One of the many factors affecting inventory management is timely planning and preparation. If you are only now preparing for the holiday season sales, then your inventory control is likely to be out of control.
Sure, if you have a warehouse full of surplus goods, holiday season sales provide a great opportunity torid yourself of this excess inventory stock. Clearing out excess and slow-moving stock is a great way to recoup some of the capital invested in the inventory and to free-up space for new products. However, holiday season sales are not just about driving sales but about trying to maximise your overall profit.
While social media platforms allow you to reach a greater number of potential customers, email marketing is far more effective. Customised email marketing enables you to reach and entice current and prospective clients through personalised messages that offer special deals and discounts.
Select and purchase those products that sell well and drive traffic to your store by holding events, seasonal tastings, testing and demonstrations. Keep smaller quantities of niche and specialty items and removing slow moving unpopular items to free-up storage and shelf space.
Use visual merchandising to attract foot traffic by creating unique and eye-catching window displays to tempt shoppers through the door. Utilise proximity marketing that broadcasts targeted messages to smartphone devices within a certain area, grabbing the attention of those shoppers with their eyes on their phones.
Have enough of the right staff
Recruiting and training the additional labour required over busy holiday periods can be challenging. It’s vital to have adequate sales staff available with the appropriate product knowledge to deliver a quality customer service and experience. Equally, skilled warehouse labour is needed to fulfil customer orders, replenishment inventory stock and dispatch goods to where they are needed, when they are needed.
Have enough of the right stuff
Businesses need to balance their holiday merchandise flow enabling them to make as many sales as possible, without being left with excess inventory stock at the end of the season. For brick-and-mortar retail chains, a key to getting holiday sales right is the ability to predict, as precisely as possible, the quantities of each item needed in each retail location.
Many consumers will wait for the likes of one-day sales events such as Boxing Day sales to secure goods at the lowest possible price. Hence it is important that retailers know not only what to sell, but the quantities of goods required to deliver on promotions and to avoid stock-out situations.
Balancing what to have, how much to have and where to have it all depends on accurate product forecasting and strong supply chain management. The most reliable way to improve forecasting and to improve other factors affecting inventory management is to invest in inventory management software.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.