by Rachael Pritz, RB Retail & Service Solutions
Aside from outstanding customer service, pool professionals agree that great deals help lure customers back into the retail store. Once someone owns a pool or spa it is important to stay top of mind with these potential repeat customers and it is critical to ensure they do not do take their business elsewhere.
Today’s software technology gives pool and spa businesses a guaranteed system for scheduling sales promotions. Superior business software allows you to create promotions with definitive start-and-stop dates that can be applied to products, services, or construction offerings. By setting all details in the management system and linking to outbound e-mail and other marketing communication tools, pool and spa businesses do not have to worry about missing market opportunities.
The RB Retail and Service Solutions Event Planning module enables you to set your sale prices for specific sale dates so they automatically go into effect for each event. This automated process takes care of a big task that you will not need to worry about during the busy season or the week of your sale event preparation. By selecting the products in advance and deciding on the sale prices early, you can be sure that your margins remain profitable. Whether you plan one, two or ten events per season, select your dates and make a solid plan in advance for each. This will make it easier to implement promotions during the season when you and your staff are busy taking care of daily operations. Here are some best practices examples to consider:
Pre-Season promotion- Many retailers and service professionals find success with offering an ‘early’ buy promotion on water care chemicals for the entire season at the start of the year. This creates a cash flow boost and helps customers feel as though they are offered an exclusive opportunity to get the best deal on water care products.
During the season promotion- Mid-way into the season, the BOGO sale on toys has proven to be highly effective with retailers throughout the country. This type of promotion ensures product is moved which might otherwise be left on the shelves at the end of the season. The reason why this is valuable to the customer at this stage of the season is there is still plenty of time left to use them.
End of summer promotion- Offering 25% off on winter covers is a proven, highly successful end-of-season sale. This type of promotion also provides a cash boost as the season ends. It also creates the opportunity to up-sell service for closing and opening the following season.
Up-Sell Related Items - Putting the “related Items” that are pre-programmed in RB Retail and Service Solutions also helps to sell add-on items during busy sales promotion events. For example, hose clamps for hoses, water lube for O-rings, and clarifier with bags of filter sand can quickly add large sums of additional profit.
Create opportunities with existing customers by following their buying habits
Today’s business software allows you to identify customer types for targeted marketing and promotion of specific products and services. Target the buying habits of your clients to make your promotions successful. RB Retail and Service Solutions CRM not only helps you create your lists, but also helps you build targeted lists of people who want to receive promotions about specific products and services.
Start pre-planning your sales promotions now. By doing so, you will contribute to a more profitable pool & spa season and ease some of the in-season stress associated with the busiest times of the summer.
About the author: Rachael Pritz has been active in the pool industry for more than 20 years, which has provided her with an all-encompassing expertise in the trade. She worked at a local pool store while pursuing a master’s degree at the University of Pittsburgh, Pa. With her technical skills and industry knowledge, she joined the launch of RB Retail & Service Solutions in Pittsburgh in 2003. She can be reached via e-mail at [email protected].