Retailers: Tips to Manage Inventory Surplus and Seasonal Swap Outs

0 Comment(s) | Posted | by Norm Kotoch, Jr. |

Reach peak efficiencies and maximize profits for your retail business with effective inventory management. Understanding how much product to order could be the difference between adapting to trends successfully and struggling with mass amounts of inventory you won’t use. 

During times of transition, a space to store overflow, such as a storage unit, outside warehouse or back storage room, can help keep items on hand for the precise moment when you need them. Below, we discuss a few ways to determine and predict your business’ inventory sweet spot. 

Tap into Buyer Intelligence: Discover Optimal Inventory Levels

Tap into the personas of your buyers. Know who you sell to and why they value what you bring to them. Armed with this information, you’ll know better what to store, how much of it to keep on hand, and when you’ll need to swap out for something new.

Note buying patterns and requests, and when possible, speak direct to your customers to hear their thoughts on your business and products. Take comments to heart and make adjustments, as needed.

Keep Thorough Supply Records

If your business has been in operation for a few years or more, you may be able to anticipate top-selling products.

Keep a historic record of your inventory supply and demand by month and year. Build it out in an Excel spreadsheet or Google Doc, or invest in a more sophisticated retail inventory management software solution. Use this historical data to make note of any seasonal trends or fluctuations month-to-month.

This document could become highly valuable, as it gives you insight into when to reduce inventory and when to purchase extra throughout the year.

Tis the Season: Are You Ready?

As the holidays draw near, and shopping comes to an all-time high, your inventory levels will need to accommodate for the influx. Industry wide, retailers should see a spike as the hunt for the perfect gift begins.

How will you forecast needs? Take a look at your historical trends for notorious big sellers in the coming months, and note this year’s highly promoted features and anticipated items. Which items are creating buzz?

As you evaluate, you may find that you need to swap out some inventory from the store floor to keep stock on a few seasonal items. Items for room décor or kitchen dishware, which typically sells year-round, can have a seasonal twist around the holidays, with slight changes in design.

Look for opportunities to adjust supply accordingly. Simply pack up excess items that you can still sell year-round and store away for a few months. This lets you capitalize on the supply and showroom space you have, and also meet specific product demand fluctuations.

How are you preparing for the holiday rush? Let us know in the comment section below.

Image Source: Jim

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