You just killed it in the fourth quarter of 2021! Holiday sales were amazing and the customers kept coming. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. January has arrived, and your post-holiday cigar sales have dropped. The magic is gone. Now, you are left with unsold inventory, unpaid taxes, and a variety of other costs. Sobering, isn’t it?
Why Discounts aren’t the Best Option
One way that businesses try to mitigate this decline in cigar sales is to offer discounts on products. This strategy might seem like an obvious solution, however, this may not be the best way of marketing cigars. While discounts may help clear out your inventory, they can hurt your business too. Discounts can condition customers to expect discounts in the future, running the risk of cheapening your product, and dramatically decreasing your profit margins. None of these are desirable outcomes in a business, especially a business with tight margins like an online cigar shop or retail location.
Let’s look at an example of how discounts can affect your profits: let us assume that there are no tobacco taxes. Let’s say that you mark up your cigars by 100 percent. That means that half of the price covers cost, while the other half is profit. Your cost for a particular cigar is $5.00 and your MSRP is $10.00. If you discount 10 percent then you decrease your profit by 20 percent because your cost stays the same. You make $4.00 rather than $5.00. That is a dramatic discount. Don’t let this discourage you; here are some better ways to increase post-holiday sales without having to discount your cigars and accessories.
Refresh your Cigar Inventory
One effective way to boost cigar sales is to bring in new products. People are attracted to new things. It’s human nature. Bringing in new products and facings can give old customers a reason to visit the humidor again and can attract new faces.
But, if you bring in new inventory, you can’t just let it sit. You also need to advertise it as well. Post new products on social media, and put new products in a place of prominence in the humidor. Mention it to your customers. You can also use new products to upsell to your existing regulars. If there is a cigar in the humidor they typically buy, encourage them to try something new that has a similar profile. For example: if you have a customer who likes to smoke cigars blended by Don Pepin such as those from the brand, My Father, get them to try Cigars from other brands made by Don Pepin like that new Tatuaje you brought in. Or if they like Dominican cigars like those made by Ashton, get them to try that new Davidoff or Fuente cigar in the humidor. Use your new inventory to increase your cigar sales.
Run a Cigar Sales Giveaway
Another way to increase post-holiday cigar sales is to hold events like raffles and other giveaways. Do you have a humidor, lighter, or some other accessory that has been sitting around? That would be a great raffle prize. You can run a promotion where if a customer buys 3 cigars (or some other arbitrary number) then they get a ticket to win a featured accessory. Other good prizes as well are brand-specific promo items that are often given to shops by cigar companies. These make great prizes as well because they are often obtained at little to no cost. These branded promo items can also generate excitement because they are often collector’s items. Think of the Drew Estate Undercrown 10 humidor or the Altadis Romeo and Juliet tailgating set. Generate more sales and excite your clientele by holding exclusive giveaways and events!
Show Customers What Your Cigar Shop Has to Offer
The Holidays bring in walk-in clientele who do not typically shop year-round. Turning these seasonal shoppers into regulars is a great way how to market cigars and accessories. You can do this by giving these customers a good reason to come back. One of the ways a cigar store can set itself apart from other establishments is that they typically have a cigar lounge. Not many other places currently have a comfortable indoor space where people can enjoy their cigars. Oftentimes the amenities of your shop may not be immediately obvious to your holiday customer. Show them around. Tell them about the minibar, the free wifi, the complimentary coffee, the cushioned chairs, or whatever other amenities your shop has to offer. Give customers a reason to stop by after the holidays are over – again and again.
Help Out New Cigar Smokers
Another untapped market is new cigar smokers. The winter holidays are a season of gifts. A lot of people are given a cigar for Christmas. They may smoke and enjoy it, but they have no idea how to pursue this pastime. If you smoke cigars, you understand the struggle. Reaching out to these new cigar smokers can turn them into loyal customers. You can do this by putting out informational materials relating to caring for and smoking cigars. You can (and should) also be there to answer any questions and offer recommendations to new cigar smokers. A clever way to help out these new customers is to put together beginner bundles. These bundles can include accessories such as a travel humidor, a cutter, a lighter, and a couple of approachable and affordable cigars that newbies would appreciate. These things go a long way in bringing new smokers into your cigar lounge. Attracting those new cigar smokers is key to boosting post-holiday cigar sales.
More Ways to Boost Cigar Sales
There are many ways to increase sales for your cigar shop during the post-holiday slump. Strategies for boosting post-holiday cigar sales range from refreshing your inventory to running events to attracting existing customers. You can also boost your cigar sales too by checking out our other blog articles or by enlisting our help at Cigarketing.