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What to do with unsold inventory for an e-commerce site?
Now that the holiday shopping madness has come to an end, some online merchants are questioning themselves and asking: what do I do with unsold inventory for an e-commerce site?
Whether you wrongly forecasted merchandise or simply overbought inventory, you want to quickly turn unsold products into cash and keep your inventory moving. I’ve detailed some of the best practices to help you get rid of stale inventory and maintain a strong cash flow.
Assess your Inventory
No matter what products you’re selling, an item that stays too long on the shelves increases costs and loses its value. This is one of the biggest challenges for online merchants and it ties up cash that could be spent on fresh, fast selling items. Products should be turning over within 90 days and anything that sticks around longer means you need do something to make it sell.
Make your Best Sellers your Best Asset
If you have a few items that are selling like hot cakes, try bundling them with your unsold inventory. For example, if you’re having trouble getting rid of straw hats but your bikinis are flying off the shelves, bundle these items together and raise the price (reasonably, of course). This will get your customers excited about your older inventory and make them feel like they’re getting a deal.
Offer “Doorbuster Deals”
It’s better to take the loss now rather than later so slash the price! If you’ve already tried offering a 10%-20% discount on these slow selling items, it’s time to hike up the discount. Remember, the longer these products sit in your inventory the more they are costing you and the faster they are losing their value. Here’s a great marketing technique to boost sales: offer promotions for specific categories. These examples can help you create a buzz via newsletters, social media and promo banners on your shop:
- 40% off all sandals site-wide!
- 50% discount on all outerwear!
- 30% off all red and pink items for Valentine’s Day!
I always suggest taking a look at Pinterest for promotional ideas. Do a quick search for the type of sale you want to run whether its by season, product or holiday and get inspired!
Sales for Charity
This is a great way to touch a sweet spot in your customers. Promote a discount on your slow selling items and give a cut to charity. Not only will this encourage customers to shop these products by offering a good deal AND making them feel good about shopping but you’ll even be able to deduct these donations from your tax returns (in certain countries) so the loss isn’t so steep.
You can Count on Marketplaces
Putting your inventory on online marketplaces is a great way to get stale items off your site and turn them into quick cash. Make sure you use keyword specific product titles and descriptions since marketplace shoppers are often looking for specific items. You can even sell inventory in bulk on marketplaces as well as in “lot” which is a grouping of similar items that are sold together. Selling in bulk with a big discount will remove the burden of dealing with the never-ending discount process. Sell on Marketplaces with PrestaShop Addons.
In the end, the most important thing is to identify your poor selling inventory, stop holding onto it and keep your cash flow strong. What selling tactics to get rid of unsold inventory have worked for you? Share with us!
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