Inventory Reduction Strategies
Having excess stock can take up warehouse space, leading it to be costly and divert resources and attention from selling other products. This means it's vital to have pre-planned strategies in place to make sure you're not desperately clearing stock last minute. Make sure you have a limit on how long inventory can be in the warehouse for before determining it as excess stock and then have a look at our helpful tips below on how to shift it.
- Create a dedicated sale page
By simply putting your excess products on sale in an obvious and highlighted page on your website, it will immediately draw buyers in. Not only this, but having all your sale items in one coherent place will mean customers are more likely to be attracted to other items they may not have noticed otherwise. Whilst this may seem like the obvious solution, it's not one that everyone thinks of.
- Host a competition
Running a giveaway or competition is always a great selling strategy, as it can draw people to your website and create buzz around your products. It also has the advantage of gathering data of potential customers, which can be helpful for future mailing lists and social media following. Announce your competition on as many different platforms as you can for maximum exposure. Try and add rules on the relevant ones, such as having to share or retweet the post. This can act as free brand marketing on social media as well.
- Send samples to influencers
With influencer marketing rated as one of the fastest ways to grow online customer acquisition these days, getting one to blog about your products will almost definitely improve sales. This can be especially helpful if it's an excess stock item as it can create a renewed buzz around the product. More and more, people are listening to the voices of micro-influencers, so make sure you target them as well within your strategy
- Place excess stock near best selling items
Add your excess stock as related items near your bestsellers for an instant boost in sales. This makes the stock you're trying to get rid of instantly more visible and buyers are tempted to get them as a last minute buy.
- Use a loyalty scheme
If you don't already have a loyalty scheme for your customers it is definitely a concept worth exploring, as it can increase their lifetime value by up to 40%. Not only is it beneficial for general sales, but you can set up a rewards scheme like double points on excess stock items. Consumers are much more likely to buy something if they think they're getting a good deal on it.
- Open a pop-up store
Using a brick-and-mortar storefront can be a good way to get rid of excess stock. It also has the added bonuses of engaging new customers and getting feedback from them, as well as creating brand awareness.
- Extend return period
Having the security of being able to return a product often makes a customer more likely to buy it. If you have a return policy of 30 days, consider doubling it for the products you want to get rid of. If people are going to return items the most likely time for them to do it is within the first week of purchasing, or they forget completely. This means, ultimately, an extension of your returns period shouldn't have a great effect on your costings.
- Renew product listing
Giving your listings shiny new pictures and descriptions can do wonders for shifting your excess product. A new, more interesting image may catch the buyer's eye. Similarly optimising a product description may both entice customers to it and help it rank higher in searches.
- Trade with other sellers
Sometimes you may be able to sell stock that someone else can't and vice versa, which means a trade with another seller can be beneficial to both of you. This strategy can include utilising the term 'New Stock In' which will create a hype around your new products and make customers want to buy them whilst they're hot.
- Advertise as back in stock
It is possible to temporarily remove excess stock from sale platforms and then reintroduce it a couple of weeks later as being 'back in stock'. This removes the need to sell it at a discount price and can also make the product seem more exclusive to customers, as it's returned to sale due to popular demand.
- Make product bundles
If you have a number of excess stock products you can't seem to get rid of, try packaging them together in a bundle. Whilst this may shorten your margins slightly it will help clear up space in the warehouse, as well allowing you to announce this exciting new promotion.
- Donate excess stock to charity
If you find yourself otherwise unable to get rid of your excess stock, donating to charity can be a great option. Not only will you be doing some good and clearing warehouse space, it can also potentially gain you free press and favour amongst socially conscious consumers.