Throughout the year, customers grocery shopping habits will change to match their needs. During the winter, they are most interested in purchasing warm food or canned food that can last for several days if a storm knocks the power out. They may also be interested in purchasing foods that are eaten during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. How can you make sure that your supermarket adapts to these changing needs?
Listen to the Customer
Your customers will always tell you what you need to know if you take the time to listen. In some cases, they will actually talk to you and let you know that they want the canned soups in the larger size or the butternut squash already cut into cubes. In other cases, they will tell you by walking past displays of items that they don’t want and putting the items they do want or need into their carts. Feedback may also be solicited by asking customers to fill out surveys or leave comment cards before they leave the store.
A Point of Sale System Can Help You Adapt Quickly
If previous sales figures say that customers are more prone to buy comfort food during January and February, you can alter your inventory to carry more of those types of foods. If you know that customers like to buy certain items prior to a big storm or prior to a school break, you can use your POS system to monitor inventory and carry a larger amount of the items that you know will sell better.
Don’t Forget to Carry General Merchandise Items
While a grocery store generally sells food, it should have a general merchandise section as well during the winter. Stores may want to think about carrying firewood, gloves and shovels during the cold and snowy season. It may act as a means to get customers into the store where they will then buy other items that they need or feel like they need to get through the winter doldrums. It may also be a good idea to carry board games and other toys that parents may buy for their children to keep them occupied if they have to stay inside on a snow day or during a period of cold weather.
As a retail establishment, grocery stores have to keep up with changing customer demand. If they do not, it is possible that they will lose market share to other stores or to online retailers better able to meet the customer’s needs. Therefore, it is important to listen to the customer to ensure that their favorite items are always in stock.