By: Jonna Connolly, Lean Process Analyst at Brightstar Omaha
You have a limited amount of space and a limited amount of cash, and with a few major phone launches on the horizon you need to maximize the potential of each one of these resources. Many retailers will resort to following a pattern of what they have ordered in the past and end up with the same result: missed opportunities and dead stock. You would think the answer would be to stock up on EVERYTHING. From Lime Green to Hot Pink, if there’s a color out there, you need it, right? Wrong! Here are a few tips on how to maximize your results on the upcoming releases.
Plan for the space and cash the new devices will require
By now it’s no secret as to when the big manufacturers will be updating last year’s model. Use this to your advantage. Put stock on sale well in advance, use every opportunity to move through what you have on hand, and avoid having to liquidate or return once the device has reached end of life. You’ll want to devote as much store space as possible to the latest and greatest, so don’t tie it up with a dying model.
Forecast, forecast, forecast
The sooner you can let your distributors know what you’ll need for new stock, the better. A good starting point here is to look at how many devices you plan on ordering or possibly how many devices you’ve been allocated by the carrier. Chances are that until you are fully stocked on phones, you won’t need 15 unique accessory options per device.
Remember the Universal Items to Complete Every Sale
Bluetooth, wireless charging, and wearables are hot right now. The best part about universal items is that they cross the lines of every carrier and every device. Your customer base is endless in this category.
Focus your Brands and Sales Force
You’ll see a greater return on sales representatives that have full knowledge and training on 4-7 brands rather than 20 different options. Yes, you may have a customer who is looking for a specific brand or specific color, but chances are in your selective line-up you have something that meets their end goal. Is it protection they are after? Fashion? Slim? Sell the customer on what you have in your store through your expansive brand knowledge, don’t throw your hands up and say you don’t carry that. You probably do.
There’s Power in Knowledge
There’s also greater margins and better results. Ask your distributor the tough questions and utilize them for the resource they are. Many distributors (like Brightstar) offer inventory and even analytics programs that can give you the competitive edge you’re after.
Your overall goal is to focus on the product that yields the greatest results with the least amount of risk and investment. Keep your product fresh with fast turns and avoid overstock whenever possible. Your distributor is likely only a ship day or two away, so if you run out of a certain item or color, you can get to more of what you need and quickly. The key to a successful launch is being prepared with the right product at the right time. So plan in advance, allocate your resources wisely, and the results will follow.
Train Your Team
Make sure your sales team is knowledgeable BEFORE a new device launches at your store. When your customers come in asking about device features and accessory options, ensure that your team knows how to answer correctly. At Accessories Academy, we provide a variety of online sales training courses to help grow and guide your team to their full potential. Are you interested in learning more about our online and onsite training? Contact us for further details!