The holiday season is nearly here, meaning eCommerce and wholesale businesses should already be forecasting sales, planning for inventory, and defining promotional strategies. Here are some key planning considerations to ensure you’re ready to exceed those end-of-year sales goals this holiday season.
TradeGecko’s inventory and order management software will help you prepare, forecast inventory, and maximize your holiday sales.
Use intelligence reports to plan for sales and inventory
Nowadays, predicting holiday sales and planning for seasonal stock levels is easy thanks to the advent of sophisticated inventory management systems. TradeGecko can be used to view past sales by period or location, and accurately predict upcoming sales trends. This means you can glean a lot of useful information about how much you’ll sell this year, what you’ll sell, and how much stock you’ll need to have on hand. By analyzing sales data from previous years’ holiday periods to make predictions, you’ll ensure there are no last-minute surprises leaving you out of stock.
Even if you’ve planned your inventory levels perfectly, it’s likely that you’ll run out of stock for popular items at some point. By enabling backordering, you can allow customers to make orders even if you don’t have a particular item in stock – maximizing the opportunity for sales. With TradeGecko’s backorder system, all backorders are collated and converted to one purchase order per supplier, which reduces the need for manual ordering and improving customer experience.
Plan for promotions
Virtually every business on the market will be ramping up their promotional efforts leading up to and during the holiday season, so it pays to make sure your marketing plan is up to scratch. Focus on your unique selling proposition (what you can offer that other businesses can’t), and highlight any seasonal products or features you have that are likely to draw in customers, such as limited-time offers, new product lines, or product package bundles.
Create a seasonal budget
Budgeting for expenses ahead of time means you’ll be properly prepared for the holiday season and have a clearer picture of what your net profit will look like. Consider factors such as marketing campaigns you plan to undertake, any new staff hires, and improvements to products or customer experience you want to make before the holiday season begins.
Define your returns and exchanges policy
The gift-giving season goes hand in hand with an influx of returns and exchanges. This involves effectively managing inventory levels and organizing a holding location for returned goods so they can be examined before resale.
Inventory management software like TradeGecko helps streamline the returns and exchanges process by automatically updating in the system when a product is returned, and syncing with eCommerce integrations like Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce, and accounting softwares like Quickbooks Online.
Map out your fulfillment workflow
Seamless product fulfillment is integral to a positive customer experience. During the holiday season, it’s especially important to have a smart fulfillment process in order to ensure customers receive their products on time. Consider using a third-party fulfillment solution like ShipStation and Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), which can handle the process from end to end. These fulfillment systems can also be integrated with TradeGecko, streamlining the entire sales process.
With the holiday season just around the corner, preparation is vital for the coming influx of customers. With smart systems in place for inventory management, and tools to help you forecast the sales on the horizon, you’ll be well placed to make this holiday season the best your business has seen.
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