By: Cynthia Hanauer
As the old Chinese proverb goes, “There’s only one pretty child in the world, and every Mother has it.” Fortunately, as we hop out of Easter, thousands of retailers will have a mother lode of magnificent products to sell. And with effective ordering, merchandising and salesmanship, they will each hold court as the “prettiest child” among some of the best marketers in the country!
The Easter holiday, filled with bright pastels and spring florals, creates a seamless way to visually transition from Easter to Mother’s Day. That’s the good news! The challenge in front of us is re-energizing each store with fresh, new and unique Mother’s Day products so that customers who purchased Easter flowers for Mom, will be enticed six weeks later to purchase another floral gift for Mom.
So let’s start with –
There’s nothing worse than a flower shop that looks like a mash-up of old Valentine, St Pat’s, Professional Admin and Easter products weeks after these holidays are over! You’ve seen it – once lively flowering plants with two wilted blooms remaining, shamrock plants adorned with smashed Easter bows and depressing mylar balloons that hover mid-air. For every old product that’s still sitting in the floral department after its selling prime, valuable space is lost for new, seasonally relevant product that will drive sales and profits for this major holiday. Indeed, there’s a financial loss when throwing away old, outdated merchandise; however, there’s a double loss of missed revenue and reduced profit dollars when unsaleable products dominate prime real estate within the department.
Tip #1: If it’s dead, distressed, seasonally irrelevant and cannot be converted to a seasonally-relevant product, then – LET IT GO!
Now, let’s –
A quick-change of merchandise that’s still in good condition will refresh and uplift the floral department between holiday shipments. New pot covers, wraps, ribbons, balloons, and pics will make everything new again, and customers who previously would have walked by these items without a second glance will now look at them with “new eyes”.
Tip #2: Ship holiday hard goods and enhancements early, so they’re available for the big conversion process from old holiday to new holiday the week following the previous holiday. The sooner all remaining in-date and saleable products are converted, the sooner those upgrade profits will be lifting that ever-so-important bottom line! Don’t forget to dig out any Mother’s Day backstock from the storage room! Mother’s Day will be the last big opportunity to sell through all remaining spring backstock.
Order enough to build –
- In-Your-Face Displays!
Many people think that the Valentine holiday offers the most sales potential, but that’s NOT the case – not by a WIDE margin! Only 55% of the population celebrate Valentine’s Day, while a whopping 84.2% of the population celebrate Mother’s Day!
But do Valentine shoppers spend more? Absolutely not! Valentine shoppers spend an average of $142, while Mother’s Day purchasers spend an average of $173. Mother’s Day in the United States is worth $21.2 Billion Dollars versus the value of Valentine sitting at $18.9 Billion Dollars. So, Mother’s Day must be approached even MORE aggressively than Valentine, with a well-planned ordering budget for each store. How many $173 Mother’s Day gifts are in your floral departments? Think about it!
Tip #3: Be fearless and aggressive when planning budgets, and order accordingly! The only way to achieve a target sales budget is to have the same retail dollar amount of merchandise in each store to achieve those target sales! Out of product = Out of Sales!
Bundle it up and –
Mother’s Day is a holiday of multiples, where one customer is likely to purchase more than one gift. In addition to celebrating Mother herself, customers will also purchase gifts for stepmothers, wives, daughters, sisters, grandmothers, godmothers, and friends. Displays with an assortment of price-points will encourage multiple purchasing, called “bundling”, and will also increase average spend per customer.
Tip #4: When ordering accessories and enhancements, be sure to include pics, cardettes and balloons with sentiments for “other Mothers” such as stepmothers, wives, daughters, sisters, grandmothers, godmothers and friends. These gift choices on display will encourage multiple purchasing by reminding the customer of other mother-like people in their lives.
Be proud and –
- Shout It Out!
Did you know that 33% of the population will visit a department store rather than a florist for a Mother’s Day gift? The special gift services we provide in our floral shoppes is the difference between a floral purchase and any other gift purchased in a department store. Do you custom design? SHOUT IT OUT! Do you gift wrap? SHOUT IT OUT! Do you deliver? SHOUT IT OUT!
Tip #5: Expand signage and other promotion efforts at each customer “touch-point” within the store, displayed at least four weeks in advance for optimal effectiveness: Front doors, outdoor displays, bag-stuffers, service desk, check lanes, employee badges, wine aisle, greeting cards, bakery, and many other areas! Be sure to list all of the special services that are offered in addition to the beautiful products we sell!
Mix it up and –
Did you know that 80% of the population purchase greeting cards for Mother’s Day, making them the single most popular gift for Mother’s Day? This means that eight out of ten customers purchase greeting cards, while flowers come in second in popularity, equaling 67%. The 4th most popular Mother’s Day purchase is gift cards, and the popularity of gift cards has risen significantly over the past five years.
Tip #6: Expand cross-merchandising tie-ins within the other popular gift items in the store such as greeting cards and gift card displays. These areas are the perfect places to capture incremental floral sales by adding items to these displays such as balloons, bouquets, boxed roses, and blooming plants. Keep these displays full and the returns will multiply!
Let’s get –
There are no greater stories than those which express love for a Mother! Create a social media plan with your Marketing Department to make sure customers are engaged, interactive, and ultimately inspired to purchase a Mother’s Day gift from one of your stores. Floral presence should be on the company homepage, and all company social media sites. Most marketing departments would welcome your help in planning this, as you are the resident expert in you customers’ purchasing behaviors.
Tip #7: Create a “Mother is” essay contest on Facebook, where the best essays will go viral with your company name tagged to it! Encourage employees to submit family photos or their favorite childhood photo on Instagram, and display the photos in-store. Create a Mother’s Day board on Pinterest to begin a dialog around the great products that can be purchased in your stores – and don’t forget to use hashtags such as, #lastminutemothersday so potential customers can find you!
Indeed, each Mother has a beautiful child – and we all like to think that each individual store is beautiful in its own way, as well. But the greatest success comes from the visual consistency in each store which rolls up into an over-arching company brand that customers will recognize for every gift-giving event and holiday. In the eyes of the customer, the prettiest store is the one with selection, service, value, and freshness – and we can all have it!