As we are constantly being reminded, technology is an ever-growing force in today’s society. Everything from the way we interact with peers to how we do business has been affected by the digital revolution and this is as true for builders’ merchants as it is for anyone.
Whereas once merchants would consult technical brochures and datasheets to research building materials, nowadays technology has rendered these traditional methods outdated and hard copy material is a rarity.
Therefore, it is perhaps unsurprising that many people have begun to question the importance of ‘point-of-Sale’ (POS) information, as it is easy to presume that customers can find out everything they need to know via the smartphones or tablets that have become so pivotal to today’s lifestyle.
However, this is a misconception. For builders’ merchants across the country, POS is still an extremely useful tool for educating their customers. This is because POS displays are a very effective way of informing people about new product developments that could bring significant benefits to customers.
So, what makes this a successful way of informing people about a product? The key is in the way that the information is presented. Effective POS displays relay details in a clear and concise way. These visual displays are a welcome change from having to scroll through page after page of text that has been squeezed onto a small screen; the visual impact of good POS material should never be underestimated.
An example that demonstrates how effective well-executed POS can be is the way that weatherproof packed cement products are displayed. The unique selling point (USP) for these products is that they no longer need to be kept indoors to protect them from the elements – so this point can be clearly emphasised by positioning them outside in clear daylight. While customers can of course read about this and learn about the new product in another way, letting them see it for themselves is a great way to catch their attention.
Furthermore, this ‘silent salesman’ – as many retailers like to label it – also helps with product training for merchant’s staff and provides them with clear and simple information, which subsequently allows them to be as helpful and authoritative as possible when customers have any questions.
It is clear that PoS still offers a range of benefits and should therefore continue to be a key part of promotional planning.
Dr Bill Price is national commercial technical manager at Tarmac Cement.