Start the Season By Selling Something New
We hope you didn’t let a few of Saturday’s headlines – “Consumers Show Fresh Caution” or “March Retail Sales Fell as Consumers Cut Back” among them - ruin your weekend. We know you’re living on the front lines of the economy every day, but who needs a reminder of how tough things are, right? Besides, warmer weather is just around the corner, offering the perfect time to take a vacation, forget about the last few months, recharge and start the next round fresh.
Consumers are also starting to plan their summer vacations, which could mean some fresh sales/profit opportunities for CE retailers who are willing to remerchandise some section of their stores with seasonal items your customers will be glad you decided to carry. Those types of strategic moves that involve non-traditional products are at least one way to reverse the consumer caution and cutbacks that are dragging down general retail sales.
Josh Finkelstein, senior group manager, marketing, at Ingram Micro CE, makes a good case for those strategies in “Have You Met Everyone in the Neighborhood: Add-ons and adjacencies add profits to core products,” his accessories column that recently ran on Dealerscope.com and in the April issue of the magazine.
In a nutshell, he suggests that CE retailers who carry car audio think about carrying marine audio, as well. That category can lead to other boat tech accessories, such as fish finders, sonar and marine GPS devices, and much more. A lot of boaters love to party on their crafts and a lot of boaters are also campers (who also love to party at their campsites), so thermoses and coolers and grills and rafts and tents and small appliances that run on 12v circuits might make sense. Hell, throw in an electronic disco ball while you’re at it and, whatever you do, don’t forget the Bluetooth speakers.
Most of those types of products, Finkelstein points out, carry solid margins and are easy to inventory. He makes connections in the column to other categories - such as audio and fitness - that CE retailers should also be exploring. Bring your team together, brainstorm and figure out what non-traditional adjacencies and add-ons make the most sense for your customer demographic. Many of the major distributors (IMCE, Petra, WYNIT, D&H to name a few) have built up their non-traditional offerings and are more than willing to help you plan and execute a different approach.
Start off small, see what works and what doesn’t, and apply those lessons and strategies to your next out-of-the-box seasonal sales event. The nationwide economic data might not be good, but that doesn’t mean you can’t generate some good news right from your storefront. Let us know what you think or if you have any ideas related to this type of strategy.