Category Archives: Shopping Malls

Sampling techniques

When thinking of free samples we inevitably think about food and drink, because the food and beverage industries have made sampling an integral part of their marketing strategy for years. Despite how quickly our world is changing, and the technology that goes with it, the tradition of sampling still lives on albeit in a more non-traditional way.

Retail

Food sampling in grocery stores and shopping malls from a demonstration table or a vendor tray is the most recognisable form of sampling for consumers. It encourages them to taste the foods just a few feet away from the product and the cash register, thereby securing the potential for fast and easy sales.

Displays 2 Go Demonstration Table

Office

In-Office sampling has recently been recognised by marketers as a huge untapped opportunity with large numbers of professional people gathered in one place. Although there is the risk of it being intrusive, most recipients are more than happy to have a sample left on their desk!

Outdoor sampling

Experiential campaigns and roadshows are definitely a great way to make a noise in an outdoor space. The use of vendor bikes and sampling trays are a great way to move around the crowd and cover ground. Roadshows not only have a presence but also have a way of drawing in the crowds, enabling customers to sample and ‘experience’ the brand.

From the company

Although not a traditional technique, companies are finding themselves having to offer free samples to concerned customers who call up to find out what ingredients are in their products. To exude a sense of confidence and transparency most companies are happy to send out a free sample of the product in question along with other complimentary products.

Food delivery

Time is a precious commodity and grocery shopping online is becoming commonplace in much of Australia. The food delivery revolution, whether it’s from Coles or from your local egg supplier, is becoming a given in many households. With these delivery services, food companies large and small have the opportunity to get samples out by utilising this delivery channel.

Sampling via food delivery vansTechnology

Technology is all around us and some companies are utilising technology to encourage consumers to sample their products. Doritos, for example, created a ‘scannable’ chip. This chip was only included amongst the three new flavours of ‘3D Jacked’ Doritos. Once purchased, the customer scanned a physical chip with a phone and it gave access to cool 3D videos and more. This use of technology is clever as it not only ensures consumers buy your product, it is also likely that they taste the chips too.

Why sampling works

There are many options available to connect consumers with free samples, but actual sampling seems to be a solid strategy for many food companies. According to recent research by Time magazine – “In terms of reaching consumers, free samples are often much more powerful, and much cheaper than traditional advertising”. Here are a few reasons why we think sampling works.

Price

Sampling gives everyone the opportunity to taste or test something, no matter what the price point. Often the only thing standing between a consumer and a product is the price. Offering a free sample means consumers can try products that are potentially outside their budget — products they otherwise might never have tried.

Commitment

No matter what the price point, some consumers may not want to commit to a purchase straight away. By offering a free sample it gives them the chance to test it out at the risk of not liking it.

TasteDisplays 2 Go - Sampling trays

Often the best way to launch a new food product is simply through taste. Free samples break down the barrier between consumers and products, and allow them to try something they may have never tried before.

Regardless of traditional marketing like ads or packaging, consumers may not always be convinced they will like a product, even if it is a type of food they enjoy, until they taste it.

Reciprocation

We humans are funny creatures, and although a free sample generally means no strings attached, some consumers will feel obliged to purchase the product after getting something for free.

So in summary, sampling was big in the mid-20th century, and it still remains a key part of a marketing strategy. Consumers love getting things for free, so companies can capitalise on this by continuing to bring samples to the masses, whether through traditional retail or a more innovative route.

Take a look at our sampling solutions for your next event, exhibition or roadshow.

Portable Child Care Centres in Shopping Malls

We have all been there, need to go shopping but have got the kids in toe…..if only there was another solution. Well now there is, thanks to Displays 2 Go and Eventful Kids. The concept is called “drop while you shop” allowing you to drop your kids off whilst you shop.

At Displays 2 Go we like to think of ourselves as the ‘Can Do Guys’ so when we were asked to come up with a solution for a portable child care centre that could be set up in shopping malls around Australia we were like kids in a lolly shop. Ideas started flowing and we started creating. Take a look at what we came up with….

Displays 2 Go - portable child care centre

Background

Eventful Kids provides portable creativity centres for children within a shopping centre environment, which allows parents and caregivers to enjoy their shopping knowing their kids are in a safe and fun environment.

The “drop while you shop” creative centre concept offers a range of crafts and activities for children, including items such as:

  • a range of craft activities (free play and “how to”)
  • activity mats and construction toys
  • a library corner
  • puppets and story boards
  • costumes and dress ups
  • musical instruments

The Challenge

There were several challenges with this project, which all needed careful consideration.

First, the entire structure had to be transported and assembled by only two people in a limited time period, just prior to the booth being open for business.

Second, the structure had to be entirely child friendly with no sharp edges and no possibility of the structure falling over.

Thirdly, we all know how much kids love having fun so the solution needed to be easy to clean and built tough, to withstand up to 20 young boys creating havoc at any one time.

Fourthly, the booth needed to be secure so that once children entered they were in no danger of getting out without adult supervision.

Last but not least, the entire booth had to actually appeal to kids and make them want to go in there; and more importantly happy to be left there – sometimes the hardest test of all!

The Solution

Displays 2 Go - Portable childcare boothsTo ensure easy transportability and assembly we designed the booth using a modular system, with no single element being bigger than a metre wide and a framework that allowed for some shape customisation.

To make sure kids could see out, and mums & dads could look in on their kids, we included various shatter-proof clear polycarbonate modules. We created a simple entry and exit system to ensure no-one went missing and ensured everything could be easily wiped clean by using vinyl graphics panels.

But how did we ensure kid-appeal? First we involved a few kids in the design phase, checking they liked the graphics.  The we tested the interactive elements for kid appeal, before including fun components such as squiggly mirrors, join-the-dots puzzles, and laminated printed boards for drawing on.

Displays 2 Go - Portable child care booths graphics Displays 2 Go - Portable child care booths graphics

Displays 2 Go - Portable childcare centres Displays 2 Go - Portable Childcare booths

On the outside we used bright graphics panels to grab attention, whilst the clear polycarbonate panels allowed potential users to pre-vet the the booth.

There is nothing as scary and rewarding at the same time as working with kids – our solution had to be right first time with no room for mistakes.  And it had to be an absolute hit with children and adults alike, because we wanted parents to be OK with leaving their kids and kids to be OK with being left by their parents! A tough brief, but well delivered by Displays 2 Go.

The Testimonial

“Because our move in times are so tight we needed a quality system that was simple and quick to assemble. The Displays 2 Go design excels in this area and revolutionises the way we set up.

All our centres have to be hard wearing and robust, yet look fantastic and exciting for the children. Our clients and staff alike all love the outstanding finish which makes us look fabulous!

From a client perspective, it is clear that you all work as a great team, and everyone knows what is going on.  I feel like we have a relationship with someone in each area of your business, and everyone is pleasant to deal with, professional and knowledgable.”

Eventful Kids’ Stay’nPlay Centres

 

HELP! A beginners guide to in-store sampling

D2G - eyecatching stand

As one of the foremost suppliers of sampling trays and demonstration tables in Australia, we want to help you get the most you can from your in-store sampling campaign. There are a few things to consider, so here’s a helpful round-up.

Research

Both Coles and Woolworths have extensive guides on what you can and can’t do in their stores. It’s best to do your research early as these stores are important to your business and your brand.  Don’t blow the relationship in the early stages by not following the rules.  Grab a coffee, your iPad, a comfy chair and then click these links!

Coles Instore Demonstration Guide

Woolworths Instore Demonstration Guide

Objectives

Think about what you want this campaign to achieve. Take a look at the options below and pick ONE primary objective then focus on delivering against it. Here are your choices:

  • Sales
  • Awareness
  • Trial

You’ll desperately want to pick more than one, but that can get confusing. By knowing what you want from this campaign, you’ll be able to measure your success and make certain choices much easier.

Optimising Sales 

D2G - Supermarket in-store Make sure you have sale product on or near the demonstration table; you’ll want your sampling staff to encourage shoppers to select it then and there as part of their script. We recommend you include a coupon in your planning.  We find this works better than an in-store special, because you physically give the shopper a coupon and they feel they need to use it there and then! Make sure you count the number of products on the shelf at the beginning of the in-store shift and the products on the table, and then count them at the end so you can measure just how amazing the shift has been! Make sure everyone does this for every shift and then start a competition to really drive those sales up!

Maximising Awareness

D2G - Weis Yoghurt Retail Demonstrator In-StoreUse a good sized table, perhaps with a banner over the top. You want to grab attention and get your brand in people’s faces. Think about how you ‘cut through’ the clutter of brands and people in the supermarket. People tend to shop on auto-pilot so you need to work extra hard to get noticed. Think about doing something different or quirky. Perhaps have your sampling staff dress up a little differently or consider some giveaways that get your brand in people’s homes.

Gaining Trial

Displays 2 Go - Vendor TraysWhy not consider not having a demonstration table at all! This is where our Vendor trays come in really handy. Instead of passively waiting for shoppers to approach your table, with a vendor tray or mobile trolley you can actively target the right demographic with your product.

If you have to have a table, then consider a secondary ‘hand off’ stand, which is a simple branded plinth where you place your tray of samples. This allows you to keep your main table as working space while your prepared product sits close-by, yet easy for shoppers to get to.D2Go - CarryBag  This hand-off stand can have shelves included so as to provide an extra space for off-location merchandising.

Sampling Kit

You want your sampling staff spending all their time actually in-store with your product, not walking backwards and forwards from the car park. So, keep your kit well packed and easy to transport. Most of our tables are designed to fit into a supermarket trolley and be quick to set up and dismantle – no fiddly screws and no tools required!

Site Safe

Most supermarkets require sampling staff to have Site Safe passes. After you’ve spent hours booking your shift, don’t fall at the first hurdle by not having accreditation or by leaving your pass at home. Generally it’s an easy online course, so there’s no excuse!

Functionality

Think about the size of your table and what you’re doing at the table. If you’re sampling dry goods, then you might not need much space. Go for a smaller table because you’ll have more flexibility over where it can be set up. Remember that if you need electricity, then your location and the timing of your shift will be severely limited. Most stores only have a couple of ‘powered D2G - Cooking Instoresites’ so book early to avoid disappointment!

If you’re cooking on your stand, then think about how ‘on display’ you want this to be. Perhaps the microwave can go under the table if it’s not a key feature of your product. We can tailor our tables to your requirements, adding shelving and heat retardant materials where necessary. We can also conceal cables too so that everything looks neat, well organised and appetising!

Graphics

Investing in sampling equipment is a big step. Don’t go for permanent graphics which can’t be changed. Instead, invest in hardware once and then change out the graphics panels when you need to. Consider our new fabric graphics panels which are easy to use, super lightweight and can be washed over and over again so your table always looks brand new!

Measuring Success

D2G - Measure successThink about how you measure your campaign – don’t just rely on hearsay. If you want to count how many people you spoke to, then count your coupons at the beginning and end and be sure to give everyone you speak to a coupon! If your campaign is all about sales, then count the products on the shelf before and after. If you want to know what people think about your product, then have two bins for their paper plate, one marked LOVE IT and then the other marked YUK perhaps! If you want to grow your database, then run a Free Prize Draw, inviting people to fill in a card and post it in the box – but make sure the prize is worthwhile because generally people don’t stop for long when they’re on a shopping mission.

Timing

Think about your target market and think about when they go shopping. If awareness was your initial objective then make sure you’re in the supermarket at it’s busiest time – perhaps a Friday night or a Saturday morning. If your target market tends to be older and retired then they often avoid the supermarket at these times, preferring a mid week.  Do some research and ask the store manager to make sure you’re in the right place, on the right day at the right time. If kids are your target, then go for the after school slot around 3pm onwards.  Twenty-somethings will often go shopping on a Thursday or Friday evening after work because they have other, way-cooler stuff to do on the weekend!  D2G - Timing

It’s tempting to agree to any in-store slot that is offered to you by the supermarket, but why waste the opportunity – better to wait for the right time and day so you optimise your shift.

Marketing in Shopping Malls.

D2G - shopping mallsShopping malls are a very effective place to market your brand. They allow you to interact with customers on an engaging level while they are in the spending mindset. Whether it’s sampling, display, promotions or branding, experiential marketing is a powerful platform for reaching your customers. It allows you to choose where and when you will market and capitalise on successful retail periods, such as school holidays, Christmas, Mothers Day and more. Being indoor spaces, they’re also not weather dependant.

Many of the shopping centres are able to supply profiles of their shoppers so you can gain a greater understanding of their foot traffic enabling you to target your campaign more effectively. They can also give you seasonal trends which can help you plan the best time to promote your product.

At Displays 2 Go we have been providing companies with the tools and display stands to enable brands to give customers an unforgettable experience in shopping malls throughout Australia for over 7 years, so we thought we would share some of our tips and tricks with you.

Tip #1

Know your goal, and what you want to get out of the activation. Is it brand awareness, sales, new product trial or giveaway? Pick one and then deliver on it. The whole design of your stand should differ based on what you choose because each option requires a different motivation and a different focus.

Tip #2

D2G - FREEEngage your customer. You need to attract their attention and get them to stop at your stand, so what’s going to be your carrot? Your brand is suddenly competing for attention amongst hundreds of shops with their amazing shop windows so determine how you can differentiate yourselves!  Will your stand be intriguing, is it offering something new or different? We are all time poor these days so make sure there is something in it for the consumer; a small sample is often not enough so be generous with your product. Schwarzkopf recently promoted their new Salon range and were giving away full size bottles of shampoo and conditioner. There were queues at every stand and people were prepared to wait for their free product!

Tip #3

D2G - ipadTechnology is so dominant in our world it cannot be ignored. Mobile devices are always at hand, so ensure your stand is as interactive as possible. Stands can be designed to include an iPad counter or display, making it easy to capture data about your customers or simply have a QR code to scan with a promotion attached. Multi media displays and free WIFI also draw people in, especially if your target market is the younger generation.

Tip #4

Design and flow is a key factor when it comes to malls – so make sure you work with people who understand your concept. Designers need to consider the location of the stand, along with an understanding of the mall itself, and the shopper flow patterns. Once this is understood then a great 3d stand can be created which will give you the flow you require, enabling key messages to be read or experienced at the right time. Ensure your calls to action are visible to all potential customers from all directions, which can often mean taking advantage of double-sided graphics on your display collateral.

Tip #5

D2G - Superwall shopping centre height 1.95m wide  (2) copyStand Materials and products have changed a lot in the past 5 years. They are not only more impactful with the colour saturation and vibrancy of fabric displays, but they have also become easier to assemble and transport. The Superwall is  becoming a must-have in many clients’ stand portfolios due to its clean lines and ease of graphics changeover. Take a look at our range of demonstration tables, not only available in many shapes and sizes but also constructed from a multitude of materials, depending on usage requirements.

 

Tip #6

Staffing is often as important as the product on your stand, so make sure you have the right people for the job. Think about your brand’s target market then make sure the people on your stand are credible and believable. Will a 40 year old working Mum really believe what a 20 year old guy has to say about the latest washing powder?

Tip #7

D2G - SafetyKnow the rules.  Every establishment has rules and malls are no exception. When your activation is a success you want to be able to go back and lease space again, so abiding by their rules and those of OHS is imperative. They also have to be fair to all retailers that lease space in the mall, so try and understand that it’s not just about you. Of course, you want your stand to be the biggest and the tallest and the BEST, and it will be BUT all within the guidelines. Height restrictions are put in place for safety and security, and also because mall customers should be able to see retailers’ shop signage at all times.

Tip #8

D2G - OHSOHS regulations are there for a reason so make sure your staff understand these and are accredited to work in a mall. During the brand’s installation be sure that those doing the work understand the law and trust that they will be courteous to shoppers. As soon as your brand can be seen, those around it acting in an official capacity are naturally associated with the brand.

 

Tip #9

Capture the moment. We have all got cameras on our phones and iPads but getting a good photographer to come down to your activation and capture those smiles on camera is well worth the investment. Video footage and stills make great content for your social media, your PR department, your sales teams and of course your boss!