Most retailers find that managing their inventory is challenging no matter the time of year. But what every retailer can agree upon is that it becomes much more challenging around the holidays. It’s one of the busiest seasons, after all. With the holidays just around the corner, you might have several questions like:
How much stock do I need to purchase?
What products do I need to stock up on?
When do I need to order?
How do I manage all of my stock?
Take a look at these tips on how to manage your inventory during the holidays to find answers to these questions.
Forecast your inventory demand
When preparing your inventory for the holidays, the first thing you need to know is how much stock to purchase to meet demand. You can do this by using demand forecasting. Demand forecasting will give you a rough estimate of the amount of inventory you’ll need and how much you should budget for the holidays.
Stock up on your best-selling products
Next, you’ll need to determine what products you’re going to sell. Even if you plan to experiment with new products, it’s important that you also offer products that you know will sell well so your sales don’t take a dip. Take a look at your sales reports from the 2018 holiday season and make a list of all the products that seemed to fly off the shelves. Also list those best-selling products that you started selling after the 2018 holiday. Stocking these products should be your top priority. Then you can start looking for other products to try selling this year. Not sure where to begin? Here is a list of trending products that you could sell this 2019 holiday season: coffee mugs, hoodies and sweaters, wall art, customizable jewellery, bags, beanies, baby onesies, and bean bags.
Once you know what you’re selling, the next step is to order them from your vendors. It’s been found that early-bird shoppers have already started their holiday shopping, so it’s essential that you start ordering your products in advance. Also, by ordering early, you’ll be able to gain an edge over your competitors who might be looking to purchase similar products.
Create a back-up plan
Lastly, even if you do calculate a demand estimate for the holidays, it’s vital that you know what to do in case you run out of stock. Assign reorder points for each product that you’re selling, so you can order more stock before you completely run out. And if you operate with multiple stores or warehouses, you could try moving your stock from one location to another based on demand. This is a safer option than purchasing new stock from a vendor because it reduces the amount of leftover items after the holidays.