Did you make the most of Valentine’s Day sales?
Or didn’t the customers you love reciprocate?
Maximising sales by taking advantage of seasonal selling is essential. Every business has its special season – for some, it will have been Valentine’s Day, others Easter, Christmas, BBQ season, etc…
Seasonal selling is lucrative, so could be a make or break for some businesses. We’ve all seen how hospitality and retail outlets have been impacted by Covid-19 related Christmas lockdowns – their primary selling season has been wrecked and the consequences for many have been devastating.
So, are you making the most of vital sales opportunities during the year?
Here are five top tips for making the most of seasonal selling opportunities…
Put the date in your diary!
Sounds basic doesn’t it, but the date of your vital selling season needs to be firmly placed in the diary for everyone in your business to see.
Additionally, all associated dates need to be noted. These can include items such as:
- Ordering supplies
- Production dates
- Marketing plan
Also, mark other dates that may impact on your plan. For example, how may the school holidays impact staffing levels – do you need to allow additional time within your plan, or find new/temporary staff to cover?
Plus, are there alternative dates and seasons where you could take advantage of sales that haven’t traditionally been your domain?
Look at national theme days/weeks/months. Consider options for your product or service that you haven’t used before. As an example, a garden furniture business has its big selling season in the summer, but can be used all year round – why not promote it with fire pits and patio heaters for all-year-round celebrations? And are there seasonal celebrations (think the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee) where you could maximise sales?
Firm up the offer
Putting together offers or bundles that cater for your silly season will help increase sales and build customer satisfaction. By offers we’re not intending for you to use loss leaders – we want you to make a profit! But think about how you can make your products and services as attractive as possible. This doesn’t necessarily mean cheaper, but your offer does need to be competitive and compelling. To use the garden furniture business as an example, make the purchase as easy as possible by bundling together all the furniture, cushions and heaters that customers will need to have a great celebration – you could even add blankets. Yes, we appreciate that most of us don’t sell garden furniture but we hope you get where we’re coming from!
Create great campaigns
Once you have the dates and offer firmly embedded into the minds of everyone involved, consider the details of your marketing campaign.
Make sure you are clear on exactly who your target markets are for your seasonal products and services. Ensure you know where you can find them and what types of messages they’ll respond to.
Does your target audience reside on social media – if so, which platform? Or are they more likely to respond to a great email? Or both? If your market is local then traditional marketing routes such as billboards and newspaper ads may be worth considering. But if your market is international explore the marketing channels that work best in each country.
Review past campaigns. What has worked before – and what hasn’t?
If you need new marketing assets in order to refine your branding and messaging, make sure you have suppliers with the skills and availability to carry out the work needed.
A wonderful website is key
Ensuring your seasonal products and services are easily accessible online is vital.
Having a clear online presence is essential for any business that wants to be taken seriously and consumers are losing patience. No longer are sluggish or complicated websites tolerated and browsing times are speeding up. Boring or complex sites don’t hold attention and potential consumers are easily lost.
Make sure your website is optimised so that products and services can be found and your site easily loaded. If you need to add landing pages for specific seasonal promotions – do it! And once on your website provide clear concise messaging, good product detail and an exceptional buying experience. Online shopping baskets are regularly ditched if the purchasing process is clunky.
If your products and services need a lot of explanation it may be worth adding a chat facility to your website – anything that makes the customer experience smoother will help to increase sales. Also consider that different customers will want to email / call / message via social media – be accessible to ALL your potential customers.
Evaluate and improve
Evaluate throughout the journey – before, during and after.
Keeping your eye on the ball at all times is vital for continued success.
Before you begin your seasonal selling plan, evaluate past experiences. What has worked, what hasn’t and what have you learnt along the way? As we all know, within any business the goalposts (and the pitch) are constantly moving. What worked one year may not work the next. But it’s always worth taking a cold hard look at past successes and failures.
During the buildup ensure your supplies are on schedule, your marketing campaign is working and staffing levels are adequate. Yes, you may need to adjust your plan as you go, but better that than carry on regardless.
Finally, once your seasonal selling is complete, take a moment to reflect. If your campaign has gone as well as predicted you’ll probably feel the need for a good rest, but it’s worth keeping your head off the pillow for a while longer. Did you achieve the sales predicted? Whatever the results, take time to assess. If there were opportunities to make more sales but stocks didn’t allow, decide whether you’re in the position to grow? If you didn’t achieve the results you needed, what can you change next time? Talk to Sparkstone.