feature: refrigeration

unloaded into the fridge. “New technology is also

making its way to chest freezers. Hoover’s latest models now incorporate interactive displays and compatibility the Hoover Wizard App. This allows consumers to record the freezer contents, keep an eye on dates, receive hints and tips on food storage and access troubleshooting advice. The side-by-side market is pushing technology boundaries the most within refrigeration.” Clearly consumers are more

savvy now than ever before, so how can retailers tap into this market and drive growth in their sales operations? David Palmer, Product Specialist Home Appliances at LG Electronics, offers this advice. “LG believes in-store presentation and demonstrations are critical in bringing to life the latest technology and design features for consumers. At a time where the ‘Smart Home’ is gaining focus with the likes of NFC tagging and Smart Diagnosis, the retail floor becomes a vital space for teaching consumers by means of demonstration. “With freestanding products, consumers are

able to view products with ease and therefore make easier comparisons between products. This is of course much more difficult with built-in products, which are presented hidden behind cabinetry. “It is also essential that retailers understand the benefits that LG’s innovative technology and design offer customers. In-store demonstrations and detailed online descriptions bring key features to life and offer consumers a really comprehensive guide to the products. To help consumers visualise LG’s technologies, cut-away demonstration products are provided for in-store use that allow customers to see the inside workings of the machine and help explain the key benefits of the technologies within. What’s more, we recommend that retailers use the LG Lounge to empower and develop their staff. The LG Lounge, launched in 2013, has taken the training of staff beyond conventional classrooms and scheduled sessions with a training app that is accessible to all employees via a smartphone or tablet. It grants the user access to a whole library of training modules, specific product information and the chance to win prizes by demonstrating what they’ve learnt, keeping staff up to date and engaged with the latest product information. In addition

to the online training, LG’s training team visit all retailers to offer face-to-face training for any newly launched products. Such frequent visits also give the training team an opportunity to update displays, deliver POS material and literature and ensures retailers are up to date with all product information, as display compliance is integral to allow product interaction.” Neil Pooley believes an

informed salesforce is key. “Be as informed as possible. Every customer has a different priority when buying a new cooling device – for some it will always be price, but increasingly consumers are more aware about the impact major appliances have on the planet and want to

understand a product’s eco credentials. Make sure you know them – be able to explain the benefits of spending more on an appliance that has been made using mostly sustainable materials, the lower running cost of energy consumption, know specifically how food will last longer to reduce waste and save money. Be able to explain how it does it. Miele offers an award-winning training programme for its retail partners which explains all benefits and points of difference to help inform and give sales advisors complete confidence in selling its products. When it comes to displaying in store – we have found that it is beneficial to use active models with faux ingredients to help demonstrate and educate where the different food types should be stored for ensuring

maximum freshness and longevity. Position yourselves as real experts and authorities in this area to set yourselves apart from your competitors – offer real value with your advice to ensure your customers feel they are doing the right thing for both their own pocket and the environment.” Catherine Balderson believes in the personal,

face to face nature of in-store retail. “It is essential for retailers to be seen as a destination for inspiration, knowledge, advice and excellent service. Relevant displays and product demonstrations are vital for retailers so they may engage the consumer, and explain why the appliance is relevant to them, to help the consumer understand the appliance better. “For retailers it is an opportunity to find out what their customer is looking for in their new refrigeration appliance; ask them what they love about their current appliance and what would be top of their wish list, if money was no object. This gives retailers the perfect opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and expertise and gives the chance of trading-up to the latest technology, which will suit the individual needs of the customer. “If possible, have an appliance plugged in so

you can show, tell and explain the technologies that can help the customer make a more informed decision. Online sales do not allow for the customer to interact directly with the appliance, which provides a huge advantage and opportunity to the independent retailer. “Other suggestions to help independent

retailers include: • Ensure the appliance is showcased beautifully, if you have the room. It encourages customers to open the door to see what’s inside and engage with the appliance

• Refrigeration appliances can be a very sterile, if it is not working or dressed. Try to plug in the appliance to at least get the lighting operational. Dress the refrigerator with empty milk containers, food cartons and boxes, which show how well the interior design works, how flexible and how it may be customised

• Make sure all your staff are trained by the manufacturer – either via an online portal or by taking the opportunity to visit the manufacturer’s showroom. Hotpoint has an E-Learning platform and a superb Showcase for retailers to see and learn all about the brand. Otherwise, take up the opportunity and get the manufacturer’s training team to visit your showroom to bring your team up to date. “This will pay dividends with the enthusiasm it will generate for your staff, and even help them trade consumers up to the next level – which is always good for business.”

20 | February/March 2020

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