If you own a retail shop, the best way to showcase your merchandise is through product demonstrations. But what is a product demonstration, and what are its’ benefits?
What is a product demonstration?
Fifteen types of ketchup. New and improved paper towels. The softest sweatshirt ever! So many options, so many promises and claims, and so much confusion.
Bombarded with a multitude of options and products that visually blend into one another, customers can become uncertain and indecisive when it’s time to make a purchase. What can you do to make sure they reach for your product?
Let customers get their hands on the product, let them taste, touch and smell it through a demonstration. Firsthand experience with a product can change a customers’ thoughts from, “That’s interesting,” to “I’ve got to buy that.” In fact, product demonstrations – ‘trying it before buying it’ – can boost sales by an average of 475%, according to Knowledge Networks/PDI.
Product demonstrations give retailers an opportunity to introduce or promote products to potential customers and get them excited. Demos can be for products new to the market, revised versions of existing products or a whole new category of products. A demonstration informs a potential customer about a product, but it can also address questions and concerns they may have.
Several types of product demonstrations are possible. These include in-store demonstrations of items such as food and beverages, housekeeping products, food preparation equipment, and personal care. Trade shows are another opportunity to demonstrate a product. While similar to in-store demos, they allow companies to directly appeal to a target audience since attendees are typically customers interested in that industry.
Here are the top five benefits from product demonstration:
1. Stimulates interest/improves customer knowledge.
Engaging all the senses with a product stimulates a customer’s interest in and increases their knowledge of a product. Seeing the product in action or being able to taste/smell it, is sometimes needed for a customer to fully grasp its value, potential, and uniqueness. It can be argued that the in-person experience with a product is more effective than a television ad or social media video. They can see in-person the pros and cons of a product, understand how to use the product more effectively, and learn new ways to use it. All of which improves the customer’s connection to the product. In essence, a demonstration brings the product to life for potential customers, while highlighting all the key attributes and features.
2. Provides proof.
A demo provides tangible evidence that supports what is being said about a product. Potential customers may question whether a product “tastes great” or “absorbs quickly” until they see it for themselves. Letting customers experience a product firsthand provides the necessary proof for these statements.
3. Combats concerns.
Similarly, a demonstration can combat product concerns about claims or performance capabilities. Customers may have preconceived ideas or misinformation based on things they’ve “heard” through social media, friends, etc. Trying a product will go a long way in silencing those, “Well, I’ve heard …” comments.
4. Instant feedback.
A product demonstration provides instant feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of the item. Feedback helps a business understand if the product is meeting the needs of the target demographic. With the feedback in mind, it may be possible to modify the product or even identify new audiences.
5. Brand awareness.
Face-to-face communication is an excellent way to improve brand awareness and create memorable moments. If a customer enjoys a product demonstration, they are more likely to have a positive memory and association with that particular brand. This increases the likelihood that they will purchase that product in the future. Demonstrations boost the appeal of a product to a wider audience and build a sense of familiarity.
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