The Importance of Seasonal Merchandising & Marketing

By Jackie Ceithamer Dec 16, 2020

There's no getting around the fact that COVID-19 has thrown a massive monkey wrench into everyone's holiday marketing plans. No industry has been hit harder than the foodservice industry. Many restaurants, deli, and bakery owners don't even know when or if they're allowed to serve people and are struggling to make takeout and delivery options work for them. 

It appears that the best way to help make ends meet during these trying times is by taking full advantage of seasonal merchandising and marketing. 

What is Seasonal Merchandising?

Seasonal merchandising is the practice of creating a program that focuses entirely on a single season or a holiday. Businesses that utilize seasonal merchandising and marketing create products, put together events, or offer discounts that are only available for that particular season. A perfect example is a bakery that hosts baking workshops that teach people how to make Halloween themed cupcakes and put together Christmas goodie baskets. The service and product focus entirely on a specific season and are designed to increase the business's revenue.

The Benefits of Seasonal Merchandising 

Foodservice businesses find that seasonal merchandising and marketing is a great way to breathe life into a store’s appearance. The use of decorations, workshops, holiday parties, and seasonal products not only generates a reason for regular customers to come, but it also encourages new customers to take a chance on the business.

Many business owners have found that seasonal marketing helps drive spur of the moment purchases, with some businesses reporting that approximately 40% of all their seasonal sales are impulse purchases.

Seasonal marketing also provides you with a unique opportunity to experiment with products/services that would normally be a niche item. This is particularly useful if you have something you wish to repackage.

Has COVID-19 Nullified Seasonal Merchandising

If you're wondering if seasonal marketing will work now that COVID-19 has descended upon us, you're not alone. Many foodservice businesses are in the exact same position. The reality is that seasonal marketing is more important than ever before. Because your customers are now stuck at home, they have more time to shop. As various holidays approach, they're looking for new things to spend their money on. Items with a seasonal theme might be just the ticket.

Tips for Making Seasonal Merchandising Work for You

There are several things you can do to improve the overall success of your seasonal merchandising. The first is starting seasonal marketing sales early. Many businesses have found that by marketing seasonal products several weeks ahead of the actual holiday, the product gets used/consumed in advance, prompting the customer to purchase it a second time. 

Ideally, you should create seasonal marketing displays that trigger multiple senses. The virtual marketing COVID-19 has forced us to use makes this a bit more complicated. If you're regulated to virtual displays only, use heartwarming seasonal stories, post charming photos, and use seasonal-themed photos that are designed to make your customers feel less lonely and more encouraged about the future.

Take some time to review the sales data you collected from past seasonal sales, and identify your customers spending trends. This data helps you determine what prompts your customers to make a seasonal purchase from your business. This helps you determine what products to use, how to price each seasonal product/service, and how to best promote your seasonal products/services.

Preparing your foodservice business for holiday or seasonal merchandising is a great way to help customers feel and sense seasonal changes, and can help your bottom line. Let the experts at Federal Industries help your operation with the right merchandisers that fit your store’s needs. Click below to get your FREE foodservice display case assessment.  


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