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David Brown

You Might Just Find Your Next Big Thing in Your Sales Data




With the holidays over, it’s time to re-order those best-sellers before you do anything else.

What should you reorder after the holidays? With December in the rear view mirror, you are going to need more product. Before you start hunting for those products, however, let’s discuss the most likely place to find the best product for your customers.

If there is one thing technology has provided us with over the last 20 years, it’s performance data. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming, but amongst the selection of information you are provided on a regular basis are some great nuggets that can be the key to the future profitability of your business.

One of those is your sales history.

Product is a funny thing. Despite the variety of people on the planet, we have more in common with each other than we realize. Although there is always a huge range of choice in any marketplace, the truth is the majority of people like the same minority of things. That’s how we get best-selling books, top-rated movies and platinum-selling music hits.

The same is true in your store. A minority of your items are your chart-toppers, and the best way to find them is let your customers tell you.

Let’s go back to December. Chances are you made 20 percent or more of your sales at that time of year. That’s a lot of people telling you what they like in this one month alone — it’s like customer feedback on steroids.


So before you rush out to source that brand new product you’re convinced you must get, the question to ask is, “Have I exhausted all the sales from the best-sellers I’ve already had?” I’m betting the answer is no, and that if you have a quick look back at those items that sold quickly in December, there will be a good percentage of fast-selling items that you have forgotten to put back into your store.

By all means, look for new items to feature for your clients — they like to see fresh offerings all the time — but it doesn’t mean they’ve explored everything you’ve already had. Take the time to print out your list of fast-sellers that aren’t in-store and fill these gaps first before looking for that “next big thing.” Statistically, you have less than a 20 percent chance of buying right on a new item, so why take the risk when you can increase your odds by backing a sure thing?

David Brown is president of the Edge Retail Academy. To learn how to complete a break-even analysis, contact [email protected] or (877) 569-8657.

This article originally appeared in the January 2017 edition of INSTORE.


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