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Nationwide Intros Info-Pad Program

March 5, 2013 By Nancy Klosek
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Nationwide Marketing Group is launching a retail initiative designed to turn the practice of consumer showrooming on its head. At its PrimeTime! Convention at The Sands Convention Center at Las Vegas’s Venetian this week, it presented membership with the option of signing onto what it is calling its Info-Pad program.

The sales execution strategy, described by senior vice president of appliances Jeff Knock as a catalyst to the just-launched Answers campaign designed to make training, sales and marketing assets available to the group, is intended for deployment to every appliance, CE and furniture dealer.

Through the program, Nationwide will make available for well under $200 each a 10-inch Toshiba Excite tablet device, pre-loaded at the group’s Primedia Atlanta facility with necessary software, including that of the group’s web data suppliers CMIC Data and RetailDeck, and a variety of data including infomercials, marketing assets, HD commercials, and product demos that will provide retail floor sales personnel with everything needed to keep a customer “from walking away from the salesfloor and going home to shop online,” said Knock.  The software will also run on Apple’s iPad.

Product comparisons and product and competitor reviews will be instantly viewable on the sales floor without the sales associate ever having to leave a potential customer’s side. “They’ll be able to go straight to social, demonstrate features and benefits, and even price-shop,” Knock added.  It can also be tied into a company’s POS system, and is updatable on a day-to-day basis, added Dave Bilas, executive vice president.

The initiative is being underwritten by what CEO Robert Weisner termed a “partnering allowance” by a number of the group’s electronics, appliance and furniture vendors who are making it possible to offer the program to members at a reduced price. “We want to have one in every storefront in America,” he said.

Reception from dealers so far to the concept has been “off the ranch,” according to Knock, who added that “we are expecting a couple of thousand people to sign on here—a high level of initial participation.”

The initiative was one in a series presented by the group under the exhibition theme “Solutions: Blueprint for Success,” to its largest contingent of attendees ever: nearly 5,000 vendors and independent retailers that, this show, included members from both the newly allied Cantrex Nationwide Canada-based group and the NECO Alliance. The show occupied 325,000 square feet of exhibit space – up from 200,000 square feet last year, and hosted 185 vendors.

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