For many retailers and distribution centers, April and May are extremely hectic months. With the changing seasons comes changing demands from your customers. This often requires adding or replacing SKUs to meet these changing demands. From grills to gas lanterns, tiki torches to tents, from sunblock to sun loungers- it’s time to prepare for the seasonal surge.
While UNEX can provide the tools needed to prepare your operation for the summer season, it’s very important to first build a business plan for seasonal events and promotions. We’ve compiled several steps that are valuable to anyone looking to capitalize on the season and prepare their operation for the summer months. These five steps will prepare your business for anything the season can throw at it.
1. Choosing a Supplier
Many businesses have trusted suppliers who are their go-to guys for seasonal merchandise. It’s extremely important to choose a supplier that has a track record of success with your company or others. You don’t just want a supplier who’s going to scrape by and bump up against deadlines to get the job done- you need a supplier who consistently works above and beyond your expectations. Set the bar high, and push it higher each and every year.
2. Outline the Season
What merchandise or event do you wish to promote? What is the scope of the project? Who is the targeted customer? These are all important questions to consider when laying out a seasonal strategy. The GMDC Education Foundation suggests developing a consumer decision tree to evaluate how potential consumers will evaluate merchandise and pull the trigger on a purchase. If you haven’t developed a buyer persona yet, this is a great way to get inside the head of the people who will make or break your seasonal promotions- the customer.
3. Look Backward
Was your previous seasonal promotion a success or a failure? Analyzing your past efforts will dictate what to carry and what to opt out of for the upcoming season. More importantly, analyzing your operation’s productivity and its ability to take on a new seasonal promotion will tell you how to successfully implement your strategy for the season. If productivity at your business could not match demand, you may need to take a more modest approach or consider ways to boost worker productivity.
4. Develop a Plan of Action
This is the moment where your executives, sales, marketing, and production all need to work hand-in-hand to ensure success. Choose your product assortment for the season and develop your pricing plan. This should tie into marketing’s efforts to promote and advertise the seasonal event- you may need new catalogues, brochures, and other sales tools to get the word out on your promotion. Finally, and most importantly…
With the proper plan in place, your seasonal surge will be beautifully executed collaboratively throughout all departments. No matter what your season or event may be, following these steps will help you move those SKUs!