Manufacturer’s sales can be affected by the ability of retail staff to understand and then explain product features. Furthermore, do manufacturers really understand whether key innovations are explained well enough to be able to convince the shopper of a genuine reason to buy one brand over another.
Is innovation being properly communicated?
Innovations that embrace smart home technology have high appeal and are being adopted in UK households, as evidenced by our recent Smart Home survey. Smart diagnostic apps enable consumers to identify problems with their machines and are featured on the latest models, and there’s no shortage of features and functions with which to impress shoppers.
To this end, manufacturers invest huge sums in marketing and supporting retailers with product training, eye-catching displays and specific promotions. But does this follow through when a consumer, faced with an array of washing machines, asks for advice? For this advice to clinch the sale, sales staff must be able to clearly communicate the benefits of the manufacturer’s machine over other brands.
Influencing the purchase journey
Our survey, which posed an identical shopper enquiry across UK retailers, delivered some interesting insights into consumers’ purchase experiences. As expected, certain retailers favour certain brands and offer differing levels of product expertise. But less expected was the inconsistency of responses, which showed huge variation of experiences, advice and recommendations. This highlights a clear opportunity for brands to intercept the purchase journey and influence the purchase decision.
Headlines from our survey
We carried out a small sample mystery shop exercise across selected UK Consumer Electronics retailers that employed a standard purchase enquiry. Shoppers were tasked with assessing product ranges and displays, followed by a sales interaction with sales staff as to which washing machine they would recommend based on a budget of approximately £400 (€495).