The sale of seasonal merchandise all depends on efficient management of your inventory. Demand for products like raincoats, umbrellas, boots, sweaters and coats comes only once in every year. If you sell out of season products, consumers will not buy because they do not feel a pressing need for the commodity. However, when in season, the orders come flooding in.
The sale of seasonal goods online works in the same way offline retail does. The offseason time is to prepare for the sales period. To make the best of the overflowing demand for seasonal commodities, you need to plan ahead of time and here’s how you can start:
Are your products seasonal to begin with?
What is it you sell? Are your products seasonal? Note the time of year when you see a spike in your sales. During which season did your products sell better? If you’ve been selling for a more than a year, you can accurately identify the peak period for your goods.
Do your seasonal goods have unique codes?
If you sell commodities for different seasons it is best to give each of them different markings according to their season. For example, if you sell winter wear and rainwear make sure you include a unique code in each product’s SKU according to their seasonal demand. This way when you look at your stock records you can easily distinguish your seasonal commodities. Specialised SKUs are useful especially when your products are kept in storage for a long duration. These unique codes help you identify which items have low stock and which do not, all at a glance. It also makes classification and organisation easier.
What should you add to your stock and how much?
If you’ve been in online retail over the last season, you will know what sells best. The best selling items will naturally have higher stock. What you need to take care of is overstocking. Too much of a commodity and you could be dealing with dead inventory. Too little and you lose out on profitability due to lack of stock.
Another thing you need to bear in mind is the relevance of a product. A winter jacket that is in fashion this winter may not be so popular with buyers next winter. In other words, you need to be aware of the trends and accordingly stock up for the season.
If you plan on promoting your goods make sure you have sufficient stock to meet the demand you’re creating. Advertisements and offers are meant to bring in traffic. This can mean more than usual. So regular stock quantities will not be enough.
When should you participate in price markdowns?
The end of season period is not necessarily a bad time of year. In fact, this is when many marketplaces host sales. End of season sales are a regular phenomenon at the close of every season. This is when you need to markdown prices of your products that will go out of season. By marking down prices you can push the stock leftover and in turn make place for the next season’s goods. In case of an online store you get to experiment with the end of season timeline.
The baseline here is to observe your past performance and accordingly plan for the season. Timing is essential, you don’t want to be caught in a storm unprepared.