Suppliers’ product presentation and background information

This bulletin has an updated overview on the guidelines for the co-operation between suppliers and Alko shop personnel.

In addition, the rules for presenting products as well as adding marketing information and sharing brochures and news has been elaborated. These guidelines and rules can still be updated during 2019 based on experiences and feedback.

The supplier has four ways to present products for Alko shop personnel:

1. Product-specific marketing information in Alko’s Taste Deposit

2. Supplier’s news, information and brochures

3. Training collaboration

4. Suppliers’ product fairs

These communication ways are replacing in-store meetings between supplier and Alko shop personnel from on year 2019.

1. Product-specific marketing information in Alko’s Taste Deposit

The marketing information is released on Alko’s Taste Deposit -application for internal use for Alko's personnel to support high quality customer service and development of shop-based selection. The marketing information should especially concentrate on summarizing the USP (Unique Selling Proposition) for the product with the relevant additional information and stories (of product, producer or manufacturing) that are creating an important entity for the customer.

The product-specific information can be written with the maximum length of 500 characters in the field of additional product information. Any links and videos etc. can be added to the information field. The maintenance of additional product information is supplier’s responsibility, and the information can be constantly updated in the Partner Network. It is also possible to send updated additional information by e-mail to the address mentioned below. Updating the additional information is particularly important when the vintage of the wine is changing.

Product-specific marketing information should concentrate on these aspects:

  • What would you like to tell of this product for customers and personnel?

  • Which are the selling propositions in customer service situation?

  • For example, origin classification, raw materials, grapes and used spices, product’s manufacturing (maturation, barrels), estimation of life cycle, use methods and traditions or information on producer or production area.

  • Consumers are interested in stories that are related to the product and/or producer.

Please note that Alko will, if necessary, modify the texts to ensure equal product communication.

Guidance for adding the marketing information:

  • A new announcement is sent for new general and sale-to-order products when additional information can be entered either in the Partner Network or by email marketing@alko.fi, if there is no access to the Partner Network. 

  • For products already in the selection, additional information can be notified in the Partner Network Marketing Information / All Products -section or by email marketing@alko.fi, if there is no access to the Partner Network.

  • Please do not copy and paste the information text direct from e.g. product’s webpages without editing. Unnecessary formats and line changes will be copied to the field with the text. 

  • Please notice the correct spelling and check of spelling mistakes.

2. Supplier’s news, information and brochures

As a rule, the Alko Yammer functions as the main supplier information channel for the shops. News, information and e-brochures sent by the suppliers are published on Alko’s Yammer group.

Supplier’s communication is sent to the following email address: tavarantoimittajatiedotteet@alko.fi

Information published via Alko Yammer is available for the benefit of the entire retail staff. The information is wished to inform which things make the product special. The information can include links to supplier’s webpages. Shop personnel is also able to watch videos via Yammer group. Attachments are hoped to be in pdf form.

To make search function easier different hashtags are used on Yammer. The hashtags can be used also for a specific area. The list of hashtags will be released on webpages and the list is updated when needed, regarding e.g. new special display themes. Here is the list of used hashtags:

As there is a centralized information channel for the shops to use, suppliers are allowed to send separate product-specific brochures by email straight to shops four times per year preferably regularly during the year. Any general newsletters cannot be sent to Alko shops’ emails. Alko shops’ email addresses can be found in a contact information report on Alko Extranet portal. The product-specific brochures on paper can be sent by post mail to Alko shops when needed.

3. Training collaboration

Alko has its own training system for Alko shop personnel. In the trainings shop personnel gets education of products by tasting them professionally. In order to keep to fairness principles, shop personnel will not accept any promotional products from suppliers.

Supplier can arrange a professional training event for Alko shop personnel with a permission from Alko. During the event, the supplier will have the opportunity to present information which gives additional value to the personnel’s customer service. Shop personnel will not accept any promotional or other gifts or supplier’s products.

Training collaboration rules for organizing events and inviting Alko shop personnel:

1. All events arranged in any part of Finland need to be agreed with Alko’s Products and Purchasing department

  • Supplier can send the invitation straight to the relevant shops. The invitation must include a statement that the event has a permission from Alko. The training is arranged with Purchasing Coordinators via email (tavarantoimittajatilaisuudet@alko.fi) or by calling to service phone (+358 20 711 5885, available weekdays from 9 am - 5 pm).

  • Alko will inform Alko’s internal network about the training events. Hence all Alko shop personnel have a possibility to participate in the event.

2. Training event times must be scheduled from Monday to Thursday, not on weekends.

3. The organizer of the event is responsible to organize everything including making and managing invitations.

4. The trainings can be:

  • Nationwide tours organized specifically for Alko

  • Separate training events e.g. client visits organized specifically for Alko

  • Training events open also for other professionals.

5. The inviting organization is responsible for all costs of the event.

  • The participation to the events is voluntary for Alko personnel. The participation is not working hours for Alko shop personnel. Alko shop personnel will keep to good practice as determined by society as well as Alko’s business principles at all times.

4. Suppliers’ product fairs

The suppliers’ product fair is an event where suppliers are responsible for presenting products and Alko personnel is participant.

The suppliers’ product fairs are organized in a place reserved by Alko. Alko will organize glasses for tasting, tables and cleaning of the room.

Suppliers are responsible for drinks, spittoons and other needed supplementary material (e.g. brochures). The suppliers also need to add marketing information of presented products into Taste deposit before the event. The presented and tasted products must be on Alko’s selection or have a listing date within next six weeks. The presented products are hoped to be focused on topical products and novelties. Making and tasting of mixed drinks/cocktails is possible in the product fairs. Food cannot be served in the event.

Alko has previously organized its own open-door events (where personnel have a possibility to visit and taste novelties as well as topical products in one hour) in Alko’s regions. The open-door events are partly meant to be replaced with the suppliers’ product fair. The fairs will be from 09.30 to 16.30, and during this time the Shop Assortment Experts will participate in the fairs with 3 to 4 working hours (depending on number of presenters) and other personnel have a possibility to participate for one hour.

The invitation for suppliers’ product fairs is published always separately on Alko’s For suppliers webpages. The invitation includes a link for a binding registration for the event.