With the countdown for holidays already on, online and offline shops are all gearing up by stocking holiday-themed inventories and much more. However, it’s not as simple as it seems. Several things need to be taken into account when it comes to stocking goods for holidays.
Here are eight tips to streamline your inventory management process before Christmas and check out the sixth point highlighting the importance of using inventory management software during the holiday season.
#1. Use Past Sales Stats to Decide Christmas inventory Stock
Yes, leverage your last year's Christmas inventory records to decide the inventory stock for the upcoming Christmas season. If you have been doing business for some time, you should have sales records from the past.
So, if you have the habit of continual sales tracking, you could use those records as a guideline to have a fair idea of the number of items and the type of things that are in popular demand during this season. This would help you stock up all the required items before Christmas arrives.
However, caution should be exercised while using past sales record.
Past doesn’t give you the Full Picture
Needless to say, relying on the past records to stock up on inventory this year is not ideal. For one, there will be businesses with several new items on their counter. Also, some of the best selling items of last year won’t be in demand this year.
Let’s say, one of the electronic gadgets of your online store was very much in demand last year. However you know for sure that this year, this gadget won’t find any takers. This means, you need to study the market to figure out what sort of kinds are in demand and accordingly stock up.
#2. Get Additional Space
No matter whether you are running an online store or retail store, this is the time of the year when you require additional space to stock more inventories, in addition to the regular list. So see how you could arrange some extra space for your merchandise.
#3. Organize Pre-Christmas Sale of Regular Inventory
A sale would help your business in two ways. One, you will have more space for stocking up more Christmas inventory, and second, you will get to net more sales now.
Organizing a limited time sale will help businesses to clear away old and slow-moving items. This helps you make more money and make more room on your shelves for the items you intend to sell for the holidays.
#4. Organize Post-Christmas Sale of Holiday Inventory
More or less, you will be succeeding in selling the majority of the inventory during the holiday season. What if you don’t? In that case, you need to hold another sale after the holidays to clear that merchandise. Offering huge deals on holiday inventory is important because you don’t want to stock up your shop or store with holiday inventories that would have no value once the holidays are over.
#5. Order Holiday inventory beforehand
Yes, you need to order inventory way before the festival sets in. Ordering at the last minute may end in disaster if your supplier has sold off everything. So, though you may not be putting out inventory on your shelves or on display at your online store, you would still need those inventories on hand. So stock up on inventory before you need it, so you don’t have to wait until the last hour for its delivery.
#6. Leverage Inventory Management Software
Not long back, inventory management was a manual process. Counting of inventory was mainly done with a pen and a ledger in hand. No more! Today, there are several options available in inventory management software or even warehouse management software—the software aids in perfect inventory tracking. So, if you haven’t been using it, try using it during this holiday season and see how it works. Some of the benefits of using inventory software are that it offers better insight into customer requirements, and more importantly, it will expedite the inventory management process.
Also, the software will help you stock only the required numbers in the warehouse and not overstock. It will also help you keep track of items that you have on hand and organize things so that the fastest-selling items are all stored in one place. Further, it will help you save time and money as you will always have a running inventory on hand and a list that needs to be ordered. This will keep you from ordering more than the required stock.
#7. Stock Sellable Stock
Sure, with holiday’s right at the corner, you’d be keener on stocking more holiday-themed items. However, the question is: What if the holidays are over and you still have stock lying on your shelf? This is why it’s really important to store more sellable stock. In other words, stock evergreen stock that customers are invariably interested in buying – holidays or no holidays.
#8. Offer Something Different
While stocking inventory for holidays, see if you could reserve something different, and not the regular stuff. More or less, all stores will be stocking the same or similar types of goods. So think about what your customers would like to see during this time of the year and offer accordingly.
You could think of offering discounts or special gifts on every purchase. Or you could think of providing a free gift-wrapping service or free shipping for online orders. The idea is to make your offer look different and maybe better than your competitors.
No one wants their holidays to go kaput because they lack the required inventory at the warehouse. So, get a handle over inventory management by following the above-mentioned tips and, more importantly, by leveraging inventory management software. Good Luck.