The days are getting longer, the big coats are being pushed to the back of the wardrobe and we all seem to have a distinct ‘spring’ in our steps.
For retailers, channelling that extra burst of energy back into your business in a strategic way can easily translate to more traffic. But, where to start?
With consumers gearing up for weddings, racing carnival events, outdoor adventures, camping trips or even planning their festive party season, your front of house must take precedence.
Spring clean the nooks and crannies
It sounds rudimentary, but getting stuck into the winter dirt and dust that has accumulated in your physical store over the darker months can reap great rewards.
The brighter spring light will reveal everything that was a little hidden before! Be ruthless with your displays, get down and dirty to clear out the nooks and crannies, and focus on what consumers in strappy shoes, bare legs and summer attire will want to feel when they walk in.
The same goes for your online channels – take the time to do a full audit and spring clean of every piece of content your consumers can see. That means clearing out anything that looks stale, is out-of-date or is dragging down the overall look and feel you’re trying to create.
Tip: Make it a team effort with all your staff – and don’t forget the value of a little champagne, their favourite nosh and some fresh tunes!
Clear out what’s left of the dark and heavy stock
Winter stock tends to be larger and heavier than spring and summer stock, so don’t allow it to take up valuable space. It’s not only physically demanding to have excess inventory, but it also ties up capital and cash you could be re-investing into the business.
There are several ways you can re-market what’s left if you want to invest the time and resources – perhaps starting by re-photographing items for your website. However, the quickest way is to mark it down and get rid of it!
You can run a one-day clearance sale via Instagram, promote a week-long sale via your database and social channels, try bundling items if it works for your products, or discount heavily on the physical rack in store.
If you really want to move it fast, you can sell it off via online marketplaces or, if you’re really keen to clear the space and willing to potentially lose your profit margin, companies that specialise in liquidation may be willing to snap up the lot.
Tip: Promote your clearance to those you know love a good bargain, and even offer them first dibs before you take the stock to final clearance – people love personalised service!
Rearrange for positive customer flow
There’s a fairly well-known statistic in retail circles that as many as 90 per cent of consumers will turn right when they pass through a store’s transition area, so make sure yours is stocked with the highest-demand product!
The four most commonly-used layouts are grid, herringbone, loop and free-flow, but there are myriad factors that will influence what works for your specific store – one of which is the weather.
Your consumers will be ditching their bulky coats and chunky footwear for much lighter, easier-to-move-in options (including shoes that can be slipped on and off easily), so invest some time into updating your overall layout to suit.
Tip: Get the bones right first, and then think about how you’re going to flesh it out.
Get your creative on
With your old stock out, your bones right and your new stock arriving, it’s time to get your creative on. While it’s important to check out how other retailers are merchandising their in-store windows and landing pages, it’s also important to find your own point of difference. But make sure it’s as distinct from winter as it can possibly be!
A new season warrants a new atmosphere, so think about how you can refresh your overall colour palette using your spring arrivals as inspiration.
Tip: Turn your products into art, utilise the best technology you can afford, bring in living elements like plants and flowers, look for unusual and non-traditional display props, and incorporate as much interactivity as you can.
Invest in your most important assets
Last but not least, shine some of that new sunshine onto your staff. Get them involved in creating your spring offering, work on a shared vision for the season ahead, hand over the reins in a few more areas to give them more opportunity to shine, and encourage their own professional development.
Tip: Your staff are your most important asset, so keeping them interested, involved and invigorated is essential to your overall spring strategy.