by Kristin Robinson
You are almost certainly losing valuable customers and revenue from missed opportunities. What exactly do I mean? If you are not carrying the products customers want at the right price and the right time, then you may want to rethink how you stock your shelves and/or sell through your website. But how do you know what the right products and prices are?
Candy customers have progressed in recent years—they are much more particular about their decisions on purchasing products, which creates a challenge for retailers who are used to carrying a little bit of everything and trying to cater to the masses. Today, the trend is toward websites, shops, and stores carrying specialty items and hard-to-find unique merchandise. However, as a candy retailer, you have to cater to people with different tastes, appreciations, and likings. This can make it difficult to balance carrying the right products without limiting your range of products. The best way to do this is to analyze your customer base, looking for common patterns.
At the same time the industry is trending toward specialization, consumers are growing increasingly aware of food allergies, health restrictions, and nutritional ingredients that some candy contains. Retailers should stay ahead of this, offering viable substitutes for these health-conscious individuals. It is not unusual now to see websites dedicated to selling strictly organic candy or low-fat options.
You and your products must stay relevant. Customers are shying away from retailers who are not keeping up with trends or seasonal items. To increase profits, try to leverage multiple promotions or campaigns simultaneously. For example, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which receives extensive media coverage and uses the color pink for marketing purposes. This represents an opportunity for candy retailers: try stocking up on pink candy and confections and tying it directly to the larger campaign. And it’s not just Breast Cancer Awareness Month. There is some type of awareness campaign every month of the year, with more specialty weeks and days, so it shouldn’t be a problem to find new opportunities.
You will not be good at selling everything, so instead focus on being the best option for a specific clientele. This means understanding your demographic, the competitive landscape, and the demand for your products. You should always conduct thorough market research and have an effective marketing plan in place. Be the retailer that draws customers based on their needs. If they know they can count on you to supply them with continuous revenue, then you are helping each other grow businesses and it’s a win/win for everyone. But be prepared: this won’t happen overnight!