is the right way, right now? So winning trust before sales is really, really important. Now that restrictions are easing, there's various reports, one by McKinsey's in particular, that takes the temperature of consumer sentiment across the globe every two to four weeks and consumers who've become comfortable with digital remote and low-touch shopping options are saying they feel anxious about returning to crowded shopping malls and inside spaces.

Some of the crowds this week, maybe don't reflect that. But I think as a whole consumers are feeling slightly anxious. Some research by EY said that 80% are saying they won't feel comfortable trying on clothes in the store. 57% say they'd be more aware of hygiene and sanitation when shopping in person and some research by Ultraleap found that 80% of consumers think that touch screens are unhygienic, and that's an increase.

So before the pandemic about 70% were saying that they thought touch screens were potentially unhygienic. That's risen, as you might expect over this period.

AT: Oh, we have our first poll popping up, popping up here now as well. Excuse me, just on this theme, really. We'd thought we'd ask how you feel and this is, this is really not in terms of your organizations; in terms of yourselves, how are you feeling about returning to the shops?

EK: This extract from the McKinsey ongoing survey talks about the importance of visible hygiene. So when consumers are back on the high street and they're thinking about which shops they want to go into footfall will largely be determined by whether customers feel that the space they're about to enter feels safe and hygienic.

And that brands are obviously invisibly doing things to show and demonstrate how they're protecting not only customers, but also their staff. Then, there's a research organization called Canvas8, they've created a report and they refer to this as “safety theatre” – the idea of visibly demonstrating that the shopping, the retail physical space is a hygienic and safe place to go.

But health and hygiene isn't the only factor to consider. Whilst we will become accustomed to queuing for the supermarket, having the signposting in that environment that points us through a flow through the store. And, there are... that's an environment that we've become accustomed to.

There are other things to consider. And when it comes to non-essential purchases where first and foremost, shopping can be seen as a leisure activity. It's a chance to meet up with friends, family. Enjoy an afternoon in the shops that includes lunch, coffee, what have you.

Actually levels of frustration at that type of shopping being changed, I think will be interesting to see. So not being able to touch the fabric of their item of clothing that you might want to buy for example, and certainly in the UK, government guidance say that consumers really should only touch what they intend to buy.

So that's likely to lead to levels of frustration that wouldn't previously have been present in the shopping, the instant shopping experience. So I guess it's not only health and hygiene considerations. It's also what does that physical shopping experience feel like to consumers when it's vastly different to what it would have been like three or four months ago.

AT: And that is really interesting. There's a nice point raised by Natalie actually. She was just saying that actually it's about how pleasant something feels rather than scared. And of course, and of course, retail, physical retail is something that we do largely for enjoyment. I mean, it's not just about buying something, there's an enjoyment about just doing that isn't there.

EK: Absolutely. Yeah. And I guess particularly now it is likely to be contributing to a feeling of normality getting back to the shops. Although of course that experience probably won't feel very normal in inverted commas.

AT: It is interesting. We're just seeing the first poll results saying are you cautious about returning to the shops. And basically we've got effectively 60% of people saying that either they're anxious and they'll be strictly following the guidelines or they're feeling slightly scared. So that's that that's really significant, isn't it?

But I can see perhaps the people who feel more relaxed are those who would be interesting to break that out and see if that's because of age ranges and perhaps people feel they're less at risk than others, or perhaps they've already, already had the virus.

I don't know, but either way from the importance of making people feel comfortable is clearly huge here if retailers are to be successful.

MI: Interesting thing about the social environment in shopping as well is that there's a certain degree of herd behavior that's going to dictate how we behave. So the thought of it versus going into a shop where we see other people actually being totally fine with it, those can have a massive influence on how we react to, I would think.

EK: Yeah, absolutely. And it's, I guess it's opportunity. I suppose that's the way to look at it is what can brands and retailers do that make that physical social environment feel as pleasant for consumers as possible.

And how do you use that opportunity of a lower volume of people in store to really, make point of sale marketing and in-store marketing really sing and you've got a better opportunity of being noticed when there's more people in the store.

AT: Do you know a strange thing I've noticed that's happening Em as well is that friends tell me where they've been places where they don't feel safe, so it's actually quite damaging to the brand. So, where I live, there's two, I mean, we've got B&Q who are fantastically organized.

I have to say in terms of how the shop is laid out and how they let people in, and they cleanse the trolleys, et cetera, et cetera. And there's another DIY shop which I won't mention where there was absolutely no gating on the door and it was utterly hopeless. And I've had several people say to me, "I just won't shop there anymore."

EK: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, definitely. I think it will have a massive influence the way that people feel in that retail environment. And as Marcus has alluded to it, shopper behaviors will ultimately redefine what next looks like for the physical retail. And I think we will see as you've just been saying that customers will vote with their feet.

So, if they have a bad experience, they're not going to return. Whereas if it's a positive experience, hopefully they will return, you'll get positive word of mouth all those sorts of things. So keep managing that in-store experience, keeping an eye on what customers are actually doing and giving people something that they can't get online.

So inspiration, discovery, a community experience. Those are the sorts of things that physical retail could offer them that will help consumers have a better shopping experience and also give them something in addition to what they can get online.

AT: Okay. So given, given we've got these challenges that our poll just now has just shown and there is that there's clearly it needs to do something it's a question about how much, how pressing is that need to do something. And do we really need to worry about it, which is really the target of our next poll question which has come up.

Which is saying what do we all believe in terms of how long it will take for people to forget about COVID-19 and their shopping habits? Is it something that will go away and we can get back to normal? Or is it something that we really need to make sure is right for the long term.

Because obviously, once people change their habits of going into shops, it's sometimes hard to get them to return. It might be interesting to see what everyone thinks.

EK: In the next section, we'll talk about five ways in which brands and retailers can do more within the physical retail environment in order to make decisions about where you can most effectively and efficiently spend your budget. We think there's a really good opportunity to make the physical environment work harder.

And as we've talked about making the experience as good as possible for consumers, so that you can enable more sales in store and at shelf. You can gather insight about what your customers are actually doing and then make your messages more visible.

So in here and now the first thing as we've just discussed is winning consumer confidence and how, within the store environment you can market social distancing. So there are a couple of examples here and these, these aren't real, these are examples of what brands could do. So we will all have seen the very rational, social distancing signage.

Keep two meters apart, et cetera, et cetera, within the retail environments that we've all visited, but actually there's a real opportunity for brands to use their personality, to use humor, to make those messages more engaging, more interesting, softer.

So the idea that two meters might be six Pringles tubes, back to back or Heinz playing on their brand tone of voice to talk about social distancing. I think there is some really interesting ways in which brands can...

Can be creative and engage with consumers and get across the message about hygiene in a more emotionally connecting way rather than the slightly anxiety-inducing stay two meters apart. Yeah.

AT: I think that's really interesting, yeah. And I don't know about, it'd be interesting to what everybody else thinks on this call, but I've become a little bit tired and frustrated by brands who are constantly pushing out TV adverts that just talk about effectively disease, where and actually we get enough of that from the news don't we.

So yes, we need to be aware and change our behavior, but somehow brands need to remain positive during the situation, without just becoming another... Displaying that reminder of the doom that's come along with this pandemic.

Yeah. Absolutely. So how long would it take people to forget the COVID-19 in their shopping habits? Really interesting, could be a year or two. So we seeing what have we got 60, 70, 80% saying midterm/longterm. So yeah, I mean, this isn't something we're going to ignore is it. This is a genuine challenge as to how we go about retail. So those five things we should crack on.

EK: So in the here and now, in addition to point of sale and signposting about health and hygiene and social distancing, there's the other opportunity is almost where touch is more limited in the physical environment. What are the other methods by which retailers can help consumers to engage with products?

So this example from Rimmel is a virtual makeup try-on app. And there are lots of versions of this type of thing across particularly in the health and beauty space to help in the absence of testers, which of those know we're not going to want to touch at this point, helping customers in this instance to, to work out what lipstick shade or what have you, is this going to be best for them?

AT: Of course you realize you've just lost the entire audience Em, we're all downloading this now and trying on lipstick.

SL: And just with that, so I should move on. So, so if the retail environment is different and if consumers are behaving differently and understanding that and different reactions to it is key. It's going to be more important I would say than it ever has done before.

And I think what I just want us to talk about at this point is that advances in technology mean the way in which we can gather data in store is fundamentally changing. And I think historically if we talked about data in an in-store environment we would be talking about loyalty card data, all of that transactional data about what people bought.

We are in a much different, a much better quick scenario now where we start to gather data about how people navigate and move around the store and also quantifying and measuring the effectiveness of campaigns as well, which is almost a proxy for the way in which people behave in this new world.

And I wanted to just give the at of the possible, particularly around this around observational data and some of the trends that we're seeing mainly around image recognition software, because we believe this is a real game changer in people's ability to understand the way in which consumers navigate and work around the store.

So if you go back to a very, very simple customer visit, customer shop. So at the store, we enter a store, it is perfectly feasible and easy to start to measure footfall as individuals start to walk into the store. And there's like, as I go through this, there is a recurring theme throughout all of this, which is about identifying an individual, not just a unit or... or a body, that's moving through a store it's the individual and what they look like.

Camera tracking technology gives us that ability which is a real step up. But let's say I walk into the store. You know that I've walked in, you can start to measure footfall. The next bit is I might move down to the first aisle. So I want to shop in aisle 1 and we can get a sense now of how long I spend in aisle 1.

Then I might move into logically into aisle two and the same thing starts to build up. So we get that sense of me as an individual. How am I navigating through the store and how long am I spending in the different aisles and what I should say as well as all of this is in the context of what is a very traditional shopper journey.

So this doesn't take into account all of the technology advancements about how we bring the online environment into the offline environment through apps and being able to transact whilst you're in store via an app. This is just about the good old shopping journey that we all know.

Let's say I then moved back into aisle 1. We should be able to detect that. So we should be able to know that my journey, my flow, through the store has been interrupted. Why that's happened?

We may also get a clue of that from my basket, in my purchase. So it might be I buy fresh produce that I want in aisle 1. And from aisle 2 I buy a bundle. So something's that associated to the fresh produce. That starts to then give you a sense of product bundling and how I display and do I start to display recipes and meal kits different ways. Then the next bit might be I taken out from a point of sale.

So there's a semi-permanent point of sale. Again, understanding how people engage with point of sale is provable and doable now. You can start to understand exactly how I engage with that specific point of sale. And as a consequence, we can start to understand the return on investment from that point of sale as well.

And given just the sheer amount of spend that goes into that channel, that's a real step up. It's often been neglected in terms of being able to measure it effectiveness, but we can certainly do that now. And all of those things in their entirety start to build up to give us this real clear view of how users and individuals are or navigating around store.

What does that typical journey look like? How long does that journey take and is there something about a layout which is creating friction and getting back to Em's point about social distancing, and that becomes even more important, if all of a sudden we're having two meter barriers imposed on us.

And then just moving into checkout. So from here, we'll get a sense of... is my preference to do self-assisted or do I physically check out at till? And then we can start to close the loop. So when I leave the store, you start to get a sense of the end-to-end experience and time has taken me in-store.

And all of that is great but where it becomes really interesting is where you start to see it understand those things by various parameters. So does that journey differ by male, female, by different age bands? Clearly it will be different if it's a convenience store versus a large supermarket there may well be different regional biases or city centers versus more urban locations.

And also obviously the size of the shop is going to dictate that as well. So that's where I think we're heading in terms of being able to understand the impact to COVID and the associated shopping challenges we have.

AT: I'm going to imagine I'm a shopper marketeer, if I'm armed with all this information, what you're saying is that basically that would mean that you can redesign the shopper experience and redesign the point of sale experience in line with what you're seeing in terms of changed behavior?

SL: Yeah, absolutely. So I think there's two angles to this. So the first is the retailer and how do I as a retailer make the experience as slick and as effortless and as sympathetic to the challenges that COVID has created. How do I make that as acceptable as possible for a consumer and clearly understanding the way consumers navigate around our store is a key part of that.

From a brand's perspective, understanding the way in which their in-store marketing works is, is, is really key. So that whole concept of measuring the effects of the point of sale because sheer amount of investment is really important.

AT: Okay, fine. So presumably given those things that Em highlighted about, no touch retail, not wanting to touch screens and all that stuff, there's going to be some level of requirement to redesign a lot of point of sale to be more... new world friendly. So presumably what you're saying is that this is an opportunity to... that's, that's an expensive business, isn't it? Rolling out to thousands of outlets.

So presumably this is an opportunity to test some of those things and have a better view of what might work, because it's gotta be done fast and there's probably less budget to spend on it in the first place. You can't afford to get it wrong.

SL: Yeah, absolutely. I mean we are seeing a trend towards no touch digital, so gesture driven digital content, certainly in the Asian markets, we see that quite a lot. But that's the big investment.

Understanding that links into the point about really understanding the return on that investment. So we'll talk about that.

Marcus, over to you.

MI: Hello. I guess building on that the other opportunity for this proliferation of data opportunities in retail it's not just the reactive "let's look at what our customers are doing" and bend to fit but there's also the opportunity to create really golden insights from how they behave.

And that's the real magic of where we're going next in that none of us really know. It's fascinating to get the poll results and get... talk about the hypothesis of where COVID is going to take us, but none of us really know.

So in this environment that Steve's just outlined, we've got an opportunity, not only to see in real-time how people are reacting in retail, but also to draw from that insights that can propel us into the future.

So lest we forget, the job of all marketing communications is to persuade. We don't just have to react and make life easy. We have to be persuasive. Otherwise we're not doing our job and the statistic of all statistics that we should all keep front of mind throughout a working day.

And I know that keeps me up at night as well is the fact that 89% of all advertising created just isn't remembered. So that's across the campaign mix. You've got 4% being remembered favorably, 7% being remembered but hate it. 89 Pence out of every pound we spend goes on advertising that just isn't remembered at all. So we have to be persuasive otherwise we're not doing our job.

AT: Marcus, what you're saying is if we tie that back to what Steve was saying, the opportunity to use data and clever tech to capture interactions with things early on is actually fundamental isn't it? Because otherwise we are risking quite a significant... we're carrying it well. It's an unbelievable risk really.

MI: Yeah. And it's a heavy investment to make on a gut feel you know? And there is always, the gut always plays a role in which creative we want to share with client, which creative client wants to put into store, but having this backbone of data gives us not only more confidence, but the ability to test and learn even in retail, which I think is really important.

I guess, just to reiterate as well the other point is that data can only ratify a behavior or things that are working well or badly to project that into the future. We need to have this goal of persuasion in mind and from that draw insights from that data, because it's the insights that create persuasion, not just a reaction to data.

AT: I agree. I was just interested because lots of the marketeers I've spoken to and some of them on the call today have said to me that their big problem at the moment is persuading the CFOs that the budget's driving real value.

Because the business has got other priorities, like maintaining employment of people who perhaps are furloughed at the moment, but at the same time we still have to drive demand. So, being able to go to the CFO with something that has a level of more proof before the money is spent has become quite an issue.

MI: Absolutely. And I'd say that the way that we're trying to drive our creative is much more heavily into test and learn in retail. I think it feels like the forgotten end of the marketing spectrum, but all of the direct response sciences and skills that we've built up over the last 30, 40 years are entirely applicable with this opening of data in this space are entirely applicable here and test and learn for me is one of the biggest opportunities.

So yes, ensuring that a CFO knows we're not just throwing money into the air and hoping that four or seven P out of every pound create something memorable, but actually we're in the job of persuasion is really super important.

That's very exciting. So just to break open the persuasion a little bit, those as I'm sure most of attendees will know, there's a huge amount of science and philosophy on rhetoric and the art of persuasion, but for us it's these five key things we have to get noticed. We have to show our audience that we understand them. So they feel understood. We need to put forward an argument that is easy to agree with. We need to evoke a response again, back to that direct response activation.

And there needs to be a memorability at least long enough for our audience to be able to act on the thing that they have been challenged to do, think or feel. So, as Emmeline's already mentioned with safety theater, there is a degree of persuasion in this.

You can see that certainly at the outset of reopening of stores at the brands that can get in with this helpful creative, you know, on-brand we're by your side, sort of messaging are gonna create a degree of "we understand you. We're culturally relevant. We get the situation that you're in" and that's not just in store.

I've really liked Ikea's giving away free backgrounds for Zoom. It's just that we're applicable to your life. We understand that you're in Lockdown, and going to be spending hours in front of your computer.

So here's just a way that as a retailer, we can make your life easier. But I do think as we've seen in broadcast communications it's a good job to do. If you're first to do it, if there are 80 brands in a supermarket, all saying stay two meters apart arguably you get lost in the crowd.

So there's a degree of persuasion in that, but I think we've got to think beyond that reactive, albeit very helpful and creative way of thinking and go back to this principle of persuasion. I've got a few examples here.

So I particularly like this one from Diageo where the insight of I would like to be a whiskey drinker, but it is just too complicated a science is broken down so simply and really, with real elegance I think in this whiskey five execution. So just really simple language around the different tastes you can expect from the different whiskeys, all sorts of follow-ups in DM, and certainly digital where you can explore that more.

But a real sense of in a creative and I think very elegant way breaking down that barrier to a prospect whiskey drinker. So there's relevancy in its behavior as a point of sale stand. It is demystifying as you approach it, but there's also still that sense of intrigue and you can be part of this whiskey drinking set.

AT: I think what's really interesting there is the connection between the point of sale and the digital side of the fence, Marcus. Because obviously that that allows that no-touch exploration if you could drive people to the website, to go and get that information.

And it also supports data capture in terms of we understand those audiences, because let's face it once you've made some of these choices, people tend to buy what they like. So yeah, that omnichannel joined up approach given with the stats we've just seen from our audience around confidence to return in-store. It's a very, very different approach to perhaps, the traditional point of sale.

MI: Absolutely. And I mean if not that any brand on the planet would give me the job but if I was a marketing director trying to convince my CFO for a reasonable budget I wouldn't personally I wouldn't talk about no-touch at all because we simply don't know how long it's going to take for people to be able to if indeed ever touch a product again, that's not really the opportunity.

The opportunity is in capturing the data, tracking their behavior, and then drawing from that an insight that can perpetuate the campaign, make it stronger, make us more relevant and ultimately more persuasive.

This is great bit of a store activation by Goodyear. So again based on an insight that their shopper is a middle aged woman who doesn't really like going into the typical Goodyear store. It was just very dark, masculine, very intimidating.

So they changed their shop. And just like you would in a department store, different tires, different treads, in a really nicely lit setting where people can just play with the product. So a real sense of innovation in there. That's going to be attractive but still borne on that insight.

Ikea. Lovely bit of campaign. I mean Ikea are... arguably the retailer to benchmark yourself against, but what a lovely way of being able to show generosity to just put your blankets, just really almost a banal product that they sell in-store, but to take them out to parks in Winter and enable people just to get hold of one.

So this is a point of sale. You can buy the blanket there, but that cultural relevance built on this insight just makes them come across as a really generous brand. We understand why you will enjoy our products and we will fit around your life.

AT: That's quite interesting because of course it allows people to interact without being pulled into an environment where they may not feel confident at the moment.

MI: I mean, the important thing about this and a number of other examples, certainly the last one that I'll share is that the role of communications as a whole to be persuasive has to be considered in this.

Ikea, only have to do one of these in a park in Sweden and then that becomes a film or a static image that's shared tens of millions of times to shoppers in and around their experience of Ikea. So again, it's through the data that you unlock the ability to take an asset like this, an expression of the brand like this and play it to consumers in a really relevant point.

AT: It’s a nice point of sale installation, which actually drives omnichannel really well.

MI: Absolutely.

AT: So a part of the point of sale budget challenge we've got now is to redirect some of that spend so that we are capturing the money that is shifted online because we know certainly in the UK 30 plus percent of spend is now online, where it was close to half of that pre-pandemic. So using a great piece of point of sale, which creates shareability online to promote the brand and capture that spend has become fundamental.

MI: A little bit of a clever, insightful targeted marketing from Pantene where they did a tie-in with the Weather Channel and just give you hair forecasts. So I just think it's beautifully insightful, but again your ability to be able to interact is captured so opportunities to measure behavior, measure the results of the campaign and actually see where customers go next and draw insights out from that to perpetuate the campaign. So yeah, really very simple idea.

AT: That's lovely. Hat or polish for me.

MI: And then the last one which I adore is a point of sale but not as we know it. For a challenger brand to launch a new buggy to market, they know that their customers if they're buying the first buggy for their unborn baby this is a really emotionally intense period.

So they just created this lovely little bit of experiential which is why don't you feel how your baby's going to feel in our buggy. So again maybe they only made one of these, but just the idea of PR digital point of sale, all coming together to create a persuasive argument, just feels fundamental to how we approach resale in the future.

SL: Okay. I think this is back for me. So, you can just tell you can't you that when your creative director does one set of slides then it moves to an insight guy, the difference in the look and feel but I just want to link back to one of that creativity and the insight that's driving that in Marcus's point about test and learn, a fundamental principle, it sounds like we're stating the obvious, but you've got to understand what works and what doesn't, as part of a test and learn framework.

And what we see is this whole direct marketing culture where test and learn is embedded properly and how you can take that and apply that to the in-store environment.

So it starts off with that real robust view of campaign planning. I need a set of stores to test the concept in but equally I need to set control stores to measure the uplift against.

There is the science that are measuring that uplift. But then to just to Marcus's point again about the ability to learn quickly and to not wait six months before you then take findings and then implement that back into future campaigns.

I just want to touch briefly on this, on this measurement of uplift. And certainly what we see with clients is that success for in-store in particular is defined in a load of different ways. So we have simple definitions of “do I see a spike in sales in-store and its point of sale”. So there's the point of sale engagement, which is relatively quick and easy. But for us the real North star, the aim, is about being able to quantify the return on investment for point of sale.

And what we mean by return on investment has to be seen driving incremental sales that wouldn't have happened had you not had that point of sale in place. Clearly cost is a function of the part of the return on investment.

And what I mean by cost, isn't just about the cost of the design or the cost of the production. It's the cost of the full end-to-end value chain from and from that initial brief through to physically getting in-store. So all the logistics implementation, et cetera. And it's got to be by definition, return on investment is a financial expression of the performance of campaigns but equally it's a relative measure.

What I mean by that is in the context of being able to learn and learn quickly and having a framework whereby you can very easily measure the impact of one particular format of point of sale. And how you can get to that point quickly so that you can feed your next campaign planning.

AT: Steve. So our final poll has just popped up here, which is all about this. And much of our talk today is about making sure we're proving that value because we've got to make sure we're justifying what we're doing with the CFO.

How do you know if point of sale is working now…

Only 4% know (or one person) has actually said we can predict store performance even before it's rolled out. So the reliance on behavior trends in qualitative research, yes, completely valid, but actually most of it is post-rationalized with “we're using sales data to broadly measure effectiveness”. Which where the world is stable and we've got lots of time to testing you might say, well that's fairly reasonable. It's not optimal but it's reasonable.

But where we've got to make significant changes in quite a short space of time, and we need to know it's going to work and on a budget that's tight, then the need to know that something's going to work beforehand, there's obviously much, much higher because someone else might get it right, and we might get left behind. So really interesting. Tremendous opportunity there then I think it's fair to say for most of us who are involved with point of sale, who are on the event today, to actually to really add some value to our organizations.

SL: Yeah. And I'd put that in the context of just the sheer amount of spend that goes into in-store as well. I mean, this is a huge investment for brands and there is so much rigor and discipline around understanding the effectiveness of digital channels, direct channels. It feels like this is a bit of a forgotten area of marketing spend.

AT: Yeah. I mean it's very easy to knock down the price of the actual you might knock a few percentage points off the actual cost of producing it, but it's insignificant compared with adding percentage points on the other side of it making sure that it's effective.

EK: Okay. And then finally, so our final top tip, We call it reducing friction, but what we're talking about here is the need to connect the online and the offline experience for shoppers. And our perspective on this is that this is what consumers need to be thinking about for the future. Some of what Marcus talked about, touched on this as well.

And then obviously, testing and learning as much as we can about customer behaviors in stores helps this as well as digitally connecting an offline experience. But this example here is how Aldi are innovating in their new store in Shanghai. They've created this interactive wine experience.

So what happens here is customers can scan wine bottles to learn more about the provenance and the tasting notes of each of the wines. And then those can be instantly purchased through scanning a QR code on your phone. They've launched Scan and Go which is what they're calling this product in conjunction with WeChat. So it gets Chinese customers the choice to skip the usual checkout process and it also ties up with delivery as well.

It's the ability to join up data that is readily available through consumers, interacting with an app like this that is really valuable as well as giving consumers this frictionless online and offline experience.

AT: And wine is so hard to buy.

EK: Exactly.

AT: Brilliant. So Em, have we reached the end? We've been through our five points.

EK: We have.

AT: Excellent, good. So there are considerable opportunities to help you and I who are clearly slightly uneasy about returning to shopping to improve performance in the physical environment and make sure we're capturing that spend that shifted online.

So if you'd like to discuss what's going on with your own brand and no obligation discussion to talk about your situation and possible opportunities that you might have to improve that please do get in touch. We're always willing to have those discussions and really there is no obligation.

And if we can help you and give some advice, then that's absolutely fine.

Next up on the 23rd of July, we're exploring how fragmented agency supply chains effect how marketing creates value and the impact that these disconnections can have upon marketing teams as they're perceived within their organizations and by consumers.

Many of us have got slashed marketing budgets in response to the pandemic, but this comes with risk pushing lots of individual suppliers to lower costs within our fragmented supply chain won't necessarily improve effectiveness or remove duplicate management fees. And it may further raise the risks with associated with pinning that customer experience jigsaw together across ATL, BTL, digital, social print, point of sale, all these different partners that you might have.

So we're going to be exploring if there's a better way that can keep both your customers and your CFO smiling by delivering faster, cheaper, better something that I think all of us in marketing certainly desire.

So please do join us as we share examples of brands where marketing and procurement are unified in their ambition to optimize ROI from more limited budgets, where they are genuinely achieving more for less. And my thanks today to Emmeline, Marcus, Steve, and Jon and to you for joining us. And as always as I say, do get in touch if we can help you.

Now I'm off to bid on some unwanted wedding invitations. I could do we're getting out of the house more. Bye.

The speakers

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Emmeline Kite

Head of Planning & Strategy

With experience in data-driven creative and customer experience strategy, Emmeline is perfectly positioned to lead our strategy team. She honed her strategic expertise working across a range of industry sectors, particularly automotive and retail.

Speaker One image

Marcus Iles

Global Executive Creative Director

Marcus is an award-winning Creative Director, having picked up honours at Cannes, DMAs, Caples, Campaign Big, and Echos. He has produced, guided and nurtured successful omnichannel campaigns around the world.

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