Marketing

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Marketing

Market researching products to sell

POS SOFTWARE

Your POS System can tell you what has sold well in a department and it will tell you what has sold well with another product. This is all good stuff for upselling. The problem is that you are looking at is what was in your store, which is only a tiny subset of the products available plus it is only telling you what *WAS*. What you need to know is what is *NOW* and what will *BE*!

Here is a tip to help you to do this which you can do.

In Amazon Australia, you will find the best seller's list here

Now pick a department say "Pet Supplies" and out will pop all the top sellers here 

These are the top-selling items updated hourly, so it is current information.  

Now go through the items and see which ones appeal to you. You will see the sales ranking. If you click on the items, you will see a lot of details, including what people think about these items.

I am sure it will give you a lot to think about them.

The best part about it is these are local products.

Now if you wanted to see what people in the US were buying, after all, they are not that different to Australian consumers, you can check the US website here

Be careful as although many think, that the US market is more advanced than ours. I am no so sure of this in my experience. It is an odd combination of being more advanced and more behind us plus its a different market with different cost, benefit and requirements so be cautious about using it. Still because of its Winter/Summer being reversed there many of you will get many goods ideas of where the market is moving.

 

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How to start cross-selling

POS SOFTWARE

As a benchmark, the average basket size in an SMB retail business in Australia is about 2.54. If yours is below that, you need to look at cross-selling.

https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Cross-selling

In any case, even if you are over that figure, I would say that proper cross-selling techniques will increase revenue for your shop.

Now in retail there are two ways to cross-sell, the one is active ask a customer "is there anything else you want?", the other is passive which is making sure that the appropriate goods to the person buying are brought to their attention.

So how do you identify the goods that you can offer? Well, you go on history, you see the past shopping behaviour of people that purchased items have brought in your shop.

It is very easy to do with our point of sale software.

Firstly get your top ten sellers, you can get more but we will start there.

Go to Register reports.

 

 

Now select "Top N Stock Sales for a Given Period"

 

 

Now put appropriate dates (say last three months) and ask for the top ten, like I said you can put more in but let us start there.

Now go to sales register reports section here

and select the stock companion report

Put in the same dates, put in your top-selling items and now and ask for a full listing.

Now go through the list and there is a fair bit to look at there. Now take notes of those items that sell well with these items. 

Now check in the shelves, where these items are these companion products close by, can the customer for those items quickly see these items? If not, then you have to start rearranging stock because that is what is selling. 

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Retailing by the weather

POS SOFTWARE

Retailing by the weather

The recent cold and wet wave sweeping across Australia show how weather can affect retail sales. The effect is stated to be 3.2%. 

Which I can believe as a while ago, I did a study of my clients sales data and the weather. What I showed was that changes in temperature much more then the rain made impact sales of many products. I guess that people can reschedule in the day when they go shopping or pick a place which is covered if it is raining but if its too hot or cold many will cancel going shopping today.  Also, I found that specific products do sell well if the weather is appropriate.

This a smart retailer can take advantage of, for example, have a stand filled with goods that are suitable for a hot day, another if it is raining, etc.  In the appropriate weather, bring that stand to the front and move the inappropriate one to the back.  Also, they can check that their drink fridge, is full on a hot day. I have seen figures of 200% increase in drink sales during a heat wave.

This is all too easy to do as seven-day forecasts are reasonably accurate nowadays.

Here is a step by step plan to take advantage of the weather.

Create a list of your products based on the weather; all you need to do is check the days that were unusually hot, cold, wet, etc. Now see what happened using your sales report from our system and your experience to see what sold well on those days.

Now bundle these products together by hot, cold, wet day etc.

Now every week, get the seven-day forecast here, select your area and see what coming days are abnormal.

Now you have a coming sales window, make sure you are prepared as by matching your product to match the appropriate weather conditions, you can increase conversions and sales. 

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Tip: Have an EOFY sale too

POS SOFTWARE

Years ago, there was a stocktaking sale, rapidly however this has expanded, and now we have an EOFY sale too. If you look up google trends and do a search on "EOFY sale" in Australia 

This is the graph you will get. In the past seven years, it has grown dramatically from nothing 

 

Ask yourself, why do companies, like us do it? Mainly because of supplies as they are doing deals, why?

 

) They are budgeting for the end of the financial year, they know they need money to pay taxes, payroll tax, insurance, etc. So they want to liquidate stock to pay the tax bill.

) Managers need soon to justify to their stakeholders what they have done. This is their last chance as soon the financial reports will be done and with it their annual performance report card. They need excellent performance if they want their promotions, jobs and bonuses. You do not want to be a sales manager with a flat sales figure what you want to do is show I have sold well and now sales are going up. If their sales are low, they know they need to get cracking.

) Organisations are starting to implement changes to the next financial year. We see, for example, a supplier will say to us, we are moving out of these lines and going more into these lines are you interested in......

) Companies are now starting to organise their stock for a stocktake. They can see now stock that is getting old, looking obsolescent, that they have ranges of stock that is fragmented - a lot of one item and not enough of another item, damaged stock and were slow selling/overstocked assortment items. They are very conscious of the stock they need to lose. I had one come to see me a few days ago, "Bernard, we have a $300,000 worth of old monitors, can you move some of them?" 

) If you are into seasonal products, it is the high selling point of winter, from now on winter stock will start to drop. Now is probably the last chance you get to get rid of this stock in bulk, so it is a good time to clear stock from this season to make way for the new.

The result is that the consumer does see real deals here, so it becomes to them an exciting time. Many have tax reasons why they should move now e.g. Instant Tax write off. They can see retailers trying to move stock. The trick here is that consumers have to navigate through the deals to get to the ones that are good for them.

So it does work.

What I suggest is that consider doing all the above, look at your stock, see how it looks then support, run and promote your 'end of financial year' sale. I can tell you that it works for us.

 

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Psychology with price labels

POS SOFTWARE

Jurek Leon is an Australian consultant in retail, he certainly knows his stuff, often talks on TV and puts out a very good monthly newsletter for retailers which I recommend you subscribe too here.

His current edition has a fascinating post. 

Say we have an item in your shop which was $9, now maybe you buy a whole lot at a low price or perhaps you want to get rid of them, so you decide to reduce the amount to $5.99. Note like many good retailers you are not going at $6, but $5.99 plus you are not going to say 33% off because you know that dollar amount discounts work better than percentage discounts.

So you make a label to sell them and say you have these two options.

Two price labels compared

Option A: The reduced price is shown in big letters

Option B: The old price is shown in big letters.

Now, have a good look and decide which one is better?

Please, after you have worked out which one is better and decide why you think its better scroll down to the answer below. 

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..

..

..

..

..

..

..

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Most people go for the first one, I did too as its the new price I want people to see, but studies show that it Option B that works better.  Why? Well according to the study 

"It’s because the discounted price is literally smaller than the original. Behavioural economists like Bri Williams call this the ‘size-congruency effect’. She says you are better to go with your marked down price in smaller font (Option B) than the conventional stand out (Option A), proving yet again that our assumptions about how best to influence customers can often be incorrect."

This is an example to her that retailers need to test and measure results. I agree with that too, how else are you going to find what works best with your business.

 

 

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It is better to make your own digital signage

POS SOFTWARE

I was asked a few days ago about whether I thought it was worth it for a retailer to hire a digital display? To do it, they were quoted $3,000 which they believe is a reasonable price.

Here is an example, which I think you will agree with me looks effective. 

Digital retail screen

These displays are currently being used to push retail content to drive purchase decisions. What is great is that as hanging such a display is relatively easy with simple mounting it can be placed as in here in a relatively useless position, high up on the wall. Just make sure the screen is big enough to be seen easily from where people stand. This allows you to keep valuable floor space uncluttered while still having a way to spread the news on what’s happening in the shop.

To me, it looks like a lot of money for what it is, which is what I said.

HI-RES pictures to make the display are often freely available from the supplier of the goods. What you need is about 15 pictures, if you want to, you can use your smartphone to take these pictures too. Just make plenty of pictures and carefully pick the best.

Here is why I say fifteen (15) images. If you display each for say twelve (12) seconds each with second (3) seconds change over, this will give you four (4) minutes, which for a start should be long enough. 

Now if you know how to use some package like proshow, which if you don't know how to use it it is not that hard to learn. I have found it well worth to learn it personally too. For example, I take a heap of pictures at weddings, then make a video and everyone been very appreciative. If you must a trained photographer can for a few hundred dollars make you a professional video. Put it on a small USB stick.

Now all you need is a TV which many of us have spare at home or get a cheap second-hand TV. 

Now hang up the screen and your up and running. 

I would be surprised if it comes in at much over $500. 

You can then improve and change it as your shop changes without asking anyone permission.

 

 

 

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Do you have a Chinese policy?

POS SOFTWARE

One point that surprised me when I went to the New Retail ’19 conference which is considered  Australia’s largest retail gathering was directed I think at the medium to large retailers was the importance that these people saw in the Chinese market. 

What became apparent is that almost every Australian retailers there is looking at this market, now are you?

Currently, Chinese students, tourists and residents are responsible for up to two-thirds of luxury retail sales in Sydney and Melbourne in some places like Far North Queensland even more.

Here are some more figures:

There are about 165,000 students of Chinese descent coming to Australia a year (31%), 17% of them have family investments in Australia and their total economic contribution in Australia is over $7 billion dollars. 

There are about 28,000 migrants of Chinese descent coming to Australia a year (16%)

Australians of Chinese descent make up about 5.6% of the population. 

And here is the big one, there are 1,425,800 Chinese tourists every year in Australia (15.5%), and they are big buyers almost twice as big as the average. Today Chinese tourists in Australia spend 26.5% of the tourist trade. In the retail sector, they spend about $2,500 each.

I think every retailer should have a China strategy?

Here is something you can do immediately, put up a welcome sign in Chinese like this one in your shop.

Welcome sign in Chinese

Then why not walk around your area and see what retailers are marketing to this market.

 

 

 

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Valentine's Day 2019

POS SOFTWARE

The question often raised is, do I have the right stock NOW in my shop.

Well, it is a good question now that Valentine's Day is tomorrow and in this 11th hour, it is an excellent question to ask. 

Firstly how does Valentine's Day look this year?

Well according to google

Valentine's Day 2019

I checked the public interest from 2016 to 2019 (in blue) shows a slight drop but nothing dramatic, however, unlike other years, attention is more uniform across all states. What I find particularly interesting is that the public still do not know what to buy and that includes women looking at what they should buy their guys.

Questions asked for Valentine's day

 

Now we have established that we are looking at something similar to what we are used to, we can use the mirror marketing functions in our point of sale software. This works if you have a similar situation to previous years although I have my doubts whether Russell Zimmerman, Executive Director of the ARA  is right that it will exceed last year

Still, Valentine's Day is a good example to show mirror marketing as it requires specialised stock and the BIG question now is, do you have the right stock? 

Go to Register Reports marked in green.

 

 

Now select in stock, "Stock Sold During Period(a) Not Sold in Period(b)"

Now out pops this.

Select the report what was sold in a previous period (a) last year but has not been sold in a period (b). 

 

This is an old database, so I used old dates, but you should use 1/2/2018 to 28/2/2018 as (a) and 01/2/2019 and 28/2/2019 as (b).


Now in brown, you will see that there is a lot more option but let's keep it simple here. 

Now you will get a report with what you sold over the period (a), but you are not selling in your current period (b). Why is the question for you to investigate now?

What to do in future

I suggest you run this at the start of every month because once you get to know it, you will find mirror marketing very useful and if you do this you will miss almost no marketing season.

I noticed this is what one of our clients Nextra Forum West has done

Nextra Forum West Valentine Day

 

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Seasonal marketing

POS SOFTWARE

Seasonal marketing is a great way to advertise your shop.

For example, those of you in shopping centres would have seen how the centres went all out gone all out to welcome the Chinese New Year 2019, the Year of the Pig to attract visiting Chinese who number annually about 1.4 million and Australians with Chinese ancestry who number about 1.2 million. Visiting Chinese tourists spend about $11.5 billion here, it is estimated to be about a quarter of all tourism expenditure in Australia. They are big spenders, particularly in quality items. 

Here are some more seasonal marketing days over the first half of this year from this list but I am sure everyone in an area will be able to take more than just these. 

Feb 14th Valentine's Day

March is considered the start of the Autumn wedding season

17th March Saint Patrick's Day

April has a few days

1st April's fool day (alway good for a laugh)
19th Good Friday
21st Easter Sunday
22nd Easter Monday
25th ANZAC Day
 
12th May Mother's Day

June is considered the start of the EOFY/Stocktake sale also good for Winter Sale

30th June End of Financial Year

 

There are also some community-minded days that you can leverage too here as attaching your shop to a charitable cause works well as shoppers now increasingly choose to give their dollars to causes.  

Then there are Fun days

Send a greeting card day

these often work well too in promoting your shop. For example, tomorrow is "Send a Card to a Friend Day", I am sure people that sell greeting cards could sell a few cards promoting this. 

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Promotional packaging and marketing

POS SOFTWARE

Promotional packaging is all about making your product stand out from the crowd.

If you go to the supermarkets, you will see it filled with many special promotional packs.

You will find that they are a better way of moving dead stock then discounting. The idea is to take some stock that is not selling make a bundle with something that is selling well. 

The software tools to set it up can be found here. 

The improved single transaction detailed report which several people contributed too is proving extremely useful in monitoring how the promotion is going. See the blue arrow.

 

 

If you are going to do something like this, I suggest that you should try to make something about the packaging to make it look unique, eg special string or wrapping paper.  

One problem that people do get into is if they mix GST and GST free items together, is they produce can weird GST rates. I suggest that you do not do this mix.

See how you go and as always let me know.

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