Here is the tenth entry of the Twelve Components You Need in Your Merchandising Plan titled: Managing Planned Purchases. Better planning of purchases can lead to improved cash flow. Planned purchases include advanced purchases before a selling season, the fulfillment of outstanding split shipments and fill in orders to replace hot selling items. Planned purchases should anticipate the natural appeal toward jewelry of existing customers and targeted prospects; the ability of the company to create very appealing offerings and the company’s ability to entice and close sales by category and sub-category of products. Today’s very value- conscious buyer expects and demands more stimuli to become engaged in the consideration of purchasing luxury items such as jewelry. Planned purchases should be based on all of the means available to leverage all program support from suppliers. If your store has not taken advantage of cooperative advertising, sales training, etc. from suppliers now is the time to begin to do so. Planned purchases need to be based on the products that are most likely to sell through marketing programs, creative merchandising, sales promotion and personal selling.
The ability to bring in merchandise that has more eye appeal equates to more eye value and caters to today’s more value oriented buyers. Jewelry that looks like it should sell for more money is what the value oriented customer is actively seeking. Make the connection between the eye value of the jewelry and the fashion consciousness of a company’s most loyal customers.
Marketing managers need to address jewelry as a planned purchase by customers. Historically, many consumers have planned purchases of jewelry to celebrate special occasions. Now is the time to integrate a database marketing plan that screens customer account data for upcoming celebrations such as anniversaries and birthdays of loved ones, etc. with proposed product purchases. Knowing how to maximize customer demand for specific items will greatly increase your ability to more accurately project product sales and add to the efficiencies of planned purchasing. Luxury consumers have been planning their purchases of items like computers and luxury vacations so some time now. Other major purchases consumers plan for include new furniture for the, a new car or truck, home remodeling, an existing home, a newly built home, or a new boat. How can jewelry be sold using jewelry as symbols of significance for people? How can merchandising managers best indentify and quantify those times of their customers lives that warrant jewelry purchases?
Planned purchases are most effective when cash has been generated through inventory turning over. Developing sales promotions to drive the sale of specific items is very desirable for cash flow purposes. If initial items received are not selling, work with suppliers to find new ways to be flexible and more responsible to your own cash flow needs. Understand that split shipments can be a means that leads to overbuying. When items don’t sell and it is time for a split shipment to be received, what is your recourse? Do you contact suppliers and renegotiate the next shipment date or the quantity or mix of product; or do accept the merchandise? Planned purchases are really planned sales.