It’s that magical time of year again…the holidays, and if you’re in the retail or ecommerce industry, that means a significant boost in profits. Managing your inventory during this time of fluctuation can be challenging, however, and if not done properly, can lead to lost revenue, unhappy customers and a tarnished brand reputation. To avoid this and remain at the top of your game during the holiday rush, here are a few helpful pointers.
Plan Ahead – You’ve still got time to ensure that your inventory is at the optimum level, but it’s getting tight. Make sure you’ve consulted and analyzed your records from previous seasons and have also accounted for any changes in the market that you may need to take into consideration. Planning in advance can significantly reduce the chances of over or understock situations.
Clean House – If your shelves are already stocked with slow-moving items, it may be a good time to start cleaning house so you can start making room for more profitable material. Try bundling some of the lower-performing items with others that might do better or have an “overstock” sale. You may lose a little off the top, but you’ll get it back when you replace those items with better-selling ones.
Don’t Overdo It – This is a tricky one – especially for a retailer, since it can be difficult to predict what will and will not be a hot holiday seller. Before you fill your inventory with a certain “hot” item after reading the latest stock report, do some research and be realistic. Sure, you may get lucky, but chances are you’ll end up with way more than you need.
Get in Sync – If you happen to sell through multiple channels, such as in-store and online, but pull from the same inventory, make sure everything is in sync before the holiday rush begins. Otherwise you’ll quickly find yourself in hot water with a bunch of unhappy customers. This is where having a sophisticated inventory management system in place can help.
Don’t Forget January – Sure, November and December are big months for holiday gift giving, but many retailers forget that January is also a big month for sales. With so many people making returns and exchanges and using gift cards they received, businesses can really capitalize on this additional month of increased revenue. Be sure to plan your inventory accordingly.
With the holidays just around the corner, now’s the time to get your inventory needs in order. If you could use a little assistance in this area, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Give us a call today and let’s discuss how we can get you in tip-top shape for a lucrative holiday sales season.