During the periods of Corona lockdowns and restrictions, many consumers preferred online shopping. Nevertheless, many online buyers want to see, and experience products such as kitchen appliances live before they buy them. This is precisely a significant opportunity for brick-and-mortar retailers, who need to draw attention to the shopping experience at their local stores – and ideally where they can reach their potential customers digitally. KitchenAid has mastered this challenge with the help of the retail marketing platform socialPALS!
Bernd, please tell us something about yourself and your position at KitchenAid?
For the past three years, I have been responsible for the Trade Marketing of Small Domestic Appliances in Germany and Austria.
You have been using socialPALS since the end of last year to provide your retail partners with high-quality campaign content. Why did you decide to integrate this form of automated retail marketing into your communication concept?
socialPALS offers our small and midsize retailers the opportunity to play out KitchenAid campaigns on social media channels in their regional areas. It allows retailers to do this without in-depth knowledge of online marketing and achieves higher and more accurate reach than traditional advertising.
What challenges do you currently see for KitchenAid as a brand and/or for your retail partners? Have you been able to solve them with the help of socialPALS?
The challenge for KitchenAid is to improve brand awareness and presence in social media, especially in retail. The market mainly obtains information and orientation online, and many purchasing decisions are made there. In contrast, sales are often made in physical stores, so it’s essential that our retail partners draw online and offline attention to themselves.
What was the objective of the "K400 BLENDER" campaign and how much internal effort did you put into launching the first campaign together with socialPALS?
The campaign aimed to make the highly successful K400 Blender and GZG more widely known within retail stores – which we succeeded in doing, as GFK’s market shares show! Compared to traditional advertising, socialPALS was highly efficient and wide-reaching as an intermediary and service provider and was an excellent fit for our target group.
How difficult was it to motivate your retail partners to participate? Is the "online marketing" module accepted as an integration into the sales concept?
All invited retailers participated and gave positive feedback throughout. The effort for the retailer was well manageable even in the year-end phase, and the concept has been positively confirmed. KitchenAid will thus adopt and expand socialPALS as a building block in the 2022 sales concept!
Participation in a socialPALS campaign and thus the playout of the turnkey content calendar is confirmed by each retail partner after one-time registration via 1-Click. Were there also retailers who took a closer look at the platform and e.g. planned (additional) postings or advertising budget themselves?
For some retailers, socialPALS was new, for some it was well-known. Just under half of the retailers planned additional posts manually and were also able to record additional sales for themselves with good numbers.
Were the campaigns successful? Were you able to draw helpful lessons from them - for example, which ad formats were best suited for advertising the product?
Over 3.3 million ad impressions and over 20,000 clicks were generated via Facebook and Google.
Did the "Corona crisis" have a (lasting) impact on the industry, e.g. because shopping in retail stores was temporarily restricted due to lockdown & co. or because customers postponed major purchases such as household appliances indefinitely? Has this also (permanently) changed the requirements for local marketing?
During the lockdowns and also during the phases of the 2G/3G+ regulations, online shopping was preferred by the consumer and generated extraordinary demand. Whether this will continue to develop is yet to be seen, as a large proportion of online buyers want to be able to see and experience the KitchenAid product live. This is a major opportunity for brick-and-mortar retailers, who must offer these experiences. Marketing must take local trends into account, enable in-store and online retailers to present the brand and products in the best possible and relevant way, and inspire potential customers with their ideas to create something special every day.
How do you see the future of store-based retail in the context of major online players' market power, price search engines, etc.? Does the "household appliance retailer around the corner" still have a chance if it invests in digital measures promptly?
An unequivocal YES. Even a small speciality retailer has a legitimate chance to make its customers happy and to hold its own against big online players. To do this, they have to take care of their online presence today because it’s all about the target groups and the necessary address – in other words, about positioning oneself, the brand, and the product. Buying decisions usually don’t occur in the store but far in advance. The key lies in digital media and addressing customers in the respective catchment area and beyond.
Are you already planning more campaigns to support your retail partners?
Yes, the year-end figures via socialPALS were very promising, which is why we will continue down the path with the retail marketing platform, plan new campaigns, and expand the network. The content of the campaigns will be new trend products and compelling service offerings from our brand.
That's what our retailers have to say:
We successfully participated in the “KitchenAid K400 Blender” campaign. The varied image motifs and texts were very well received. The posts are easy to plan and can also be customised on request. If you miss a deadline, socialPALS calls you personally and helps if necessary. All in all, very satisfied. We will continue.
euronicsXXL Johann+Wittmer, Ratingen
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