We spoke to Debbie Harrison, joint managing director at Pricecheck, to discuss how wholesalers can increase sales during festive periods.
What actions and steps do you take to capitalise on profitable periods throughout the year? Can you name examples?
We’ve recently invested in an in-house business intelligence team that analyse data, which in turn helps us to identify trends. This data then influences the wider trading team, so we know we’re promoting and sourcing the right products at the right time.
We also ensure we look much further than traditional key events, for example, we have recently promoted everything from Black Friday, National Candy Month, and Spring Cleaning to Picnic Essentials, Stoptober and Back To School. As an international distributor, we also ensure that we celebrate our global customers too by understanding key events in their country’s calendar.
As we trade with more than 80 countries, we’ve found that we can capitalise on trends right through the year. Exporting has enabled us to mitigate some of the natural peaks and troughs of our domestic market that ultimately means we can extend the lifecycle of products and trade year-round in goods perceived to be seasonal. It’s summer somewhere!
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How important is your work with suppliers during these periods? Do they advise and lead on how you should operate during specific periods?
We work very closely with our brand partners that trust us to use our knowledge and expertise to help grow their brands, reach new global and UK markets, and capitalise on profitable periods.
They can help with forecasting, identifying trends based on previous years’ sales and NPD launches.
Additionally, we’ll work with relevant suppliers to create a marketing campaign around key periods which combines on site advertising, direct marketing, social media and other aspects of digital marketing. For instance, we distribute a weekly mailer which aims to highlight relevant products and categories as well as using the opportunity to educate our customers on those all-important trends.
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Can you name specific examples of methods you’ve tried that have had a positive effect on your business for certain months?
Realising the importance of key calendar dates, we thought we should engage in our own. Last year, we launched Price Week – a week of special pricing and promotions which we now hold annually in June. This saw us have a huge peak in web sales whilst the promotion was in operation.
Away from your traditional key dates, we’ve always enjoyed success at trade shows which allows us to promote seasonal products and has a big impact on new business. In the absence of physical shows this past year, we launched our own online versions. Customers were able to walk around our virtual showroom, interact with on-site advertising from brand partners and find all the product inspiration they needed. The most successful period of web sales was during these ‘shows’.
Through collaborative marketing, we work with brand partners on joint business plans. One instance is that suppliers can use our services to advertise their brands directly to our customers. As a delivered wholesaler, we don’t have the option of merchandising in depot, our alternative is digital advertising.
So, if we’re looking at pushing Spring Cleaning in the new year, some of our household partners will take advantage of the advertising space on our website, digital mailers or social channels to push their relevancy or NPDs.
Because these are digital, we’re able to track and analyse uptake in sales and user engagement.