Inventory management is incredibly important to your business’ success and requires constant attention. However, even the most meticulous businesses still run into problems every year with excess stock.
The truth is, having leftover inventory at the end of each season is inevitable, no matter how successful your brand may be. Here are 5 strategies you can use to clear your inventory without reverting to closeouts or markdowns.
1. Light a Fire Under Your Retailers with Time-Sensitive Promotions and Campaigns
Highlight Items Low-in-Stock
Time-sensitive promotions ensure a quick reaction from your retailers. Build a custom linesheet around which items are flying off the shelves, and are low on inventory.
Utilize Holidays and Special Events
Use holidays and special events to build linesheets with relevant products. Whether it’s Christmas, Valentine’s Day or the Fourth of July, retailers are always looking to stock their shelves with items they know their consumers will be looking for.
Capitalize on Current Trends
With today’s fast-fashion, retailers are purchasing more items in-season to keep up with consumer demand. Build linesheets around popular trends you’re seeing, and send a personalized recommendation encouraging your retailers to place an order on what’s hot today, before it’s gone tomorrow.
2. Encourage Orders and Reorders with Real-Time Data and Insights
Promote Your Best Sellers
No retailer wants to miss out on the hottest selling items of the season. Use your B2B portal to see your most popular products, and which retailers have not yet purchased them. Build a custom linesheet with the items that would do well in their stores.
Create Personalized Recommendations
Use personalized recommendations to boost reorders. Look at each retailer’s buys and analyze which items are flying off the shelves. Build a personalized linesheet that includes your suggested items to reorder, alongside new items that have performed well with other retailers.
Let People Know What’s Back In Stock
Keep retailers up-to-date on which items are being restocked so they can place orders as soon as products are made available again. The more insight you give your retailers, the more insight they’ll have to make better purchasing decisions.
3. Re-engage Retailers with New Merchandised Assortments
Use Visual Merchandising to Storytell
Transform a catalog of individual products into a strategically bundled assortment. Combine products, logos, imagery, and text to create a compelling story that showcases how your entire line works together.
Bundle by Budget
Increase order value by building recommended assortments merchandised by budget. Empower the buyer with Good, Better, Best options to show them how certain styles and pieces work together within a specific dollar amount to capture more buying budget.
Connect Assortments to Customers
Show how products appeal to your buyers’ target customers. Use insights on what is performing best in each retailer’s store, and create a merchandised assortment of products that are guaranteed to engage buyers and encourage purchases.
Demonstrate In-Store Merchandising
Create inspiring displays show how products can be merchandised in-store. Build mock displays designed to resonate with each brand’s target audience.
Share Your Brand’s Marketing Strategy
Share new strategies on how you will be marketing your line or specific products from a brand standpoint to help drive sales. Give your retailers insights into any game plans you have in place to engage buyers and encourage sales.
Educate Your Retailers
The more product information you provide your retailers, the better they’ll be able to sell on the ground. Use visual merchandising to showcase the story behind your collection, and display details around fabric, fit and design. It is just as important for your team to understand your line as it is external sales reps.
When handled properly, excess inventory can actually open up sales and customer engagement opportunities for your business. Evaluating your stock regularly and using the above strategies will help make the end of each season a lot more manageable, and a lot more profitable.