Today I stopped to grab quick bite before I came back to the office. I had a few errands to run, it’s going to snow (so I had to get avacados, Naan and cheese for the weekend in case we are snowed in) and I had to get some stuff done before a 3PM appointment. When I went into the pizza shop, they had no less than 25 different sliced pies ready and waiting to be reheated. GrandMom pie, GrandPa pie, cheesesteak, buffalo chicken, broccoli and tomato etc. All kinds of special combinations in addition to the regulars – like pepperoni and mushroom which are ranked #1 and #2 in favorite toppings since “forever“… Yes, when it comes to being ready for any customer, you want to offer them options to suit their preferences; however, is 25 too many?*
- We just created a new flavor!
- It’s the best!
- It sold like hot cakes! (Does anyone under XX know what hot cakes are, anyway?)
- Everyone raves about it and is upset when we don’t have it available for them…
So, what are the takeaways from these kinds of statements and reactions to customer’s feedback?
Make it everyday, add it to your list of products, add it to your menu and sell, sell, sell.
No. That is not what I am saying.
The problem is that LTOs (or Limited Time Offers) should be just that. Limited. Offering LTOs creates demand, brings customers back to see what is new and – maybe even more importantly – it allows you to control your inventory and expenses. Too many things in stock can lead to waste, loss and add to your costs, which… yes, reduce your profits at the end of the day.
So, yes, I think that options are great… but, I also think that too many options leaves the customer unable to appreciate the specialty and uniqueness of your offering. Um, yea, I am pretty sure that is why Girl Scout Cookies are only available once a year. (Well, that and Cookie Moms would totally lose it if they had to sell them all year long.)
~ Dawn aka Hat Girl
* The counter guy, thought maybe, just maybe that I was right…now mind you, I’m not telling them to sell only 10 or 15 varieties, but just to be aware of their decisions and make them proactively, not re-actively.