Whether it’s Black Friday, Cyber Monday or Christmas, the annual year-end sales rush brings with it a slew of inventory challenges for businesses of all shapes and sizes. It’s estimated businesses can make between 20 and 40 per cent of their annual sales in the final six weeks of the year. It can’t be stressed how important it is to ensure your business is ready to meet this demand by keeping products in stock and the sales flowing.
Preparation is Key
At this time of year, it isn’t just Santa Claus that should be making a list and checking it twice. The number one way to guarantee your business effectively manages inventory is to prepare well in advance. It’s not good enough to assess your festive stock levels in the first week of December. And, while you may be reading this over the holidays, it’s no problem. Preparation for next year begins now! This week, we’re going to look at a couple of simple ways you can meet increased holiday demand for your products and services.
It Starts with Cash Flow
Depending on this busy sales window to take your business into the black isn’t a good idea. After all, how will you afford to hold increased inventory if your cash flow isn’t solid? Businesses that do well over Christmas tend to holistically have a positive cash flow throughout the year. This process begins on January 1st through budgeting, laser-focused marketing and finding efficiencies throughout your business. You don’t want to have to rely on a business loan to increase stock levels.
Analyze Previous Years
If you’re conducting business through Shopify, you’ll have access to powerful analytic tools that will let you see how your business performed during previous holiday seasons. What were your most popular products? How much did you sell? Was supply constrained? Using historical data might not guarantee future success but it’s certainly more effective than taking a stab in the dark. If this is your first year in business, make sure you’re recording this data so you have a baseline to work with next year.
How is Your Fulfillment Process?
It isn’t just your business that gets swamped during the festive rush. Mail, couriers and all aspects of the logistics chain feel the pressure to get packages where they need to go in time for the big day. Examine optimizing your fulfillment process by using an order management system to ensure quick execution and management during the holidays. There are also powerful Shopify apps such as Stocky that will allow you to track inventory in real time. It’ll help you run a smoother operation during the holiday rush but it’s a good investment at any time of year.
Find Out More
At GD Commerce, we’re experts in helping businesses optimize their ecommerce for the busy holiday rush. Contact us and we’ll be happy to discuss your unique situation and how we can help you reach your goals.