Phone launches. They happen every year, and every year you have a limited amount of space, a limited amount of cash and the need to maximize each resource for the launch. As you know, the iPhone SE has just launched and more will follow this fall. The most common mistakes made during phone launches are missed sales opportunities and dead stock. Why is this so common? Wireless retailers tend to want repeat the orders they have made in the past, stocking every single item available. If you are one of those people, take note.
How to Maximize Your Results on Phone Releases
1. Move Product Faster, Create More Space
We all know when a new phone is going to be released. It isn’t any secret when a big manufacturer plans to update last year’s model (September…for example) and launch it for sale. You can use this information to your advantage by putting your current stock on sale will in advance to the launch. This will help you move product you have on hand while minimizing the need to liquidate or return product before its end of life. Additionally, this will free up space in your store to showcase the latest and greatest models.
2. Plan and Communicate What You’ll Need for New Stock
Start by looking at how many new devices you plan on ordering for the launch or how many devices you have been allocated by the provider. Let your distributor know what you will need as soon as possible, so that you can prepare your space for it. This will help you plan the rest of your inventory, such as accessory stock purchases.
3. Prepare Your Accessory Order List
Chances are that, until your are completely stocked on phones, you won’t need a multitude of unique accessory options per device. However, you should not neglect the need for universal items such as wireless charging, bluetooth devices, and wearables that are storming the market right now. Because these items are not unique to any one carrier or phone, they expand your customer base and use your store space in a profitable way for you business.
4. Utilize Your Distributor’s Knowledge to Plan Effectively
Your goal is to focus on the products that yield the greatest results with the least investment risk. By keeping your product fresh with fast turns, and avoiding overstock whenever possible you gain greater margins and, thus, better results. However, it is often difficult to find where the sweet spot is when stocking new items. Consult with your distributor, ask them tough questions, and utilize them as a resource. They know product distribution better than anyone, and they often have access to analytics and inventory management programs that can give you a competitive edge.
5. Train Your Sales Team BEFORE the Launch
It is extremely important for your sales team to be knowledge about the device they are selling to new and return customers. You know that. However, because training takes a lot of time, many stores overlook its importance before a launch. When your sales team knows how to sell a device, and how to upsell its accessories and protection plans, your revenue grows.
What mistakes or successes have you had during a phone launch in the past? Share your stories with us!