The slow time of year is the perfect time to dust off your ledger and examine sales trends over the past few seasons. Think outside of the box that says you can only hold a sale during a holiday weekend, and instead really dig into your numbers. When did business need an extra boost? When did it feel like you had an excess of inventory that you were itching to get rid of? These are perfect times to hold sales or events to generate extra revenue and clean out old product.
After you have decided when the sales or events will be held, set reminders for yourself a month before the dates to make sure you are prepared to be fully staffed. The last thing you’ll want during a bustling day is customers waiting too long to be helped. This would also be an ideal opportunity to utilize a line-busting app such as Mobile Live Retail to move sales along quickly and up-sell on the floor. Cut down on pricing mistakes by setting the sale price in your POS system, this way your cashiers do not need to place every individual item in a transaction on sale, as the POS system will do it automatically. This will help reduce human error and make a cleaner, more professional-looking receipt.
Another pitfall to avoid during a big sale or event is being under stocked. You might be surprised by how quickly your shelves clear out, and a half-empty shelf is not as attractive to customers as a fully stocked one. Make sure any additional merchandise you would use to refill the sales floor is easy to access throughout the day. If any re-orders or warehouse transfers are needed beforehand take care of them a few days in advance of the sale. Include items you know you’ll want an excess of in your early-buy, while prices are lower, to keep and store until the sale hits.
Consider purchasing a generic and low priced chemical in bulk during the off season to use as a “loss leader” at sale time. Price your “loss leader” below its market cost and advertise it heavily. This technique will attract customers to your store with the promise of an incredible deal. Once they have been drawn in, they are likely to buy even more than they originally planned and you’ll recoup your costs and make a profit.
Print out or order your sale signage and create an efficient and organized space to store it in your office or warehouse. You can use RB Control Systems Sign Design module quickly make signs for the sale. When the busy season hits you’ll be thankful to have saved yourself a last-minute trip to Kinko’s to place an order for a banner, or have to run out for printer ink. You’ll be happy that you planned ahead and have sleek signage to use to direct your customers to the deals.
What are you doing to get your customers excited for your sale or event? You can’t rely on word-of-mouth alone. Change up your receipt text to alert purchasing customers about the date. To reach customers who aren’t visiting the store often, create and send emails using MailChimp (or any of the other email marketing tools). The Direct Mail Type tab in the customer record in RB Control System allows you to create customer reports and narrow down which customers will receive which emails. If your sale is only on above ground pool chemicals, for example, there’s no reason to contact a customer who only owns a spa. Cutting down on excessive emails and pinpointing the customer base that will find your outreach most important will add value to your message. When a customer receives a message from your company that pertains to them, it won’t end up in the trash bin or worse – marked as spam.
We hope this blog helps to spark creativity when it comes to planning your sales and events in the upcoming year. You have more tools at your fingertips than you realize and we are ready and waiting to help make this your best year yet. In the next blog post, we will discuss best practices with social media and how one awesome review can affect your entire company. Until then… happy selling!