Have you ever faced the issue of selling off your old inventory? Then this article is for you.
Inventory management requires constant attention and is of utmost importance for your business growth. Even the most successful e-commerce stores face difficulty in getting the lower demand products off their shelves.
Generally, the downtime for sales often takes place in the early months of the year as well as during the end of seasons when new products are in demand. Rather than clinging onto these items in hope that someone might suddenly purchase them, it’s best to find ways to clear the stock as quickly as possible. Selling an item at a low-profit margin or even at a loss is much better than taking up shelf space. Also, it frees up the cash flow in the business. Inventory should usually be sold within 90-120 days. If items haven’t moved within this period of time, it’s time to get rid of them.
Here are some of the ways to move your inventory fast and turn them into cash.
The most obvious way to clear out and make your inventory move faster is to discount old and excess stock. In order to create demand for these products, you’ll need to heavily discount your items. Always ensure to notify your shoppers about your sale offers with e-commerce promotions. While sales are a great way to drive shoppers to purchase, it’s also important to keep the frequency of sales in mind. If you hold too many sales throughout the year, they may lose their appeal and effectiveness. Some common types of sales are:
- Clearance sale: This is an opportunity to flush out any stock which hasn’t sold in the past 3-6 months.
- Flash sale: Urgency and FOMO (the fear of missing out) have a serious psychological effect on consumers these days, which makes flash sales a slam dunk way to convert some sales for sure.
- Specific item sale: Put up a sale that is aimed at a particular type of shopper, product, or need.
- Seasonal sales: A seasonal change may mean that your product line is going to change as well.
Remarketing old products:
Your products may not be selling because of how they have been marketed. Sometimes you just need to freshen up the product marketing a bit to get these items to sell. Some of the ways to focus while remarketing your old products are:
- Take new product photos: Give your products a fresh look with newer and attractive photos.
- Place items in new places on-site: Visibility and accessibility improvements can help you move stale inventory. Be it creating a new landing page or moving items to different categories/sections on your site, a change of scenery could help these items sell.
- Use new keywords in the product title and description: Writing product descriptions that not only evoke a need to purchase but are also sound for SEO is quite a tough task to manage.
Bundling of products
Next to discounting, bundling is another most popular pricing method used by retailers. Bundling means when you take a group of products and sell them as a bundle for a slightly lower price than they were sold separately. When you are discounting inventory, this allows you to maintain your margins and profit on a sale.
- Bundle fast-moving products with slow-moving products
- Bundle multiple units of the same product
- Bundle complementary products
Use low-cost items as incentives
If you find an item is difficult to sell, then try to use it as an incentive for your shoppers to take action. Small incentives can be very powerful when it comes to driving desired results. Present an offer for a gift with purchase to shoppers on your site.
Offer free gifts in various forms to increase order size and purchases. Threshold offers like “Spend Another option is to incentivize shoppers to increase their order size. Threshold offers like “spend some more and receive a free water bottle” can help you get more out of each sale while also getting rid of those old water bottles that are sitting and collecting dust.
Here are a few options for when you’ve tried everything else:
- Donate to receive tax deductions: Let’s face it if you can’t find a way to sell old inventory, then donating it may be your best option. There are plenty of organisations that are willing to accept donations and your business can benefit from helping others.
- Contact suppliers to see if returns or exchanges are possible: While this is a shot in the dark, asking suppliers if returns or exchanges are possible never hurts.
Excess and old inventory is inevitable. Although having a down month may seem like the end of the world, be a savvy retailer who always finds ways to move out the old inventory and turn them into cash.
How do you handle your excess inventory? Share with us in the comments below.
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Also, read our article on “5 powerful inventory management tips for wholesale businesses“