Visual merchandising has a clear and positive effect on tobacco retail sales. Clear pricing, well-stocked shelves, simple displays, and prominent sale signs can help drive profits while improving the shopping experience for customers. However, since each tobacco company has thousands of sales points, it is quite difficult to achieve a perfect product layout in each of them, as well as to check the effectiveness of planograms. Virtual and Augmented Reality helps to solve this problem easily. How exactly? Read in our new article.
Nowadays the total cost of retail merchandising commands an impressive 85% of $15 billion spent in promoting cigarettes in the US. According to CDC, in 2018 promotional allowances paid to cigarette retailers, such as payments for stocking, shelving, displaying, and merchandising particular brands was $180.3 million. We can assume that the major part of this budget was spent on the creation of stands with tobacco products for their maintenance and management, as they are the main tool for advertising and promotion of such goods.
However, with Virtual and Augmented Reality merchandising and product shelving can be more effective. In particular, thanks to these immersive technologies, it is possible to test and significantly improve the efficiency of planograms, as well as completely replace the manuals for shelving and displaying goods for merchandisers and employees of purchase points. Let’s learn more about each of the options below.
For Tobacco Promotional Displays Creation
Placing of cigarettes and other tobacco products on POS shelves directly affects the number of purchases, so this part of the product marketing campaign should be considered very carefully. Marketers usually use planograms for merchandising planning. However, such planograms usually remain schematic and do not allow to see the tobacco displays or promotional displays in a real point of sales at the development stage. Nevertheless, there is a solution that allows immersing into the process of creating a planogram – Virtual and Augmented Reality.
Thanks to VR and AR, marketers and merchandisers can create three-dimensional shelves and immediately see how they will look in a particular POS from different angles. They will be even able to choose between different types of virtual shelves and see how they would fit a tobacco zone. Such a designing approach allows marketers and sales reps to create the most efficient shopping experience.
POS Merchandising Tool
Planograms design is an important and fundamental stage for each marketing cycle. It is especially true for the tobacco industry, as tobacco products advertisement is strongly regulated. Therefore, it is very important to ensure the correct facing items per SKU and tobacco products sequence according to planograms at points of sale. Quite often, traditional printed materials are used for this purpose. However, manuals often change or can be lost at point of sales. An alternative to printed planograms can be a mobile Augmented Reality application that would be flexible to changes as well as easy to use for both merchandisers and POS employees.
This application takes into account all types of promotional stands/displays/showcases and contains “cells” where you can place cigarettes and other tobacco products. Besides, having such an application, merchandisers and POS employees will be able to conveniently and comfortably manage the displaying of tobacco products on shelves and stands. All they need is to have the application installed, open it, and point it on the shelf. The AR system recognizes the shelf from any angle and shows exactly which products should be placed in a particular cell. As a result, POS employees have specific visual instructions on how to place goods, and merchandisers can easily check whether the goods are displayed correctly.
Marketers can change planograms in the app each marketing cycle. This information will automatically synchronize with the app, so it is always up-to-date.
What Are Your Next Steps?
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Smart Tek team specializes in software solutions for the FMCG industry. Our experts will determine the right combination of technologies for your project as well as provide you with various services including VR/AR applications design, development, and 3D modeling.
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