As the weather turns cooler and leaves begin to turn, the thoughts of retailers like you must, too, turn to stocking up on inventory in preparation for the holiday rush. If you'd prefer to be out looking at the beautiful trees, think of all the agony you can avoid if you just have your inventory organized for the upcoming season.
If you do manage your inventory well this year, you can expect several benefits to come your way.
Managing Your Inventory Means Happier Customers
Consumers reach for their smartphones to research holiday gifts to buy these days, and you want your company listings to pop right up. High listings depend on positive customer reaction to your products and online reviews. Good customer reviews result from having what the customer wants when he wants it.
Managing your inventory well for holiday sales leads to happy customers, which helps your pages come up first in online searches.
You want to avoid stock outs throughout the holiday sales period, too. Make it somebody's job to do a regular check of your stock levels, especially of bestselling products. Regularly monitor what might need reordering and get on it fast.
Managing Your Inventory Helps You Organize
Managing your inventory for the holiday season this year gives you an excellent opportunity to make your delivery process as efficient as possible. Take a look at your entire inventory storage system and consider:
- Will it impede workflow?
- Are there shelves, lights, or dollies that need replacement?
- Are the computer systems fully upgraded, both hardware and software?
- Can storage handle the increased holiday inventory?
- Do you have a place to process holiday returns?
Best to have all this taken care of well in advance of the holiday sales crush. This is a good time to update all the computer systems to make sure you won't encounter snags come December.
Designate a spot for returns processing, as you know, that's a part of holiday sales.
Managing Your Inventory Allows You to Satisfy "Click and Collect" Sales
Last year almost a third of shoppers decided to buy items online and then pick them up in the physical store. This "buy online, pick up in store" (or BOPIS) approach is trending for good reason. Consumers get the advantages of both worlds, the instant online research and the seeing and touching of actual products in real stores.
When customers come into your store to pick up products they purchased online, many buy other items on impulse. Others see things that were on their gift lists all along.
Managing your inventory well this holiday season means you'll better meet the needs of this new breed of hybrid customer.