A product demonstration or demo, in short, is a kind of promotion for the potential customers and prospects in order to achieve the sale. The primary goal of product demonstration is to get the customer like the product and make the purchase faster.
The demos may be of upcoming products, recently launched products or even existing products. The product demonstration may consist of showing the product virtually or in person, to show the nature of working or helping the customer or small size of customers to temporarily experience the product for free of cost.
Importance of Product Demonstration :
- It helps in to realize the sale faster by making the customer experience the product
- The customer can experience and have a look and/or feel to the product and if it suits the wants of the customer
- Tackling user problems is easier during a demo and effective problem solving helps in confirming the sale
- Helps the company in promoting the brand and helps the customers in brand recall
Types of Product Demonstrations :
There are several types of demonstrations available that change industry to industry. The variable here is the nature of the product and customers. Following are a few types of Product demonstrations:
1) In-Store Product demos
This type of demonstrations are carried out in the official store or the outlet of the company. Usually, FMCG products, household requirements, personal care, food or beverages fall under in-store demonstrations. The customer can experience the products physically. Depending on the nature of the product, user experience may vary.
For example, a demo of a deodorant will involve few sprays while the demo of newly launched juice will involve sample taste of the product. If the product is digital, then a working sample and replicas are kept in order for the customer to experience it fully. For example, demos of Xbox and mobile phones. Apple has always used in-store product demos and they believe this system is more impactful than any other method.
2) In-home Product demonstrations
These product demonstrations are given for home care products and pharmaceutical products by door-to-door salespeople. This is much laborious compared to the earlier demonstrations since it requires carrying, assembling, dissembling and repeating the cycle for the customer. In-home demonstrations are costlier for the companies and hence they are given for high margin products or niche products.
3) Trade Shows
Trade shows are commonplace for all kinds of similar products where they are put on display for the audience. A common hall or ground is booked and every company in the industry is invited to set up their stalls or store. Here the targeted audience can come and experience in-store feel for the products. This can be considered as a sort of group of in-store demonstrations by companies. The advantage for customers is that they can head to head comparison immediately and side by side.
Fairs are similar to trade shows except they are carried out on a smaller scale and not every company participates in it.
Any sort of display of product in any media is considered as a product demonstration. Demonstration in this category is virtual and the customer cannot feel the product physically. Print ads, Newspaper ads, video ads, television ads, infomercials, social media ads are few types of advertisements that can be considered a product demonstration.
Certain product demonstrations like water purifier require roadshows wherein the company reps can show the working of the purifier by filtering any roadside water. This also shows the effectiveness of the product and efficiency. Usually, roadshows are carried out for awareness of a certain product or as a part of a campaign.
Advantages of Product Demonstration :
1) Faster Conversion
The touch and feel of the products can help in the faster conversion of the customers. A proper product demonstration will help create the wow factor in the minds of the prospects and at times create a need to buy the product. Demonstrations make the products more tempting for the customers. It goes without saying that it entirely depends on the quality of the product.
2) Improves Brand image
Product demonstrations help the company to improve the brand image and build the brand image for the product. This can be favorable for the startups wherein if they are able to develop a superior product, the product sells itself. People see the stores, banners, ads, listen and see the advertisements and the population which was unaware of the product and company will become aware. This is excellent in terms of brand recall.
3) Increased Interaction
In the case of trade shows, product demonstrations at one place help a large group of companies to bring their products and showcase them to the customers at one time. This offers convenience to customers since they find everything under one roof as well as to the companies since they don’t have to go door-to-door for customers. Many prospects and leads are found in the trade shows.
4) Product Insight
Giving constant and regular demonstrations for the customers can instill salespeople with confidence in the product and its technology and they can further convince the potential customers about the same without glitches. Product demonstrations also equip sales people with excellent technical knowledge regarding the product and its quality.
Disadvantages of Product demonstration :
1) Increase in Cost
The most common disadvantage faced by almost every company is an increase in cost. Product demonstrations in the store require the product to be physically present. This means the company has to have a separate quota for a demonstration which will not yield business.
Products like detergents or food products need to sample to the customer as a part of product demonstrations. The additional cost is incurred by the company and can be inconvenient in case of large and costly products.
2) Investment of time in wrong prospects
Since the product demonstrations are free of cost, it is an open invitation for everyone to try out and take a feel of the product. This includes prospects as well as the lurkers who never buy the products but always take demonstrations, which in turn results in usage of the company’s resources to no avail. Sifting the entire list of people and removing the lurkers, cold leads or non-customers is a long job for company representatives.
It would involve follow-ups, a detailed discussion of the product with the prospect, clearing doubts and finally realizing the sale. In case of lurkers and non-customers who show an interest in the product but unwilling to buy, the company may waste a lot of resources and incur significant costs as well as loss of time.