Many retailer’s years are made or broken during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, and while these spikes of activity don’t hold as true for grocers (people need to eat, right?) it’s still pretty clear that seasonal products are key to our market. After all, is 4th of July really that special unless you’re grilling hamburgers and hot dogs? Try to imagine Thanksgiving without turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce… I could go on all day. The point is that by taking advantage of seasonal trends, you can see a significant spike in profitability that can affect your whole year. So without further ado, here are my 3 tips for increasing seasonal sales.
Order Smart- As a store owner, you’re the expert on what sells and when. But when you are two months out from a holiday and it’s time to begin placing orders with vendors, the key question becomes “How much?” This is why having a grocery POS system that can track product sale history and trends is so important. Instead of taking a shot in the dark and hoping that you hit the right ballpark, call up last year’s numbers and base your order on them, adding 5% for business growth (hey, we are all optimists, right?)
Increase Scarcity- Another way you can max out profits is by leveraging seasonality in the first place. My favorite example of this is McDonald’s and that oh-so-delicious McRib. I mean, the sandwich is great, but how many times can it come back!? They get people excited about this product by limiting its availability, ensuring that demand remains high. You can do the same thing for products in your store. Pick products that seem to have cycles of demand and advertise them as “back” during the high sales cycles, then don’t stock them during the low cycles. Watch the sales roll in!
Engage Your Customers- My last tip: it’s pretty clear that we live in an age of unprecedented customer engagement and involvement. FiveStars performed a research study and found that while 20% of customers can be considered “loyal,” they drive up to 80% of your total business. People want to feel like they have a personal connection with brands, and this even extends to where they buy their groceries. When you get seasonal products into your store, check your grocery POS and see who bought these products in the past. Send them an email or tweet, letting them know that you have the product back in stock and that they should come by for a discount! Customer engagements like these will drive brand loyalty through the roof and ensure increased success for years to come.
What has your experience been with selling seasonal products in your store? Comment below; I’d love to hear your stories!
Also if you are in the market for a grocery point of sale system that will empower you to take these actions, check out Retail NEXT today!
Author: Luke Henry
Luke Henry is a Project Manager of Retail Next – a cloud-based POS solution for specialty grocers. He has over 10 years of experience in the grocery POS space and is committed to delivering solutions that enable independent grocers across the world to compete against the grocery conglomerates.