Believe it or not, warm weather is just around the corner — is your sales team ready for the spring rush?
As any Canadian retailer knows, there’s a moment between seasons in Canada where the weather changes on a dime — going from hot to cold or cold to hot seemingly overnight. Both bring different consumer behaviour and drive purchases in different ways. But with spring in our sights, we’re focusing on the cold-to-hot transition. The first warm day can be a retailer’s dream — or nightmare if your sales team isn’t prepared.
After a long, cold Canadian winter, many consumers are chomping at the bit to start on their favourite spring pastime: gardening. Fresh flowers, mulch, seeds, and horticultural supplies are all in hot (pun intended) demand. But it can be hard to predict when the change is going to happen. So how can you prepare?
Here are our best sales strategy tips for preparing for the unpredictable:
- Stock the non-perishable items early
Plan ahead to get your spring merchandise without a sell-by date or freeze potential in place. Making sure these products are available for stocking will make them that much easier to access in a pinch. Check prices, labels, and that all items are entered into your sales system early. That way you won’t have to rush when the warm weather does hit.
- Keep communication between suppliers and retailers open
Of course, there are some products you can’t plan too far ahead for, particularly when it comes to stocking a garden centre. If you’re a retailer planning on selling live plants — or, conversely, if you’re a supplier who sells live plants — it’s important to keep the lines of communication open. Retailers, you need to know how soon you can have an order in and when you can expect it to arrive. If you speak with your supplier before the warm weather hits, you can plan out your order so that when it’s needed all you have to do is make a delivery call. Suppliers can also take advantage of open communication by contacting retailers early.
- Have the space ready to go
POP displays, planograms, shelving, etc. All of this space planning can — and should — be ready before it’s absolutely necessary. If you have the other pieces in place — you know what you have in stock and have your plant order ready to go — this should be easy to set up. But again, making sure you’re thinking ahead will help you and your staff keep your cool even when the warm weather comes.
- Be a weather connoisseur
Speaking of weather, watch it like a hawk. While, yes, forecasts can be wrong and sometimes a warm day that’s predicted never comes, in general if multiple stations are agreeing a certain day is going to have warmer temperatures, you want to be prepared.
- Have a rapid response staff plan in place
The last piece of the puzzle is to make sure your sales team is ready for the spring rush. Ideally this will be made easier with all the pre-planning and organizing you’ve been doing, but if something hasn’t happened or the warm weather came earlier than expected, you may need a rapid response plan. Walk your staff through what a mock run of the day the warm weather hits. Who will be on call? Who will do what jobs? If your staff is well prepared, the day when spring comes will be that much easier.
What if you’ll need more staff? Storesupport Canada can help. We offer in-store execution solutions, such as emergency in-store services and people support, when needed. Don’t let the warm weather sneak up on you without a plan. Contact us today to learn more. Call 1-877-421-5081 or visit www.storesupport.ca.