Now that the long lines of customers are shrinking and the phones are no longer ringing off the hook, pool and spa businesses can regroup to make the most of the slower winter months. Now is the time for pool and spa professionals to figure out ways to boost swimming pool product sales. We recommend using strategic marketing, creating a detailed inventory analysis, and maximizing the potential of e-commerce to increase swimming pool product sales and potentially add a new product line in the process.
To help direct prospects and sales to their online stores, pool and spa professionals should execute proactive marketing campaigns with direct email and print mail. The winter months are a great time to test email marketing and start planning a calendar of cyber sales for products previously sold only on the showroom floor. The winter is also an ideal time to consider promoting a product or product line that your business hasn’t offered in the past. For example, everyone loves a fire pit both in the summer and the winter. So maybe now is the time to add a line of fire pits!
Direct print mail seems to be making a comeback. Given that people are spending more time at home, they are paying closer attention to the offers in their mailbox. During the past year’s demand surge, retailers reported that they attracted new clients further away by using print mail campaigns and directing them to an e-commerce site for shipment or delivery.
Winter is the perfect time to reach out to consumers farther away geographically to sell swimming pool products alongside winter services like pool closing, safety covers, and equipment upgrades. Actively targeting areas farther from your store helps you boost swimming pool product sales by expanding your sales reach. Consider printing direct mail pieces that advertise product delivery for consumers who don’t want to come to the store. Some retailers are even looking to partner with other businesses to make delivery easier, like UBER Eats for pool chemical delivery. Using marketing to expand your geographic reach is the perfect way to increase swimming pool product sales and services in the winter months.
Inventory analysis is an important area for pool and spa businesses to address in the winter months. Your slow season is the perfect time to establish a schedule of routine counts by Product Line, Aisle/Bin, or Vendor. You can also create a winter promotion for a product you have on hand to increase your pool and spa product sales now. So rather than putting off the dreaded end-of-the-year inventory count, start now. Consider purchasing a Memory Scanner for your physical counts. Then, use the slower winter months to teach your staff how to use it.
Review changes in your inventory levels and the profitability of different products. Now is the time to determine if you should eliminate low-profit items to focus more energy on higher-profit products or consider adding new products. For example, your company might be known as a retailer of above-ground pools, spas, and chemicals. Offering patio and deck furniture, BBQs, fireplaces, or gas stove inserts may be a good idea. Review the inventory reporting options within your business software and look for trends that might help you choose new products. Look for products that line up with your current offering or could smooth out the seasonality of your business. As a specialty retailer, you likely have tight control of your current inventory so you can expand into other products and services without significant risk. The winter months are the perfect time for employees to learn about a new product line like fire pits or in-pool lounge chairs.
E-commerce was already on the rise, but this past season made it apparent that online sales will continue to grow. Pool and spa service business professionals will continue to expand their sales and profits through e-commerce, which is particularly beneficial in the off-season. Remember that when clients go to your online store, they should be able to order, pay, and arrange for delivery or pick-up of their purchase. Be sure your pool service software supports your online store and has pool industry integrations to ensure accurate inventory and delivery dates.
Your e-commerce site should easily process credit cards directly through your business software to eliminate mistakes and ensure the correct end-of-day tally. Savvy pool and spa businesses are investing in their e-commerce and bill pay systems to quickly add products and services to their e-store and start immediately generating new winter swimming pool product sales. These could also include down payments for products and services that might not start or be delivered until next spring.
The goal is to encourage your customers to use the online shopping option for your pool and spa store as much as possible. Remind them that they don’t need to bundle up and drive to your store to pick up spa chemicals but can have them delivered instead. Several pool and spa retailers say they are adding Shopify or an equivalent to their online store to do a better job of marketing other products to customers. For example, selling and installing outdoor heaters to spa owners can significantly boost revenues in the winter months.
Pool and spa businesses should spend the winter months improving their e-commerce store and digital marketing efforts. Your business should be able to provide customized offers to clients, knowing who bought what and when. This type of information is extremely helpful to boost swimming pool product sales in the winter and into the next season. A powerful, integrated e-commerce site can also potentially alleviate supply chain issues that will likely continue over the coming year.
The off-season is the ideal time to practice using the power of your business software, improve your e-commerce site, and do an in-depth analysis of your inventory. You can also use this additional time to market to new geographical areas and test new winter products and services. This way, your pool and spa business will boost swimming pool product sales in the winter and create a better foundation for being nimble next season.
You only have a few precious off-season winter months, so get creative with your marketing, look to add new winter products and services, make the most of your e-commerce site, and watch your sales increase both this winter and into next season.
Implementing a new marketing, e-commerce, or inventory system can help you boost winter swimming pool product sales and improve your ability to handle another busy summer. RB’s software does all that and much more.