With new shopping seasons come different products and displays for retailers to update. Often, it’s hard to find the balance between featuring the right products and ordering enough inventory. This is complicated by 44% of U.S. shoppers shopping online and in-person, as well as making in-store pickups. The selling timeline for seasonal items is short, leading to the need to transport or store inventory needing to be transported away or stored on-site.
On average, U.S. retailers have $1.43 in inventory left over for every $1 in sales. The logistical elements of retail inventory management are the biggest challenge of a store refresh, but here’s how to mitigate it.
Develop a data-driven seasonal retail calendar
The intermittent seasonal peaks in inventory needs vary slightly for retailers, but overall they shouldn’t be a surprise. For example, 20% of retail sales occur during the holiday season annually, which is why having the right stock to meet increased demand will allow you to tap into revenue opportunities.
To take advantage, create a realistic calendar of the seasons your retail store should tie into. This will help you prepare for what you’ll need and not run out of popular products or carry excessive inventory that’s difficult to sell.
Analyze your merchandise plans
To determine what inventory is needed next season and how much, start by analyzing past merchandise sales. Review the total number of previous sales per store, department, product category and on a per item basis over the past year. Use the data collected in the analysis to inform what you order as part of a pre-season merchandise plan based on the needs of different store locations and sales channels.
Identify sales peaks
To achieve optimal inventory levels to match with your calendar, merchandising plans, and sales peaks, it is necessary to store unsold goods and restock popular items. Unfortunately, less than 30% of U.S. warehouses operate efficiently, leading to a breakdown in inventory management.
Brick-and-mortar and e-commerce retail operations can manage inventory by identifying when you’re expecting a peak in sales will happen and how large it will be compared to normal demand. Take note of the level of uncertainty with each forecasted sales increase by monitoring your data. This approach will allow your team to increase inventory during seasonal peaks, while also having enough safety stock.
Account for evolving customer demands
Aim to be flexible enough to adjust your inventory needs as a season progresses— today’s retail market demands agility with the accuracy and speed of fulfillment. Review your current inventory as compared to planned sales and actual sales to inform additional purchases within a season. This is a more nimble method of merchandising in the omnichannel retail industry than only buying based on what was predicted to sell.
Plan for unpredictable seasonal revenue
Partner with PODS, an industry leader in smart inventory management, to proactively respond to evolving customer demands. On-site mobile storage can help you capitalize on seasonal revenue opportunities effectively and efficiently. At PODS, our highly-trained staff will assist with the logistical elements involved in inventory management, making life easier and helping your operations run smoother.
Get support on merchandise handling tasks
PODS can help manage your time more effectively by allowing for the unloading or loading of one of our storage containers at your convenience rather than when the delivery truck arrives. These containers can remain on-site as long as needed for easy access to seasonal merchandise. This will help staff be more efficient as this gives them more time to dedicate to customers rather than logistics.
With PODS flexible moving and storage solutions to support your seasonal inventory demands, your business will be fully optimized and empowered to reach its full potential.