Keeping Track of Sales And Customers This Year For Next Year’s Summer Planning

It is hard to believe but summer is almost here! What are you doing about it? As crazy as the question may sound there is a reason I ask. What are you doing that will be different than what you did last summer? Do you know what it was you did to inspire additional sales last year? Maybe you didn’t do anything at all differently. Maybe you added a new piece of summer merchandise to your merchandising strategy. How did that item do in sales? Was it a blockbuster for you? On a similar note, how was the customer foot traffic in your store? Did you see an increase in the number of patrons last summer over the rest of the year? If you aren’t asking the questions then you are probably flying by the seat of your pants and that is not going to be beneficial to you at all. Sales tracking and Customer Counting can assist you in exponentially growing your sales.

Adding products to your merchandise lines may be a good idea. Perhaps last summer you purchased 100 units of a new brand of suntan lotion to supplement your summer lineup. Did you keep track of how many of those units you sold at full price? Did you wind up taking markdowns on them in order to get them to move? You may have eventually been out of the merchandise but if you were not tracking how many you sold by the week you may have lost money if they all went at the end of the season at or below cost. By failing to follow sales of seasonal items you could develop a false picture of how a product moved and make the costly mistake of carrying it again the following year. One aside to this; be sure that seasonal merchandise is in a prominent location. Sticking this merchandise on a back endcap or in the main run is not going to produce the results you are seeking. This can also give you a poor picture of how the item could really have driven sales had it been in a more visible location.

Customer foot traffic is also an important tool for summer planning for the next year. If one of your intended purposes in adding a summer product line in your store is to drive up sales you need to know whether it has the intended effect. If you are keeping track of customer counts you can determine if a new product is drawing in more shoppers. A spike in customer counts can be compared to sales tracking of a new product(s). If there appears to be a correlation in the data you can make preparations for the next summer and plan for additional sales by bringing back those summer items. If a group of summer products proved profitable and drew in more customers then add to it with new summer goods. It would also be a good idea to review those sales figures and add more people on shifts. You may find that customer counts proved to be much higher than sales transactions were. If this is the case it is possible that your store could have lost sales by having insufficient cashiers or sales floor staff to provide assistance. Customer counting can also benefit your store with a breakdown of the time of day patrons were shopping. This provides flexibility in adding staff at peak times rather than adding people for an entire day if it isn’t necessary.  Though it may take time to plan it out using the information you have collected from sales tracking and customer counting the payoff will be seen in sales increases.

A website, workzone.com, had an article, “45 Planning Quotes To Help You Reach Your Goals” by Steve Pogue. One of the quotes was from Warren Buffet, “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree long ago.” Another quote attributed to Robert H. Schuller, “Spectacular achievement is always preceded by unspectacular preparation.” So friends, spectacular sales next summer will be dependent on how much preparation you are willing to put into planning today. Dedicate time now in reviewing your seasonal specialty item sales and how many customers entered your business and create a plan that will dazzle you with results next summer.