All Over Influencer Marketing? Here’s Why You Need a Good Forecasting Tool

“Baby and nursery trends used to change every couple of months – now it’s every day or two. When a celebrity or influencer posts about their nursery decor or shares a snap of their newborn in a cute outfit, it can cause a spike in demand or even start a whole new trend.”

– Katy Mimari, CEO of Caden Lane

Though definitely a modern phenomena, influencer marketing is anything but a fad – in fact, the right influencer strategy can drive the majority of a brand’s traffic and become a key tool in building brand reputation. The stats say it all – in a recent survey, 61% of consumers said they trust product recommendations from an online influencer, against only 38% who trust branded social media content.

A nerve-wracking consequence of influencer or celebrity endorsement is that impact to sales can be immediate, and sometimes unexpected – so how do retailers manage the sudden spikes in demand? If your brand is big on influencer marketing, read on as we make the case for combining this strategy with a solid, data-driven forecasting tool, so you’re never caught short of serving enthusiastic customers when it counts the most.

1. The influencer effect can occur at lightning speed

Influencer marketing campaigns can be intentional; when social media stars, niche experts or celebrities are targeted and paid to speak publicly on your products – or they can be unexpected, when an influencer decides to use, wear or share your brand in a public arena without prompt. There’s always an element of uncertainty in any marketing method, but when it’s successful, the boost to your brand’s popularity following an endorsement can be overwhelming operationally, especially when you’re a relatively new business.

Without an intelligent forecasting tool, as well as full visibility of your inventory to detect and prepare for new trends, you run the risk of slow uptake, delayed purchasing and longer lead times, meaning a higher risk of stockouts and your customers left waiting and increasingly frustrated.

2. Adapt quickly to a boost in popularity

As baby brand Caden Lane mentioned in the quote above, the rise of social media and influencer marketing means trends have increased from a monthly or seasonal occurrence to changing almost daily. Being prepared to make rapid adjustments to your stock levels at short notice is key to serving eager customers looking to get their hands on the next hot-selling product.

With a data-driven approach to forecasting that dynamically adapts to your sales patterns, you can be notified of popular products, quickly spot trends and make new purchase orders swiftly, without losing hours consolidating multiple spreadsheets to make manual calculations.

3. Smart replenishment recommendations will keep you in stock – and warn you of overstocking

When influencer-fuelled trends are sending sales of certain products into overdrive, the last thing you want is to run out of stock and block opportunities for big profits. Intelligent inventory planning software offers smart replenishment recommendations based on historical data; the time-span of which can be customized to capture the trending period.

Inventory Planner also factors in marketing shifts, lead times, seasonality and promotions as well as custom trending periods, so you’ll be well informed of your influencers’ impact and can act quickly in response – knowing exactly how much of which items to order and the exact time to do so.

Once the trend starts to slow down, you’ll also be warned if there’s a risk of overstock, so can begin ordering fewer items or putting the remainder on promotion to keep that all-important cash flow moving.

4. Gain valuable inventory insights to inform future influencer campaigns

When influencers affect sales, you’ll want to thoroughly assess what worked and why. Perhaps it wasn’t only the product in focus that saw a boost in popularity, but associated products such as a matching hat, or different flavours of the same item. On the other hand, perhaps a chosen influencer in a planned campaign didn’t impact sales as much as you’d hoped – and comparing results to a past influencer campaign can inform future marketing decisions.

Inventory Planner’s in-depth reporting includes countless data points and over 200 custom metrics, so retailers can assess sales patterns down to granular variants against chosen time periods and locations. Reveal which coinciding factors may have helped or hindered the influencer’s impact, and target hot-selling or slow-moving items in the warehouse that could be used for future campaigns and promotions.

Meeting demand for star-backed products

Texas-based baby brand, Caden Lane, used Inventory Planner to make a 132% revenue boost – making them the USA’s Fastest-Growing Baby & Toddler Brand of 2022.

CEO Katy Mimari credits their slick, tech-backed approach to marketing for their continued growth, but a string of A-list celebrity endorsements has definitely helped – including singer Ashlee Simpson, actress Tori Spelling and model Samantha Harris.

“Inventory Planner is definitely a tool I’d recommend to other brands that are responding to rapidly evolving consumer trends,” Katy said.

“We use Inventory Planner connected to our Shopify-powered store to help us accurately forecast demand and stay ahead of the game. [Inventory Planner] helps us predict how much we need to order of every item – even new products – in order to meet our revenue goals.”

“Without it, ordering stock would be based on guesswork, which is never a good plan!”

Without the right inventory planning software, retailers risk responding late to trends, going out of stock and taking too long to deliver the goods – resulting in unsatisfied customers and the eroded brand reputation and revenue loss that comes with it.

Brands using influencer marketing to their advantage, including Caden Lane, depend on Inventory Planner’s intelligent forecasting method to allow them to tap into trends early and respond rapidly to ‘influencer impact’.

Discover how Inventory Planner can be the perfect complement to your influencer marketing strategy – try a 14 day free trial with us today.