Seasonal Selling- Challenges and Remedies
Inventory management is a precarious task for the sellers and when it comes for managing the inventory as per the season boom, it cannot be easier. Garnishing the store with the evergreen products is an easy way but the sellers who choose to sell the seasonal products online might suffer the inventory management troubles, as for every season, they need to change their inventory and stock.
At every day, customers find the reason for shopping. There can be a mother’s day, father’s day, children's’ day, festivals, seasonal trends (summer, winter, autumn, rainy, spring) or their birthday, anniversary or anything for which they need gifts, essentials or luxury items. To cover all, embellishing the store with the seasonal items will be an added advantage.
FYI, for seasonal inventory, an extra consideration is required for managing the stock and inventory. Here inventory forecasting becomes important as an extra item in the stock will be of no use when the season will change or running out of stock will repel the seasonal customers from your store.
As winter is on its way, so stocking your store with winter products will be profitable. It will increase the number of customers and sales of your store. But we know there occur many obstacles and challenges in proper inventory management.
Challenges that online Sellers face:
1. Out of stock!
As you have decided to sell the seasonal items, there will surely be a rush at your store as people will find the essential items for the coming season. This can increase the sudden demand of the products and when the demand exceeds supply, you will start running out of control and stock. This situation upsets the customers and they tend to move away from you. Not good for your business.
Therefore, know the market and demands of the customers and decide the number of inventory in your store. It is quite difficult to estimate the exact figure but the closest approximation is always recommended.
2. Overloaded Stock
The seasonal commodities should be stocked in the limited number only as the season can change any time and so the needs of the customers. Extra stocking and piles of the items in the inventory more than the demands will contribute to the loss only. The overstock will vanish all invested money and also cost you in Amazon warehouse if you are stocking the items in the Amazon’s warehouse.
Even if you have your own warehouse, the extra stock will unnecessarily consume space restricting the space for other valuable and demanding products. It will disturb the space management of the warehouse.
3. Inventory Shipping
The frustrating and cumbersome task for the online sellers is the inventory shipping. As for the delayed shipping, customers might cancel or return the order and the early shipping may cost them more (either to the sellers or customers). For early shipping, the sellers can charge more to customers which again might repel the customers from making a purchase decision.
And, since there are seasonal products, the customers are purchasing, then, it becomes more important to manage the shipping time properly, as after season’s departure the products will be of no use to customers.
How to overcome the challenges?
1. Get the earlier records of product demands
Take time and analyze the earlier sales of the products in your store last season. If you are new to the online retailing then figure out the market trends and customers’ response to the products you are looking for selling. Understanding the demands and supply needs, fill your warehouse and make money with proper inventory management.
2. Know the seasonal peaks
The demand and need of the items and products vary from person to person. You need to be wise in stockpiling the inventory and warehouse. One customer can find one product useful while other could find a different item worth for buying. Therefore, be selective in peaking the really essential and demanding items for the season. Store those products which are really essential for the season and no one can miss out buying from your store. For instance, for winter, peaking the sweaters and jerkings will be profitable. No one can avoid wearing a sweater. Why don’t you stock in your Amazon store?
Dropshipping is emerging as an added advantage to the retailers. For the seasonal inventory selling, you can use dropshipping and outsource your shipping hassles to the manufacturers. You can free up your warehouse and use it for other inventory stock. For the time-specific selling in a season, you can use a third-party supplier to fulfill the customer’s demands. Every process of packing and shipping will be accomplished by the dropshippers.
Accurate estimation of demand and thus calculating the amount of inventory is essential for online sales. Any wrong estimation may take you either in the out of stock or excessive inventory occupying unwanted space in your warehouse.
For inventory forecasting, there are many tools and software that can track the demands, supplies and a previous sales graph of the products which helps you in picking the right product for your store. For operating the tools, you need to have an e-commerce expert to run the software and tools.
But if you don’t want to take management hassles for tools and eCommerce team, you can outsource your requirements to the service providers like evantage. We work with proper inventory management strategy to run your online Amazon store smoothly and sales-boosting tactics.