Reviewing Top Sellers and Worst Sellers In Your Inventory?
Whether a boutique, store, or franchise owner, taking access of your inventory is extremely important. You need to be aware of what you have sitting on your shelves both on the store front and in the back stock room. It’s essential to know what has sold, what isn’t selling and what items you may not have but your customers have recently asked for. The key is then finding balance between everything and creating a cash flow that can support your current inventory while also giving room for additional, new inventory.
One way to get a good grasp on your inventory is to narrow in on your top sellers. Ask yourself a few key questions to help understand why they are your stop sellers.
1. Have they always been your stop sellers?
2. If not, why do you think they are now?
3. Are there other products that would compliment your current top sellers and potentially sell as well? For example, if you are selling a lot of wine toppers, would cocktail napkins be a nice addition to your store assortment?
Likewise, determine what have become the worst sellers in your inventory and make plans to get them out your door as soon as possible. Easier said then done, yes. However, it needs to be done – even if you have to take a loss on some of your product purchases. Letting them sit on your shelves and make no return at all for you is worse than at least recovering some of your initial investment. By doing this, you may allow yourself to afford smarter purchases for your business today… or at lease sooner than later.
A few things you should consider when determining how to move inventory that has not been selling include the following.
1. Call your vendors to see if they would buy back their stock. While not all vendors do this, some will consider it depending on your contract, your relationship, and your future business opportunities with them.
2. Markdown your inventory right away if you haven’t already. Don’t just bring it down to 20%, but bring it down to 40%, 50%, even 75% off if you have to. Price to sell! The plan is to get it out the door, allowing you to get rid of access inventory that may be holding you back from bringing in new product that will have more selling potential.
3. Host a special shopping event that caters to selling marked down items. Add special incentives to purchases made with multiple items. For example, you could have 50% off the first item, and 60% off each additional item. You can add additional or other incentives to help sweeten the deal. Buy one get one free. Gift with purchase. You get the idea.
4. Some small business owners are willing to trade their inventory with each other depending on their customer base and more. If you have relationships with stores that this is a possibility for, consider how this may work for you.
Don’t be afraid to mark your product down because in doing so, you may take a loss. The bigger loss you are at risk for is not moving any inventory at all and ultimately having to close your doors. Be realistic with yourself as to what is the best scenario for your store, ultimately allowing you to bring in products that sell.
The goal of analyzing your inventory is to create balance. Top sellers should outweigh bad sellers in a perfect world, but this isn’t always the case. Re-evaluate your inventory each week, or at the very least each month, to best support your store trends and sell through. Have tips to help support inventory control? Let us know! Please comment below.