With Halloween now behind us and November in full swing, we can officially say that the holiday shopping season is upon us! Needless to say, this is the absolute busiest shopping season of the year. So, it’s important for retailers to stock up on their most popular items as shoppers from all over the country will be crowding the malls in search for gifts for their loved ones over the next two months. Do you have enough of your inventory in stock?
Here are four keys to having enough inventory this holiday season:
1. Making note of your customers’ previous holiday shopping patterns. Depending on how long you’ve been in business, you should have a fairly good idea about how your customers make purchases during this time of year. Based on your experiences from years past, consider the items that are your highest sellers and which ones have moved slower. Be sure to stock up on those that are highly sought-after during the holidays.
On StitchLabs.com, Megan DeGruttola warns business owners against not ordering enough product on-hand to meet the demands of their customers. “You can avoid inventory shortages and overselling by reviewing historical sales reports on top-selling products and sales channels to better prepare your operations and warehousing facilities,” she advises, “Add an additional inventory safety net by setting low-stock thresholds for best-selling items to be automatically reordered, making being out of stock a ghost from Christmas past.”
2. Focusing on items that generate your highest profits. Surely, it’s important to keep your store well stocked. But, obviously there will be particular items that are more popularly given as gifts during the holiday season that you will want to showcase. That means you’ll have to amend the orders of your inventory to reflect higher priorities being placed on the items that are bound to make your the most money in the coming weeks.
“In the fourth quarter, every decision is more impactful because of higher sales volumes,” explains Craig Harding on MyTotalRetail.com, “Higher sales means bigger volume purchase orders, an increased likelihood of lost sales and back orders, and larger season-ending overstocks to be liquidated. To capitalize on opportunities for success, invest the time and effort to design and implement exception reports for buyers aimed at the relatively few items that will generate the largest profit. It’s simply good business.”
3. Use updated technology to keep records of your sales. In order to better assess what products you’ll need to continually keep on your shelves this holiday season, make use of the appropriate means of record keeping. By that, we don’t just mean a paper and pencil. Utilize online programs that can help you to manage your inventory professionally. If this area of your business isn’t particularly your strong suit, be sure to put a trustworthy employee on the job.
“The true difficulty of managing inventory, particularly across multiple sales channels, lies within the many disparate systems with constantly updating information that needs to be processed,” says DeGruttola, Spreadsheets, purchase orders, invoices, and pick lists are often all kept in different locations…Many retailers are unaware to the numerous technology tools available to help them integrate and streamline their various sales channels and vendor platforms.”
4. Secure the funding necessary to purchase your inventory. This is the time of year when business owners stand to make the most money they’ve made all year. However, it’s also the time of year when they’ll need the most money to ensure that they can afford large enough orders for their most popular products. As we’ve pointed out in past blogs, securing bank loans is getting harder and harder for small to medium sized business owners to do these days.
So what is the alternative? At Synergy Merchants, we offer a great merchant cash advance program that helps Canadian business owners to quickly secure the funding they need to purchase inventory right away. For more information about our program, or to get yourself a free, no obligation quote, give us a call at 1-877-718-2026 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!