When your brand has reached its limits on home turf, it makes sense to expand overseas.
Whether you’re looking to increase your brand’s revenue with a new customer base, to outpace your competition or to boost global brand awareness, branching out into new markets is a major step.
Merchants can mitigate the risks, speed up the process and adapt with ease to unfamiliar markets by using inventory planning technology to their advantage.
Here’s why you need inventory planning technology before you consider international expansion…
More control, less risk
Starting from scratch in a brand new market is inherently risky for any brand. Staying in control is critical – and that’s where inventory planning comes in.
It eliminates the guesswork of managing your inventory by providing reliable demand forecasting and hassle-free buying recommendations, even for new markets.
Inventory Planner by Sage allows you to zero in on local sales data, market trends, and customer behavior.
Detailed insights, based on your historical sales in other markets as well as seasonality and promotions, reveal what to buy, when to buy it and in what quantities so you can meet customer demand, without risking over or under-stocking (which both destroy cash flow).
Remember, what has worked well in your home country may not automatically translate to new regions – and inventory is your biggest asset, whether at home or abroad.
Let Inventory Planner do the heavy lifting of working out what to buy, so you can invest in inventory for your new venture with confidence and control.
Online furniture retailer FurnitureBox is using Inventory Planner to run its UK business and to expand into France and Germany.
James Ewens, Head of E-Commerce at FurnitureBox, says: “Our investment in Inventory Planner has paid for itself thousands of times over.
“I’m certain we wouldn’t have had the sales and growth we have without Inventory Planner’s accuracy and flexibility. The forecasting is next-level – and we have the data to prove that it’s always been right.
“Thanks to Inventory Planner, our cash flow is in good shape and expansion is a realistic prospect for us. The world is our oyster!”
Major time savings
If time is money, stop spending hours every week bogged down in spreadsheets and reinvest your time in more important expansion tasks. Inventory planning technology will free you from Excel hell and save you tons of time.
By accurately forecasting sales demand, even for new markets and new products, Inventory Planner eliminates time-consuming guesswork. By making data-driven decisions about the inventory you order, you can go to market faster and avoid losing time on errors and mistakes.
You can also automatically create purchase orders, or do it directly from your buying reports, to save even more time.
Fashion merchant AYBL has used Inventory Planner to successfully expand overseas. Reiss Edgerton, Founder and CEO at AYB, credits the platform with saving the brands thousands of hours.
He says: “Thanks to Inventory Planner, our stock is lean and we always have enough to meet demand. That’s had a direct impact on our ability to grow.
“Even now, Inventory Planner saves us about three full-time hires compared to a business run on spreadsheets. It stops me getting bogged down by managing day-to-day stuff and frees me up to focus on the bigger picture.”
Adapt to local trends
Selling in a new country means dealing with an unfamiliar audience, different shopping trends and a new currency. If you want to protect your all-important cash reserves, you can’t afford to take a punt that what you’ve done successfully on home turf will simply translate to another market.
Inventory Planner will give you the customizable insights you need to flex your inventory as your new venture takes off, and to adapt to local trends with ease.
It’s another way inventory planning can cut the risk of expanding overseas.
Inventory Planner has opened the door to expansion for plus-size fashion retailer Vicki Vi.
The brand’s CEO Danielle Malconian says: “Before Inventory Planner, I didn’t have a forecasting tool, so I was just guessing. I was always out of stock or overbought. This kept me stuck in one place, unable to move forward with the business.
“To scale online you have to sell more of the same thing to more people – and that’s risky. I was hesitant buying new stock before, but now I know when I have enough, and that knowledge is extremely valuable.
“Having Inventory Planner behind us means that for the first time in my 20 year history, I have the confidence to scale.”
Expanding into new regions typically means adding a new website and possibly new marketplaces into the mix. To keep things simple, it’s essential to consolidate all your data in one hub, in real time – inventory planning tech can do that for you.
By bringing together your different businesses into one place, you can get the insights you need in a more streamlined and powerful way.
In Inventory Planner, it’s possible to forecast and buy inventory for multiple websites, multiple warehouses and in multiple currencies – all while avoiding overstock and stockouts which hit your cash flow.
This functionality has been game-changing for $100M oral cosmetics brand Snow, which is using Inventory Planner as it expands into 13 new countries.
Trevor Martin, Vice President Operations at Snow, says: “The need to have real time data is absolutely huge. Businesses need the ability to understand, analyze and make changes on a daily basis. Real time data is critical because of the swings on costs when it comes to inventory and marketing.
“Inventory Planner is packed with nuggets-of-gold features that have transformed our business.”
Want to hear more about how Inventory Planner can support your international expansion? Book a demo now.