gift-444519_1280If you have a seasonal product, you have to stay on top of your product broker or distributor to ensure you take advantage of the short window you have to sell your product every year. What should you know about distributing seasonal products? How should you prepare for your busy season? Follow these tips:

Speak with retailers early.

Before your busy season hits, it’s important to speak with retailers to determine when they will begin stocking products for the season. For example, if your product is related to Christmas, talk to the retailer months before the holiday season to find out when they will start putting out Christmas items. Either speak with retailers yourself, or if you work with a product broker or distributor, have them make the calls for you. This should be done fairly early so you can be prepared.

Learn from last year.

If you’ve been in business for more than a year, take a look at how your products performed during the last busy season. Which items were the best sellers? Which were the worst? Use this data to help you make important inventory decisions. Remember, once retailers begin to sell out of your products, you will need to restock quickly to maximize your sales in the short season. But, to restock quickly, you have to already have the inventory on-hand. Demand planning is crucial for every business, but it matters even more when your product is seasonal.

Plan promotional activities.

Being on a store’s shelves during your busy season does not guarantee sales. To really take advantage of the season, plan out of store promotional activities that will drive traffic into the stores and increase business. Launch social media campaigns leading up to the season to announce where you are sold, and what new, exciting products are available this year. Many seasonal items are able to successfully market themselves by focusing on emotion. For example, advertising for Thanksgiving and Christmas related items can center around the feeling of being home with loved ones, while Halloween related items targeted at parents could appeal to the emotional experience of creating memories with their children. Whatever you decide on, be sure to plan it so it launches prior to the season to build up buzz about your brand.

Create new packaging.

If your product can be sold year-round, but usually does better during certain seasons, consider changing the packaging during your busy season. For example, if you sell children’s school supplies, you could sell your products throughout the year, but you probably see a huge spike in business during the back-to-school season. Take advantage of this season by changing your packaging to feature back-to-school illustrations so it visually pops off of the shelves. If you decide to use this strategy, make sure your distributors are prepared to remove these items from the shelves after the season is over and replace them with items in the standard packaging.

How do you plan to prepare for your product’s busy season? Share your distribution strategies in the comments below!