If you’re looking for an excellent opportunity to boost your sales and gain brand recognition, seasonal merchandising is one of the best ways to do it. So, what is seasonal merchandise, and how can you execute a seasonality strategy effectively? In this guide, we’ve outlined all you need to know about what seasonal merchandise is and five seasonal merchandising strategies you can implement for retail success.
What Is Seasonal Merchandising?
Seasonal merchandising is when you create a product marketed toward one particular holiday, special occasion or season. A seasonal merchandising strategy allows you to target important occasions and increase sales, boost store traffic and drive spur-of-the-moment purchases for that particular season.
For example, a cookie brand may offer limited-edition Christmas-themed cookies during the festive season to gain brand recognition and increase revenue. This kind of merchandising creates an excellent opportunity to experiment with products that usually wouldn’t be on customers’ lists. In fact, one study states that 40% of all seasonal sales are spur-of-the-moment purchases.
How to Merchandise a Product
There are various factors that go into merchandising a product.
- Colors: Colors can evoke behaviors and emotions from consumers and help customers easily identify the season a product is promoting. For example, green and red might symbolize Christmas, while colors like pink and red will represent Valentine’s Day.
- Imagery: Images can help consumers match seasonal products to their corresponding holiday. For instance, a rabbit or Easter egg on product packaging represents Easter.
- Senses: Your product can appeal to one of the five senses in relation to holiday themes. For example, a bakery might sell seasonal pumpkin-flavored cupcakes during Halloween.
Top 5 Seasonal Merchandising Strategies for Retail Success
While seasonal merchandise comes with various benefits, this merchandising technique still requires effective strategies and execution to achieve those benefits and avoid underperforming and overstocking. By implementing the best practices for merchandising seasonal products, you may notice an increase in total sales and an improved ability to strategize better for future seasons.
1. Understand Your Customers and the Market
Your first step before choosing a seasonal product is to understand your target consumers. Some factors to research include:
- What your consumers are looking for
- What their needs and interests are
- What their lifestyle and values are
- How they relate to your product
- What their spending habits and budget look like
It’s equally important to keep track of industry best practices, retail seasonality trends and your competitors. Analyzing both your consumers and the market will allow you to offer seasonal merchandise that interests your target audience while differentiating from competitors.
2. Plan Ahead
Given that seasonal merchandise has a limited shelf life, it’s best to plan ahead to avoid waste and lost opportunity. Many brands begin marketing their promotional products weeks before the actual holiday begins. That’s because consumers may purchase the product before the holiday. Additionally, doing so will encourage them to buy it a second time for the actual holiday if they enjoy it.
- Review inventory levels and sales data: Go through information about your inventory levels and sales data from the previous season. Use these insights to calculate the supply and demand for your different product types to understand how much you should make.
- Create a seasonal calendar: This calendar should outline the key events, dates and themes for each season, along with your budget and product quantity estimates.
- Advertise seasonal merchandise in advance: Launch your marketing strategies a few months before your seasonal product is out on the shelves to draw in a steady stream of consumers.
3. Create a Theme
The theme of your seasonal merchandise is one of the most important factors. While promoting a seasonal holiday, your product still needs to stay true to your brand. Find commonalities between your branding and the seasonal theme. Some steps you can follow to establish a theme for your promotional product include:
- Knowing your audience: Consider your customers’ feelings toward the season and how you can cater your theme to their values, interests, needs and wants.
- Following retail seasonality trends: Stay on top of trends and consider how current events, popular styles, social movements and cultural phenomena influence seasonal themes. Balance those trends with originality.
- Complement the product: To prevent the seasonal theme from clashing with your product, consider the shapes, colors and other features of your product and how they fit the seasonal theme.
- Express your brand: At the same time, you’ll want to ensure the seasonal theme reflects your brand’s values and identity to promote a consistent reputation.
4. Create Eye-Catching Displays and Signage
A key merchandising strategy to help you gain improved visibility and a larger customer base is creating an attractive display and signage to draw attention to your products. Displays can draw people’s attention in all kinds of stores, encouraging to check out products they may have overlooked if they were advertised differently.
For example, when doing Christmas grocery shopping, a customer may come across a Christmas-themed cookie display and think it would perfectly complement the other Christmas desserts they plan to provide. All it takes is an informative, clear and consistent display that manifests excitement and urgency.
5. Optimize the Placement of Your Products
It’s important to ensure retailers place your seasonal products and product display in a relevant and visible spot. Shoppers need to see your products to buy them.
High-trafficked areas are the ideal place to encourage impulse purchases. If consumers are mostly doing seasonal shopping in one particular area of the store, chances are that your seasonal merchandise should be placed there.
Complete Your Seasonality Strategy With Seasonal Displays From Creative Displays Now
By following the above strategies, you can influence the overall success of your seasonal merchandising and ensure your products sell. Creative Displays Now offers quality custom-made holiday and specialty-themed displays for various holidays, from Halloween to the Fourth of July.
Our team of over 60 structural designers can help you increase brand awareness, receive more impulse sales and provide customers with more exciting shopping experiences. We’ve been in the display industry for over 60 years and work with various industries, from food and beverage to toys and electronics. We encourage you to request an estimate for quality displays that stand out!