Have you ever gone to a store looking for their “hot” item of the season to find out that they just sold the last one? Part of being successful is making sure that you have enough of the right product on hand.In a perfect world you would sell out of an item to the last customer walking through the door. We all know this rarely happens. The key is to find the “magic number” of how much inventory to carry so you have just a little of a product left over as the season rush comes to an end.
This is easier said than done you may say. But there are ways to help make sure that you optimize your merchandise for the season, and to do your best to have sufficient options for your customers to keep them coming back.
First and foremost, you want to be sure that you have a steady supply of merchandise from your supplier. It may be wise to use multiple suppliers. Split your delivery schedule and avoid ordering a large amount of a particular item upfront. If you find a particular product simply isn’t flying off the shelf like you anticipated, a split delivery schedule may allow you to adjust your order for upcoming deliveries. If you find that you are running out of an item, it may be beneficial to add more to your next shipment. Or vice versa, if you find you have too much of a given product, you may reduce your next shipment.
Online ordering can be key to keeping up with demand when you find yourself running low on a product. By allowing your customers to purchase the item they desire online, you reduce the amount of inventory that you need to have on hand. This allows you to lower your operational expense and still deliver the desired goods to your customers in a timely fashion.
Having a backup plan may be the key part to being successful at dealing with out of stock items as they arise with insufficient inventory.By backup plan, I am referring to having a similar item in stock. While this item may not be the exact item desired by the customer, it may be one that is similar enough to peak their interest. Your customer may be motivated to purchase the similar item in substitute of the one that they desired. Train employees on how to offer up alternative product options to provide strong customer service.
Keeping the proper inventory on hand is imperative to having a successful holiday season.To do this you need to be sure and schedule out your deliveries, allow for online ordering, and have a backup plan. By doing this you help to insure that you will have a successful holiday season! Ultimately, controlling inventory will help your bottom line come tax time next year.