While seasonal products can provide a great boost in revenue during the timeframe in which they are useful to your customers, achieving your sales target on that inventory before purchasing stagnates can be a challenge. Proper planning and product rollout can go a long way toward preventing a surplus of unwanted merchandise or a dearth of popular products when your customers need them. Here are a few ways to manage your seasonal inventory to ensure you make your sales goals before season’s end:
1. Inventory Management
Properly managing your seasonal inventory is key to moving it when you need to and reducing product pileup on your end. This means more than recording numbers on a spreadsheet. You’ll need to keep an eye on buying trends as they relate to your wholesale business and your industry in general.
Find out which products are selling and why, but be ready to adapt to changing trends. Last year’s numbers can be helpful in this process, but there’s no guarantee those trends will continue season after season. You’ll need to maintain a solid foundational understanding of which products have performed for you historically and which ones to avoid altogether this season.
2. Don’t Overbuy
Keeping your excess seasonal stock to a minimum means not buying too much in the first place. Monitoring buyer trends is key to this process. Look into the sales history of previous seasons at your store to gauge how much of a certain product usually is sold before, during, and after a given season. This won’t only help you learn from past successes or mistakes, but will also inform your future purchases by making sure you spend the right amount of money on the right quantity of products. Factor the impact weather has on your seasonal sales. That influence is not reflected in spreadsheet printouts but it does impact your sales in a positive or negative way. You should record weekly weather patterns to gauge how seasonal merchandise sales are affected. That will validate sales numbers and increase the accuracy of your predictions.
3. Reduce Now, Not Later
If you think that you’re on track to end the season with a surplus of product, consider reducing your prices at intervals throughout the season instead of a single drastic reduction at the end. This way, you can encourage retailers to take advantage of the discount, reduce your extra inventory, and ultimately save you money in the long-run by leaving you with less unmovable inventory when the season ends and demand plummets.
4. Incentivize Retailers to Buy by a Certain Date
Offering retailers incentives to buy your products before the season begins is a good way to both get rid of some of your product early and gauge interest among your buyers. Rather than waiting until the end of the season nears to offer incentives or discounts, try creating a promotion that offers retailers a slight discount, or even free shipping, if they buy a certain number of items by a certain date. This way, you preemptively encourage retailers to stock up on your seasonal inventory, making it less likely that you end up with an end-of-season surplus while also making it easier for retailers to shop with you instead of your competitors.
Moving seasonal products before the window on them closes can be a difficult task for wholesalers, but these tips will help you unload your inventory in a timely and profitable fashion. If you keep an eye on trends and buyer behavior both before and during the season you will better avoid product pile-up and massive price-cuts once the products’ usefulness has run its course. Proper planning and an adaptive strategy can go a long way toward achieving your sales goals and equipping everyone from the retailer to the consumer with the tools they need for the seasonal rush.