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Why Seasonal Promotions Can Benefit from Local Warehousing
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Why Seasonal Promotions Can Benefit from Local Warehousing

Thanks to repetitive weather patterns, we have various seasonal opportunities for retailers who can successfully deliver consumer-demanded fresh products. Well-timed and marketed seasonal promotions are a great way to build on these opportunities while driving revenue and shopper loyalty. But to truly maximize these windows of increased revenue opportunity, retailers should think holistically about seasonal programs.

What’s involved in a successful seasonal program

Putting in-season products on shelves isn’t enough for seasonal program success. Only by putting all the pieces of the puzzle together can you truly increase sales and capitalize on impulse fresh produce buying, whether that’s in-store, online with delivery, or click and collect.

The produce section is especially prime for impulse purchases as consumers often make their fresh produce purchasing decisions based on what’s available and perceived quality. Shelves stocked with quality produce is key. Attractive packaging and displays with recipes or cooking/use options can further drive seasonal impulse purchases, resulting in higher revenues. As we talk about in our recent blog, “Changing Consumer Behavior During COVID-19 and its impact on omnichannel produce purchasing in retail,” there are ways to showcase product in a way that still allows for consumers to engage with the product to feel confident in its quality and open the door for impulse purchases.

By consistently offering these programs across online platforms and in-store locations, you can increase your ability to promote to a larger audience, driving both the singular program success and longer-term consumer loyalty. To accomplish this successfully, you must be able to align all merchandising activities prior to delivering to stores. This is achievable through local warehouse services.

Why seasonal programs need local warehouse services

If you’re looking to create a truly successful seasonal program, here are just some of the benefits local warehouse services can bring.

Ability to offer quality products

Any time fresh products are featured at retail locations, they must be of the highest quality. Consumers shop for fresh items with their eyes. If a product’s quality is lacking, it’s like shining a spotlight on bad produce.

Retailers should work with vendors who can sort products in service centers before shipping to stores. This offers many benefits, including:

  • Decreased last-minute sorting at each store. This gives produce managers more time to focus on attractive merchandising displays that can drive sales.
  • Reduced shrink and supply issues on shelf. Sorting and throwing away in-store can lead to sparse supply with no proactive recourse. And a beautiful display in-store or online without beautiful product is not ideal.
  • Increased opportunity for purchase orders. Because significant supply shortages based on shrink can be identified at warehouses upstream in the supply chain from the store, it’s possible to place additional purchase orders to cover supplies that are lost due to quality.

Added packaging options

Packaging is not just for consumer-packaged goods. Produce packaging can help optimize sales volumes or promote ways to prepare produce that can spur impulse purchases. Recipes, produce-featured meal images, and similar information on packaging can effectively boost sales—especially during seasonal windows.

In order to capitalize on bulk produce buying while providing in-demand packaging, consider working with vendors who can repack bulk produce into store level units at a local warehouse. Sorting and repacking services also allow for inventory checks. Having this opportunity to update or correct inventory quantities ensures accurate information is being logged into systems, helping with future inventory planning and management.

Make up for servicing time with direct store delivery

Ensuring your promotional products are fresh and presented in optimized consumer packaging requires time. Although this time is often worth the incremental sales it drives at store locations, the process still adds time to the supply chain.

Using direct store delivery models in these situations can help eliminate some of this service time. Sorting and repacking services at the warehouse level will be even more beneficial when paired with a same day or next day delivery option. Attempting to facilitate promotional programs in standard supply chains with standard delivery schedules may limit some of the incremental revenue generated by these programs. It’s important to optimize logistics services down to the store level in order to gain the necessary time to facilitate these important warehouse services.

Extend services beyond the seasonal supply chain

Once you have an aligned seasonal supply chain in place, maximize your results year-round. Beyond traditional seasonal programs, these hands-on and quick turn supply chain practices can be used for a number of promotional opportunities. As more retailers promote combined SKU meal kit merchandising, it’s clear this strategy works with consumer needs and boosts impulse purchases. But keep in mind that while there is no better place to generate these kinds of volumes lifts than the produce section, execution is the primary driver of success for these types of promotions.

With aligned packaging and merchandising, you can create your own promotional events and drive incremental sales all year long.

Bring warehousing to your seasonal programs

Seasonal programs are by nature limited to a certain time frame, but that doesn’t mean your success needs to be limited. By finding a provider you can rely on to bring deep warehousing expertise, you can deliver the positive customer experiences your shoppers deserve while increasing your revenue potential. Connect with one of our experts to learn how you can provide more customer experience your shippers deserve.

Todd Bernitt

Todd Bernitt - Vice President of Managed Services for Robinson Fresh

Todd has worked for C.H. Robinson for the past 23 years. In that time he has held multiple positions in numerous areas of the company—from truckload to intermodal and most recently Sourcing. As Vice President of Managed Services for Robinson Fresh, Todd manages strategic direction, resource allocation, and technology to meet the demands of foodservice customers and suppliers. Todd holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Business Administration from Illinois State University.
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