Missed the boat to our ‘Planning Paradise’ webinar?
No worries – we’ve unpacked the top takeaways to help you sail through peak season and feel relaxed about navigating the challenges of 2024.
With up to half of merchants facing a peak season nightmare because of excess stock and out-of-stocks, our panelists wasted no time in sharing practical tips to help retailers optimize stock, accurately predict customer demand and avoid costly mistakes.
Charlotte Carter, founder of Carter Bags
During the webinar, Charlotte emphasized the importance of making informed buying decisions, especially for businesses like hers that have long lead times. Paying attention to overstocks, using past experiences to plan, and investing in the right things were her top recommendations.
Alice stressed the importance of having enough cash on hand to buy the right stock. She also suggested tried and tested tools for improving sales — like revising product images, offering exclusive deals to top customers, and marking down prices.
Peter Gough, COO at ROKA London
Peter shared his approach to tackling overstocked inventory through discounting, giveaways, and working with influencers. He also discussed how running out stock isn’t always a bad thing – and that it can sometimes generate demand and create a sense of urgency among customers.
Stuart Pick, Senior Partnerships Manager at Sage Retail
Stuart focussed on the importance of maintaining a balanced inventory. He reaffirmed the need to have efficient systems in place to manage stock more effectively, especially for retailers facing the inherent complexities of a post-pandemic world.
Top 5 takeaways
- Balance your stock
An excess of inventory can backfire and severely impact your business plan and cash flow. On the other hand, not having enough stock can hinder sales and margins. The trick is to prevent these extremes from occurring through accurate inventory planning.
- Pay attention to your data
Leveraging data to make informed decisions is key. Data-driven decision making and planning are seen as crucial to inventory management. Businesses should keep an eye on their stock levels and secure the right balance.The panel stressed that capturing customer data and closely monitoring sales performance enables a more accurate prediction of profitable stock.
- Quickly identify overstock – and take action
Quick identification of underperforming stock and finding solutions can significantly boost sales velocity. Strategies like strategic discounting, influencer marketing, and donating surplus stock to charities could be worth considering.Our panel also suggested simple solutions such as reshooting product images, reducing prices, or introducing exclusive deals for VIP customers.
- Ditch manual planning
In the wake of the post-pandemic supply chain chaos, spreadsheets aren’t enough to reliably and accurately plan inventory.Experts on our panel advised considering software solutions like Inventory Planner to interpret data better, simplify operational processes and manage inventory more effectively.
- Be resilient when things go wrong
During peak trading periods, things can and do go wrong. Our panelists encouraged resilience when this happens, emphasizing that every failure is an opportunity to streamline your strategy.They urged retailers to analyze mishaps and act swiftly to rectify and minimize mistakes where possible.
Want to learn even more? Catch up on the full webinar now – it’s free!