As shopping patterns change during the pandemic, lotteries are looking for new ways to present their products at retail. Social distancing and touchless transactions require new strategies.
Schafer Systems is working closely with their lottery customers. “Many individuals and companies are trying to cope with the loss of income and jobs,” said Teresa Immel, Senior Director Sales & Marketing, Schafer Systems. “Lotteries have been working hard to keep their products stocked at retail through creative delivery methods and open communication with retailers.”
“When instant ticket sales skyrocketed, I believe the focus was to keep tickets in stock and refreshed with new games,” said Immel. “New game roll outs were delayed and new ways to merchandise were put on hold in many cases,” said Immel.
Since lotteries did not have sales representatives in the field for nearly three months, many planned ticket dispenser and retail merchandising installations were postponed or cancelled. “This time proved to be very difficult for lotteries, retailers and vendors of products sold at retail. We learned from our clients that sales representatives were spending no or very little time in the field as a precautionary measure to the virus. Therefore, instant tickets were delivered to continue sales, but the refresh and replacements of merchandising items pretty much came to a halt,” said Immel.
But this is beginning to change. “Sales of lottery dispensers and displays are slowly starting to rebound. It’s time to adjust to the next ‘normal’ and focus on getting the customers’ attention for lottery products. We received some sizable orders in the last month,” explained Shay Wahl, Sales & Marketing Manager, Schafer Systems.
For instance, the Ticket Menu Boards are Schafer Systems’ most popular item in 2020. “Our line of Ticket Menu Boards is increasingly in demand among retailers and lotteries and we believe this product will grow with social distancing in place,” said Immel. “It’s even more important now for customers to see the ticket offering before they get to the check out and not take time to look down into a counter to make choices.”
In addition, Schafer Systems’ on-counter vertical displays give retailers options for displaying multiple game sizes. “The versatility and customized configurations of our on-counter vertical displays, such as the Modular Mini® stacks and Ticket Menu Boards, help retailers showcase their lottery games with limited counter space and still ensure customers follow social distancing protocols,” noted Wahl.
As to what lies ahead, Immel noted that “Schafer continues to work aggressively on innovative products. In a time where there is a lot of change in the world, we are excited to be able to work with lotteries to develop customized products and offer new products to sell lottery in untapped markets.”
Lottery has proven itself a resilient partner to retailers; surging instant ticket sales have generated important income for some retailers, allowing them to remain open and viable. With retailers’ sharpened awareness of the importance of lottery overall, this is the optimal time for the industry to actively consult with retailers to ensure that merchandising tactics are designed to facilitate social distancing and are also expanding the lottery footprint within their stores.