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Mastering Inventory Control for Success in Holiday Sales and Retail Businesses

vijay

Vijay Kumar

Senior Specialist - Marketing @ Shiprocket

December 11, 2023

6 min read

eCommerce players and retailers are gearing up to meet customer expectations with an exciting range of products for the holiday season. But the trickiest part for most retailers is getting the stock levels right. 

If you are overstocked, anticipating demand, you may have carrying costs. If you sell out your stock, you have even more significant problems with stockout costs. Statistically, nearly 56% of global online shoppers could not purchase products due to being out-of-stock as of June 2022. In India, 44% of online buyers faced out-of-stock issues. The key is to ensure inventory control. 

However, accurately controlling the inventory during the holiday season is very complex and depends on multiple factors. 

Do you want to know how to maximise holiday season sales with effective inventory control? Here are the top 8 tips to follow.  

8 Tips for Achieving Total Inventory Control and Maximising Festive Season Sales

Managing inventory during peak demand is a crucial challenge for most retailers. Festivals are seasonal, and stocking products for these occasions should be based on customer demand. Accurate Inventory planning will ensure you are in stock at the start of the season and meet demand expectations. Because most businesses leverage technology, inventory control is most effective when using the latest tools. 

Why is inventory control important to eCommerce businesses? Retailers can minimise investments in stocks when they have complete inventory control. It helps companies assess their current state, streamline the procurement process, and record stock, packing, and shipping information in one place. 

It also helps automate stock level control to generate accurate sales performance and inventory analytics. In many ways, it allows retail businesses to free up and reallocate capital.

Here are the top 8 technology-based tips to help you control inventory and maximise sales for your retail business this holiday season.

1. Planning Based on Demand Forecast

It is always necessary to know the potential number of units or products you may need for a season. By using the principles of demand forecasting, you can calculate the potential market for the product. 

Again, you should study the previous season’s trends, the performance of discounts and offers, and the per-unit sales in your market. This will help you find the closest estimation of likely sales this season. Acquiring such data, analysing it, and concluding can be time-consuming if you are a full-time retailer. 

The alternative is using a real-time comprehensive reporting system. Using this system, you can make better decisions, plan your business operations in advance, purchase the right amount of stock, and prevent wastage owing to extra stock. Studying the previous season’s trends and performances, brands can create strategies to perform better and persuade customers to make additional purchases while increasing their revenue.

2. Ongoing Stock Auditing

We often overstock high-demand products to prevent stockouts. But the other side of it is that you hold surplus stock. In some cases, if the product is perishable and tends to break down within a couple of weeks, surplus stock becomes a financial drain. 

One solution to move past such obstacles is to have an ongoing stock auditing process in place. But manually handling such a process is taxing. For quicker results and reliable auditing, a unified management system is beneficial. The system allows you to evaluate and invest in the right product at the right time. Thus, it saves time, controls inventory, and prevents stockouts.

3. Enhance Purchase Flow

For a smooth inward purchase flow, an effective process for reconciling purchase orders with entry recording is essential. You can manage your orders from multiple eCommerce platforms, such as Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, etc., in one centralised dashboard. You can import orders, generate shipping labels, and schedule pickups directly from the Shiprocket app.

4. On-Time Stock Refilling

This is a straightforward but vital tip to drive balanced stock levels in your organisation. Automatic stock level analysis and refilling of products timely prevent loss of sales and drive customer satisfaction. 

5. Visibility Enhancing Racks

Packaging and displaying are the main rules of good marketing. In the rush of the festive season, it can be challenging to have a compelling product visibility arrangement. Shiprocket helps you with just that. With 12+ channel integrations, they provide your product all-around visibility and allow you to manage all orders in a single platform. They offer custom packing and deliver a delightful client experience.

6. Quick Checkouts

Would you stand in long queues to check out in retail stores during the festive season? The answer is no! So, why would your customers? Having multiple billing facilities is where you can ensure excellent customer experience. What are the options you should consider?

Mobile billing solutions can be set up to help festive shoppers with billing. No additional hardware is required either. The on-the-go billing system will also enhance the customer experience and likely growth in footfalls in the off-season. 

7. Omnichannel Support

How do you reach more significant markets and wider audiences without expanding store size? Technology has the answer. Shiprocket app supports online ordering and delivery and can reach customers anywhere in India. With POS omnichannel support, stores can compete and promote products. It will improve accuracy as well. 

8. Accurate Order Processing

How can you streamline order processing and exercise better inventory control? Partnering with the Shiprocket app allows you to track shipments in real time through the app. It provides tracking updates and notifications to keep users and their customers informed about the shipment status.

These eight tips offer several easy-to-implement options that can drive your inventory accuracy and ensure you remain in control over your stock. 

Conclusion 

Inventories are high-value assets in every retail business. Inventory control is crucial to achieving long-term goals and gaining a competitive advantage. Meeting customer demands consistently becomes a reality only when companies have complete inventory control. The essential tricks to accomplish this goal are practising demand planning, conducting ongoing inventory audits, and refilling and replenishing inventory at the right time. At the same time, there are several tools and technology aids to help you to achieve these goals. Shiprocket Fulfillment can automate the trickiest sections of inventory management, allowing you to focus on your festive campaigns. By their vast network and state-of-the-art technology, they can help complete your order processing in the right time. Boost your sales this festive season!

What are the three inventory types?

Inventory is classified into three types – Raw materials, Finished goods and WIP. 

Name three techniques used for inventory control.

The three commonly used inventory control methods are the push, pull, and just-in-time strategies.

What is the ABC analysis method of inventory management?

The ABC analysis method classifies inventory into three categories: A- High-value items, B-Medium value items, and C-Low-value items.

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