Five tips from cloud solution provider.
The Christmas period is a key sales time for many appliance retailers and wholesalers, providing an opportunity for considerable revenue and stock movement increases. It can, however, be a stressful time that needs a little more proactive planning to manage the extra activity and time-sensitive pressures, according to CEO of cloud solution provider, JCurve Solutions, Stephen Canning.
“The right planning can make all the difference leading up to Christmas. Here are five areas to consider that will help you maximise sales over the busy period,” he says.
- Understand demand with the right reporting
Understanding stock fluctuations is crucial to ensuring you have enough stock to get you through the busy period, but not so much that you’ll be marking it all down after Christmas. Achieving the right stock balance comes down to having accurate, reliable reporting in place.
Individual products can be obsoleted or discontinued over long reporting periods. Reporting on product categories, however, will give you a broader view of demand based on product types.
Review data on sales revenue by product category, profit margin, buyer locations, new versus repeat customer buying habits. This data will give you a deeper understanding of potential demand.
Stephen Canning is the CEO of cloud solution provider, JCurve Solutions. He recently won CEO Magazine’s 2018 Executive of the Year award in the category of IT & Telecommunications Executive of the Year.
- Fine tune your purchasing
Purchasing based on expected stock demand is critical, but it also helps to safeguard your purchasing processes. Find out if your system allows minimum and maximum stock levels to be defined. Also, look at which of your products are fast moving items.
These fast moving items are ones to keep a close eye on, as their stock levels will fluctuate much more rapidly than slower moving items.
Focusing on fast moving items can also increase stock turn. The more stock you have going through your warehouse, storage space, or retail space, the more value you’re getting from that space.
- Scrutinise stock supply
How long are your suppliers taking to deliver? What delivery costs are you incurring across your product lines? When you start taking a deeper look into your stock supply, you can uncover opportunities to reduce costs and boost profit.
For example, can you cut down time spent waiting for product deliveries by ordering larger quantities, less often? Can you secure additional discounts and reduce shipping costs from suppliers for placing larger quantity orders?
Taking some time to scrutinise your stock supply and identify ways to cut costs can have a significant impact on the profit margin and maximise your sales potential.
- Get physical with stock
Is your popular or fast-moving stock positioned in the warehouse close to where the pick, pack, ship process is taking place or at the front of your store? In the warehouse, grouping similar items together can help pickers work more intuitively, knowing where to look for similar products to be picked.
This tactic can be especially helpful for overflow staff who are hired to cover periods of increased activity. In the retail space, making your most popular items more prominent and accessible to customers can result in even more sales.
- Drive sales with an omni-channel approach
Creating a cross-platform experience can drives sales even further over the busy season. Offer special discounts or rewards online that can be redeemed in-store to help boost in-store traffic.
Think about omni-channel initiatives like in-store collection for orders placed via the web as it gives customers added convenience and sets your business apart. The more ways in which you can make life easy for customers, across multiple channels, the more it will keep customers coming back and buying more.