New and old boundaries of Retail: Gdo Docet! Teaches!

New and old boundaries of Retail: Gdo Docet! Teaches!

📅17 Gennaio 2018, 10:14


More and more often, recently, I hear people, working on the retail sector, looking at GdO markets with suspicion or danger.

They snore them, undervalue them, and consider them as an uninteresting sector for their business or unsuitable for their market. But they fear them!

A few years ago I pays close attention to these methods, thinking about them as a snob reaction of those who work on clothing or pseudo-luxury sectors. Then, I search for the reason why many people had this rejection.

Certainly the GdO has always been seen by the brands (I’m referring to the traditional sectors of clothing, accessories, footwear, etc), as the abandon of the brand identity, the latest hope of the commercial strategies and hence the guidance to reach selling targets.

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A story above all, connected t many years ago, when I was retail manager for an important global brand: each year there was the announcement the inviolability of the Brand and therefore it would never be distributed on GdO, as it was about pearls before swine.

The same thing happened in the following years to follow through XT’s experience with some customers who applied the same market strategies. And I regularly found these brands in the hypermarkets, by motivating with illogical justifications (due to analogous market, old collections, etc.).

My own  introduction to present the topic on the so called PROMO DAY, as promotional activities carried  out in the GdO for a long time but lately increasingly in other sectors.

For too long a time we see promoters on the hypermarkets, who entertain and test the products of their brand; the same goes for the perfumery and cosmetics sectors, investing a lot on small in-store events with great commercial satisfaction.

In these 20 ys of XT path we have had several promotional requests for Companies such as Adidas, Helly Hansen, Gore Tex, etc.; however the demands were connected to the technological content of the products with the aim to inform the consumer about the benefits, make database for offers and launches, in order to inform about the brand and give gadgets and hold close the clients.

Since few years the retailers’ demand turned on another goal, which is a real and tangible support for sales. As often happens, the brands in order to maintain a good relationship with their customers, leaved for increasingly pressing demands of big chains for a sellout pushing support.

The retailers certainly don’t have genius as sellers, but the main problem is connected to insufficient workforce to chase the clients satisfactorily, and above all a keen competition in addition to an offer exceeding the demand.

Awaking that these initiatives are involved to empty the warehouses and enhance the new collections which will be immediately introduced after promo activities.

The positive results in sales are connected to the fact that during these actions, the products are launched with special prices, ad hoc promotions, or gifts. And evidently, this contributes to influence the purchases. We investigated on initiatives and benefits in a double perspective: brand versus retailer and agency versus market. As further proof of fact, I asked for Mr Federico Veneroni (ASICS Marketing Manager) and Dario De Lisi (Co Founder&Creative Director of Centoeventi).

About the questions on brand versus retailer Mr Veneroni answers:

How many promo initiatives, as Money Back or similar, have you done in the past?
In the past, we supported initiatives with Promoters, in a lesser way and exclusively with spot gadgets for customers of the footwear sector. The goal was to have contact with the final customer and enhance the brand awareness without real sellout target.

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Dott. Federico Veneroni

This activity on Money Back project, which involved thorough the European organization, we suggested the Promoter processing on a wider number of stores, in addition to shipment of several specific POPs enable to involve their interest on shopwindows dressing. About specialist stores (eg running specialists), we also invest on shopwindows display, trying to grant a capillary service for technical products, having retailers as target and supply with a continuous update on our novelties.

In addition, we closely work with the final consumer by involving our clients on activities on the territory, such as Shoe Test of our latest collections, or analysis of the posture of the foot through the FOOT ID device.

Which was the initial goal and what did you learn from this project?
During the 2017 we first implemented the Money Back project. An initiative that allows the consumer to buy our footwear inside any authorized ASICS outlet, in order to let them return it after 30 test days and within 60 days from the purchase. Within a selected panel of commercial partners (with a special focus on Cisalfa Group), we forecasted a support for an instore experience enable to tell in the better way this promotion. The stores had only to equip with some advertising material recalling the campaign and social activities, no contributions or charges for the sales point and the benefit for a skilled promoter network.
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What are the replies of your retail partners and final consumers?
Considering the record times with which the initiative has been implemented, we certainly have more positive appearance and satisfaction feedback. The accomplishment of more than 50 promoters a month, the coordination of the activities, the training courses and above all, the respect of ambitious sales targets cannot have been easy. Apart from some unexpected event, everything went right. First of all, the sellout on mostly places was in line with the KPI, this initiative has given us the opportunity to have weekly sold data as well as a real and reliable identikit of our final clients. .

To get a point of view from authorized personnel we asked also Mr De Lisi (Co-Founder&Creative director of Centoeventi), who answered:

Which are the most required activities on your sector about retail?
The retail world is considerably evolving, perhaps for the cultural change towards the consumer, or  for a radical change of the market  and the inclination to the target consumer to which the retail refers.

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Dott. Dario De Lisi

This produced a change on the communication activities and desires that this world and its professional require. There was a migration from mere supply of non-skilled resources for instore promotion to more sophisticated processes of selection and training, inclined not only for the technical details of the products, but also a sharp storytelling, coherent with the values of the brand or of the retailer itself. “STORYTELLING”, “ENGAGEMENT”, “EXPERIENCE” and “BRANDED CONTENT” are the keywords of approaching the store, not only as an exhibition area but a true space where interact and loyal the consumer.
Thence, the ever-growing demand for integrated projects for this place quite dynamic and interactive whenever enable to enhance the brand values within a real experience, moreover technological made by the consumer. Create contents that help to decipher product innovations, video tutorials or ad hoc apps that lead to its discovery and the store. Maybe sometimes enriched by new situations (with gaming dynamics), of entertainments and thematic workshops that captivate and maximize the retail experience. Everything created in order to be shared with the social universe, the platform to arouse a brand awareness and a high brand reputation.

Which are the most clear organizational difficulties in Italy?
First of all, the difficulty to move the resources due to the lack of a homogeneous network among the various centers, especially in Southern Italy and in smaller centers. In addition to the work legislation which certainly doesn’t help, together with bureaucracy and occupation of public land, if in case of outdoor equipment, in some Italian regions, becomes a real nightmare.  

What are your feedback actions on clients or consumers after the in store events?
It is essential! The ROI analysis represents for us a key point for our approach. We define with the customer sharp KPI on which we can value the efficacy and redemption of the business. After each project we communicate with the customer, as to take every feedback, useful to make corrective actions or improvements. The measurement of the performances of the btl activity or the instore promotion available allow to have data for a sharp analysis scattered from various dynamics activating the retail, that could be integrate with the measurement systems adopted by ATL or TV.
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How to identify the perfect promoter?
The role of those who work on selection of HR on field, requires careful ad scrupulous study. The skills go beyond the mere knowledge of the product, on which they will address, including also some cross-softskills, making the resource the important media tool when it becomes the first and true representative of the brand values or more complex or articulated product.

When acquired the customer’s request, it is fundamental to deepen the context, the product, the target and the goals outlined in the brief. This allows to set up a selection process in accordance with the requests in order to get the efficacy of the selected employees. There are some basis rules to refer before starting a selection representing the basics of the research:

  • full availability for the required period
  • knowledge, not only on the field of sales but also directly on the goods on campaign
  • age target directly related with the brand
  • pleasant and neat appearance.

Starting from good basis, the training process and the know how characterizing the agency support the activity. And fundamental is the agency working continually on the field by enriching furtherly its database, keeping its network resource through periodical castings, live or via skype.

by  Paolo ZanardiXT Retail

AN shopfitting magazine no.142 ©


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