Easter is one of South Africa’s peak retail spending periods. For SMEs, in particular, this long weekend is an opportunity to boost profits despite a weak local economy.
While the Covid-19 pandemic has changed consumer behaviour pattens and shaped trends for the future of retail, here are five ways for retail business owners to not only stay in the retail game, but to give their shoppers what they want and to boost their profits this Easter holiday period.
1. Understand your customer needs
Many South Africans will be heading to coastal and rural towns this Easter holiday to visit family and friends. With this in mind, retailers, including fuel stations, en-route to the major holiday or hometown destinations, are in for an Easter treat. For coastal, rural as well as for other retailers the Easter sales season is a golden opportunity to be creative and think out of the box about what your customers want to buy, what they will need, and how else you, as a retailer can entice them with bundled promotional, seasonal and essential products.
A recent study commissioned by Capital Connect, SA’s Business Funder of the Year for 2021, indicates that many consumers over the Easter period will be prone to buying more party or celebration items, baked goods and braai and party snacks. The level to which retailers will benefit from this increased demand for specific foodstuffs will be dependent on their ingenuity, entrepreneurial acumen, and willingness to invest money to make money.
This research study also reveals that travelling consumers will purchase goods in major towns or cities, which will have a spill-over into rural, hometown or coastal areas. Retailers located in suburban areas will also have the opportunity to maximise this peak trading period.
2. Smart buying strategies
While stocking up shelves with the right goods is key, the question for retailers is how to take buying stock to the next level to boost profit opportunities. The answer: smart bulk-buying strategies. Whether you buy a consignment of fuel at its current price before the next fuel price increase, a bulk liquor consignment or any high-demand products, retailers are guaranteed to increase profit margins by buying bulk goods at discounted rates. This is one way to boost profits and run promotions attractive enough to increase in-store foot-traffic and turnover.
3. Consider cash automation
Retail business owners can do with more time, and cash in hand. Cash automation allows retailers to tick all these boxes. With an automated cash management solution from Cash Connect, for example, retailers can save up to 40% in time and money as all forms of manual cash handling are reduced. While Easter is also notorious for crime, automated cash management gives retailers peace of mind, knowing their hard-earned cash is safe in a secure and robust cash vault.
What about increased cash flow? With an automated cash vault, retailers can access their cash in the vault in real time, whenever they need it. Even if the Cash-in-Transit service provider hasn’t collected cash from the retail store, the retailer can have Instant Access to cash whilst still in the vault. The cash then reflects real-time in their bank account, by simply accessing the funds via an App. This way cashflow is available at the click of a button.
4. Increase your wallet share
With changing shopper behaviour and the future of retail dictating that e-commerce and one-stop retail destinations are key, this is the opportunity for retail business owners to meet their customers’ expectations. For example, offering customers the convenience of high-demand products like prepaid airtime, data, and electricity, and bill payments, which will not only add to the customer shopping experience, but will add more money to retailers’ wallets.
5. How to make it all happen
There is a saying that you need money to make money. South African retailers can take advantage of peak trading periods, bulk buying or creative retail approaches to boost sales and profits. With quick access to hassle-free business funding in just 24 hours, retail business owners have a competitive advantage to thrive.
With an unsecured, short-term loan that can be repaid in small daily instalments, retail business owners won’t feel the pinch. In fact, with this cash injection, they now have the opportunity to innovate and to outsmart their competitors, whether this is to stock up, make bulk purchases at discounted rates, run in-store promotions, invest in delivery scooters or an e-commerce platform – alternative business funding is the tool that will enable SMEs to grow and never miss an opportunity.
Although the upcoming Easter holiday is the next peak trading season, retailers can certainly use this recipe to thrive during any key retail event throughout the year.