The freezer of ice lollies shoved optimistically in the corner. The summer time trend that sees delis and farm-shops offering services like ‘Picnic 2 Go’. Pre-prepared packed lunches make their way to the foreground of deli counters. Ready-made hampers that come with their own butler service are advertised on tube stops.
Outdoor eating is big business in the UK. But that’s only half the story. British weather is unpredictable, and it’s now proven that it can have an effect on your sales at the till.
Weather accounts for around 4.5% of overall sales in the UK. We are weather dependent shoppers. And whether it rains of shines, if you pardon the pun, your profit or a loss can often be determined by the temperature outside. Too hot and we stay outside, too cold and we stay home. For us to hit the shops, us Brits like it just right.
According to retail assist magazine:
Tesco use a system that cross checks an accumulation of 5 years’ worth of data with information about every product in every store, every day of the week. Treeva Fenwick , Head of Broadcast and Consumer Communications at Tesco comments that this allows them to accurately predict what people want, allowing them to appropriately stock their stores. Their weather system is so specific it can even indicate the temperate at which sales of burgers will go up.
Now very few of us have Tescos budgets, but there are still principles of seasonality that we can take note of. There are opportunities to be maximised whatever the weather. As the weather in the future starts to become even less predictable, retailers will need to start thinking outside of the box and embracing omnichannel retailing, offering customers more ways to shop – online or offline. Offering ways to shop in store or from the comfort of your own homes is increasingly the direction retailers should go in to minimise any lost revenue as a result of the weather.
For now, as the weather appears to be at its British finest here are some winning ways retailers, particularly speciality retailers can maximise add-on sales this summer.
How can speciality retailers compete with the multiples in summer time?
Offer Picnics 2 Go
If you’re a specialist food retailer, it’s likely that your produce has been handpicked and specially chosen by you. You have a pretty good idea of what your customers are looking for. So why not offer it as part of a picnic take-away service or BBQ pack? It’s a competitive market and it’s increasingly important that retailers think outside the box. Entice customers by offering the very produce you already have on sale, neatly packed in a ready-made out-door hamper.
Offer a free hamper and picnic blanket service
Create price points for set menu options. Customers can call in advance to place orders and choose a picnic hamper within their budget. Then it’s as simple as them leaving a deposit, picking up the picnic, and returning the hamper at a later date. Throw in a returnable picnic blanket or accessories and the BBQ picnic service really comes alive.
Target your audience
Know your customers! Who is buying your products? What types of food do they like? How big are their families? By knowing the answers to these questions, you will not only target a wider demographic, but you will prepare the perfect picnic that through word of mouth will have them coming back for more.
What are some key lines to offer this summer?
- Wicker hampers
- Wicker gift trays and baskets
- Wine coolers & corkscrews
- Selection of bottle bags
- Craft beer jute bags
Alternatively, branded bags for life are a great way to get your name out there. With over 45+ bags to choose from, you can get yours branded and in store ready to sell within 7 days! You could even make it a summer themed one!
How can retailers ensure sales stay positive even when it’s raining?
The thing about the great British public is that they are remarkably hardened and tough in the face of weather adversity.
Just look at the annual Wimbledon debacle. All that’s generally required is for a glimpse of sun to peek out from behind a cloud, and we become ‘mad dogs and English men’. We would advise retailers not to worry too much about the weather but to keep their ideas new and fresh through the summer. If you have yet to acquire retail display units for tastings and in store hot spots, now is the time. Give your customers a taste of what you have to offer by running hot-spots inside or out.
Wooden displays or containers like apple and pear crates can sit outside on the pavement or patio stacked with seasonal produce, will bring an air that is fresh, natural, and organic and will survive a shower or two. If it gets really bad outside take them back inside and set it up again.
Any tips for boosting add-on sales? (Sauces, condiments, hampers etc.)?
Optional Extras – Non Food
Intermingling non-food items within the usual produce sold, can really boost add on sales. In the case of a particular farm shop in our area , they took advantage of the upcoming summer weather by placing children’s gardening implements, gloves, gardening forks, small wheelbarrow’s, buckets and spades. They filled ready-made hampers with plants and veg seeds. These are clever impulse purchases. I watched, as Mums and Dads filled baskets with seasonal produce. It wasn’t long before children picked up these colourful items and nagged parents to buy them.