Virtual Gaffer out to boost Tetley’s sales

Tetley's Virtual Gaffer

Tetley has unveiled what it says is another first for the tea industry with the appointment of a virtual sales assistant who will begin work for them in selected Cash & Carry and Wholesalers from next week. The first application goes live in Bestway on 1st December.

Featuring an attention-grabbing animated Gaffer, the new assistant uses the latest technology to attract buyers and point them to the offers to be found in the tea aisle.

“The development is part of our programme to create a sense of theatre at point of purchase and stimulate interest in tea,” said Andrew Pearl, Director and Customer and Shopper Marketing for Tetley.

“An in-built sensor tells Gaffer when he is on his own so he can call out to passers-by to get them to come over and look at the current tea offers he has on his iPad. A number of different scripts have been developed for him and we can manage these remotely to ensure that he is as up to the minute as possible.”

The Virtual Gaffer will be sited in selected Cash & Carry initially with further roll out planned for the grocery environment in due course.

“We shall monitor the impact of the new assistant on tea sales and use this to develop further applications,” added Pearl. “The technology has been proven to increase unit sales by 75% and dwell times by 50%, so when you add to this the appeal and recognition that Gaffer has, you get a powerful marketing tool.”

The investment in Virtual Gaffer forms part of a wider programme of activity in Cash & Carry and retail environments to stimulate growth in the tea market. Tetley is developing a number of initiatives to enhance shopper engagement with tea and is looking to work with a number of customers on specific activities in the coming year.