Retail in-store product demonstrators showcase featured products and allow consumers to sample or view the products. These demonstrations are typically performed at supermarkets, department stores, discount clubs, and hypermarkets with items including food, cleaning products, and personal care goods.
Product demonstrators may be independent contractors, employees of a store, or representatives of product manufacturers. By engaging consumers in looking at and sampling products, in-store product demonstrators contribute to retail sales and enhance the retail shopping experience for customers.
As a retail in-store product demonstrator, you will be communicating directly with customers in a marketing and public relations capacity. By showcasing the benefits, value, and usefulness of certain products, you will make them desirable to potential customers and boost sales at a retail store by facilitating in-store demonstrations. Positive persuasion is needed to generate interest which gives customers an incentive to buy the products being promoted.
Three primary areas of responsibility for retail in-store product demonstrators are product promotion, customer interaction, product preparation, and communication.
In-store product demonstrators must have excellent verbal and non-verbal communication skills in order to effectively communicate with customers individually and in groups. They must also be clear and succinct in their communications and provide potential customers with a detailed picture of a product in a short amount of time.
Customer Interaction Responsibilities
To be successful, an in-store demonstrator must be able to establish a quick rapport with a wide variety of people and communicate in a style that is likable, relatable, and persuasive. The best in-store demonstrators are well-spoken, energetic, and intuitive about the desires and needs of the average consumer. They must be respectful and have a pleasing personality when interacting with customers at all times.
While all retail in-store product demonstrators are responsible for informing consumers about the positive attributes of a product, some in-store demonstrators are also responsible for sales of the items.
Product Preparation Responsibilities
Certain in-store demonstration products are ready to use. Other products, like food items, need to be prepared as part of the in-store demonstration. In-store product demonstrators in grocery stores often prepare food on a hot plate or other cooking device and allow shoppers to taste the finished food products.
Some non-food products demonstrated in other types of retail stores need to be assembled, or have their functions demonstrated. Staging is sometimes a part of demonstration and in-store product demonstrators are often responsible for creating and assembling workstations and product displays.
Retail in-store product demonstrators sometimes need no prior experience. But when the demonstration of a product requires specific expertise, the in-store product demonstrators must hands-on experts, with product experience or training. Prior experience in a position with direct customer contact is extremely desirable for in-store product demonstrators.
Employers will favor applicants with prior experience in customer service, sales, communication, teaching, and retailing. Retail grocery demonstrators may need to have cooking and food handling experience.
In-store product demonstrators are expected to be professional and articulate and be an ambassador of the product, the brand, and the retail stores in which they are working, whether they are hired and paid by the store or not. Patience, enthusiasm, and energy are important qualities for retail in-store product demonstrators. You may be communicating the same information hundreds of times in a typical shift, but you must be able to keep your communications fresh and sharp for each potential customer.
Retail grocery in-store demonstrators may need prior experience with food handling and sanitation.
Retail in-store product demonstrators must be prepared to travel, drive, and engage in considerable physical activity. You must be able to stand on your feet for long periods of time, lift and move products, and use products or cook food as appropriate for the demonstration.
The use of proper safety practices when handling the products and/or cooking is essential.
While a specific education is often not required for retail in-store product demonstrators, applicants with a degree in marketing, business, public relations, or education are often favored.
Salary, Compensation, Pay, and Benefits
The most basic entry-level retail in-store product demonstrators positions are generally classified as part-time hourly positions which pay at least $10 per hour. Highly specialized, and experienced expert product demonstrators may make a salary that is considerably more, depending on the level of expertise needed.
Some in-store product demonstrator positions may also be paid a commission or sales bonus in addition to their hourly wages or salary.
Some retail in-store product demonstrators may also receive free products or product discounts from the product manufacturer or retail store.