With the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots set to face off this Sunday in the Super Bowl, retailers are working overtime to capture shoppers as they plan out their game day festivities — and rightfully so. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), consumers are expected to spend $15.3 billion on Super Bowl-related items this year, up 8.5 percent from 2017’s estimate of $14.1 billion.
So, what does this mean for businesses? Individuals who are planning to host game day parties present a lucrative audience for retailers and grocers to tap into to “win” sales around this event. According to new research, this year’s party hosts expect to spend more than $50 on food and supplies alone. The findings also indicate that small, local retailers and grocers can expect to reap a bigger slice of the pie. Forty-three percent of respondents plan to shop small and local, compared to 33 percent who will opt for larger chain stores. Also, consider this — more than half are only willing to travel less than four miles to make their purchases. When it comes to those ordering take-out from a restaurant, they will travel similar distances.
With this ideal market in front of them, here are three ways small, independent businesses can beat out the competition to score big on game day.
Advertise early and often.
According to the survey’s findings, the majority of consumers (69 percent) will complete their purchases just a day or two before, or even the day of the Super Bowl. This presents a prime opportunity for local businesses to draw in these last-minute shoppers through timely, targeted advertisements and promotions, as well as cross-platform messaging.
For instance, a local grocer can send out a coupon via email on the morning of game day offering a buy-one-get-one free food deal for those who shop in-store by 10 a.m. In addition to increasing brick-and-mortar foot-traffic, this will also likely lead to ancillary purchases for items such as paper plates, plastic utensils and the all-important chips and dips.
However, while these last-minute shoppers should certainly be prioritized by retailers and grocers, the survey findings also note that nearly one-third of consumers will begin shopping for party supplies at least a week in advance of game day. With this insight, it’s important for businesses to create multiple touchpoints with shoppers via offers and promotions throughout the week leading up to Sunday.
Optimize the in-store experience.
With so many last-minute shoppers coming out in full-force on game day, and 75 percent of them planning to purchase their game day party supplies in-store, retailers and grocers must ensure that their brick-and-mortar locations provide customers with speed, accessibility and convenience. To do so, stores should:
Embrace the perimeter: Place party essentials like chips and dips and beer/soda options in convenient, high-traffic areas for enhanced convenience.
Group related items: Create one-stop sections for items such as disposable plates, eating utensils and napkins.
Utilize in-store circulars for coupon distribution. One-third of consumers plan to check for coupons and deals via in-store circulars — retailers and grocers should ensure they are meeting this demand.
Prepare for increased traffic.
It’s clear that when it comes to game day shopping and preparation, consumers are planning to shop local. However, many of these businesses tend to have less shelf space and inventory, which brings me to my final point — ensuring the supply meets the demand.
That holds especially true for restaurants. Nearly half (47 percent) of all survey respondents plan to order out for their parties this year, presenting an opportunity for small, local restaurants to capitalize on the event. Often, pizza is synonymous with a football party. According to RetailMeNot, last year, Americans bought over 12.5 million pizzas on Super Bowl Sunday, with an average order value of $26.45.
For a local pizza establishment cranking out pies, they need to drive a positive experience to bring the consumer back for more. And ensure they are well-staffed to deliver with speed.
The year’s biggest football event presents a valuable opportunity for restaurants, grocers and retailers of all sizes to boost sales and start the New Year strong. However, small, local businesses should expect to see the biggest gains as consumers value convenience and proximity above all else when it comes to hosting parties for game day. With just a few tweaks to their operations, smaller shops can expect to score big both on Super Bowl sales and future brand loyalty.