STEIN forecast for 2017: the POS is alive and well!

The Hamburg POS agency STEIN has completed the year on a successful note with a turnover of 20 million Euros and urges the industry to focus on the Shopper more consistently. Those who continue to think in terms of brands rather than categories will lose out on the store shelves.

Review of 2016 – New clients & many awards

STEIN, one of the 50 most successful owner-managed agencies in Germany with an annual turnover of almost 20 million Euros, looks back on a positive business year in 2016. Its clear positioning as a POS-expert is paying off, and with its almost 50 years of experience at the POS, the Hamburg agency managed to acquire several new clients.

The most well-known new clients include: AIDA, Boehringer Ingelheim, Nielsen and Bahlsen. But many existing clients have also been working in close collaboration with STEIN for several years and continue to profit from their expertise. These include Dyson, Nespresso, Carlsberg, Hewlett Packard and Panasonic.

The commitment of the more than 90 employees was rewarded with seven of the highly coveted POSMA trophies. This made STEIN one of the two most award-winning agencies in this year’s contest.

But the start of the year is also the right time to start looking ahead. Three questions for Lars Roisch, Managing Director of STEIN, about trends and opportunities in 2017:

1 – Which trends should we pay more attention to as an industry?

To me, two topics are predominant: we must work in an even more shopper-oriented manner and focus on the consumer. This means investing more in Shopper Insights. We already understand brands and retailers because we have been observing and analysing them for years. However, our knowledge about Shoppers is still only scratching the surface. While other insights such as research on advertising impact have received a lot of attention and there is plenty of data available, not enough has been invested in Shopper research.

We also have to think in terms of categories more intensively. It’s no longer about increasing sales of individual products, but about expanding the category. The sales turnover will only grow for retailers if all brands grow.

2 – Which technologies will revolutionise the world of POS in your opinion?

The biggest technologies are certainly VR and AR. But both are currently still too dependent on devices and Apps, which limits their implementation. The challenge for all technologies is to create relevance in the Customer Journey. Other products will only disappear from a Shopper’s field of attention if one specific product accompanies him or her throughout the entire Customer Journey. And this is where technology can help increase relevance at the POS. One example is Location Based Marketing. This is the right path to take – local offers and discounts are sent directly to the Shopper’s smartphone. This provides the Shopper with a real added value, which not only builds customer loyalty but also generates a lot of insights about the Shopper.

3 – What opportunities do clients and agencies have to further develop the POS into a lively environment for the marketing strategy?

The POS is alive and well! It is of invaluable importance to Shoppers and retailers alike. We must succeed in making the connection to the brand clear on the shelves, too. Last but not least, this is also underlined by the pricing.

We must aim to respond to the needs of Shoppers even more and to offer them a shopping experience that exceeds their expectations. In order for this to happen, there must be a seamless transition of online and offline shopping. This is the only way we can offer the Shopper a solution to the problem of wanting to be able to get everything anywhere instantly.

4 – From the point of view of an expert, what is the challenge at the POS?

The POS is a complex area, which has an extremely strong influence on brand development and sales. Those who want to win on the shelves in stores will have to successfully align all levels of the Customer Journey – from Brand Activation to Sell-In to Sell-Out.