With record high temperatures this summer baking much of the United States and, indeed, the world, it’s understandable that people will be embracing cooler fall temperatures (in the northern hemisphere, anyway) and looking forward to some holiday diversion. Retailers, of course, have harnessed this sentiment to expand what in days of yore were short holiday shopping seasons. Nowadays, retailers typically start launching their Halloween assortments, for example, in September. Some retailers this year even kicked off their Halloween displays as early as July!
The planning and execution of Halloween and other event and holiday launches is incredibly important and, hard as it is for me to fathom, many “lagging” retailers still rely on last year’s sales patterns to determine expected demand. Winning retailers, on the other hand, have already adopted AI/ML-based statistical forecasting to not only get a sense of demand but also to shape it.
If this is the year your organizations modernizes, bear in mind that when you completely change your approach, the data won’t be a true reflection of your strategy. This is where the art of assortment planning comes into play along with the science.
Modern Retail Planning Practices for Holiday Traditions
Impact Analytics AssortSmart™ gives buyers and planners a very simple and intuitive way to plan their assortment launches, specific drop dates, and flow. AssortSmart is driven by the advanced Impact Analytics AI/ML forecasting engine, which will provide insight into the lift you should expect for a given launch, as well as the contours of short-term demand so you’re able to quickly react to customers’ shopping behaviors. You’ll be well equipped to easily pivot, moving up or pushing out drop dates depending on whether demand is surging or lagging.
Impact Analytics InventorySmart™ also flags changes in store-level demand so you’re able to quickly rebalance inventory across your network. You’ve no doubt already accommodated last year’s shifts in customer shopping patterns that accompanied the changes in demographics as many people moved out of cities and into the suburbs. You’ve got to be nimble!
Competition is at an all-time high and, as with all seasonal products, the pricing lifecycle is a key demand driver. Impact Analytics PriceSmart™ offers AI/ML-based price recommendations for the initial price, the promotions to drive revenue in-season, and then the most effective end-of-life markdown strategy.
Your ability to drive regular pricing strategies is one of the best ways to stay on top of your game. Setting the promotions you’ll use to entice your customers to purchase requires delicate collaboration between planners, buyers, and marketing teams. The PriceSmart persona-driven workflow supports and facilitates cross-team work while also providing demand forecasting, price elasticities, and recommendations for the most optimal promotions, promotional vehicles, products, and even store location details.
Looking at Halloween sales, you may want to execute your markdown strategy prior to October 31. Some items may not be performing as you anticipated. Moving items to clearance while those trick-or- treaters are still hunting for the perfect costume may be more effective than waiting until the first day of November. As a mom, I’m probably more inclined to push my son toward the marked-down clown outfit than the full-price costume next to it. Certain locations or channels may warrant a markdown, but not others. With this many potential use cases, it really makes sense to drive incremental margin, revenues, and sell-through with a price optimization solution!
Whether you’ve had the pumpkins out for weeks or are just starting to prepare for the spooky season, let Impact Analytics show you the many ways to increase your Halloween revenues.
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Impact Analytics enables retailers to accurately plan their Halloween and other holiday launches, sensing and shaping demand, setting prices and promotions in response, and managing inventory effectively across networks.