Clearing Out Excess Inventory this Holiday Season

With just about a week to go until the end of the holiday shopping season, many retailers are finding themselves stuck overstocked products that didn’t sell. These include seasonal items, like decorations, or gift items that weren’t as popular as expected. The last thing you want is to be stuck with unsellable merchandise in January, but at the same time, with a few days left in the holiday season you don’t want to completely devalue the merchandise and practically give it away.

At this point, you have a few options left so you don’t have to spend the rest of the year looking at an overstuffed warehouse full of holiday cheer.

Bundling Products

One of the most tried and true methods for unloading unwanted merchandise is to create product bundles. There are three different bundling techniques that you want to consider. First bundle multiple units of the same item at an enticing price. While consumers might not have purchased one item, they may be more interested when they can buy more items at a lower price.

A second technique is to bundle complementary products together. For example, if you had an overstock of different holiday decorations, you could offer a special price for consumers who buy 3 or more. You could also bundle items like overstocked gloves, scarves and hats. Your Winter Warmth bundle could entice consumers to pick up a package as a gift.

A third technique is to bundle hot selling products with slow sellers. This will allow you to move unwanted stock with a minimal discount, to protect your margins. You could take a hot selling toy car, for example, and bundle it with a slower selling action figure, to create a fun bundle for kids.

Clearance Sale

Consumers love clearance items, and if you’re stuck with overstocked items, this is an opportunity to clear out inventory. By offering large discounts on out-of-season or unsellable items, you’ll clear out unpopular items and replace them with the type of merchandise your customers are looking for.

These types of sales can be done during the days leading up to the holiday, or in the post-holiday sale period.

Refresh Marketing

Some items that aren’t as popular as expected sometimes need a marketing boost. If you’re selling through an e-commerce shop, consider taking new pictures of your merchandise. You can also rewrite your product descriptions. Instead of telling consumers how soft and comfortable a sweater is, change the copy to say this is a great gift for mom.

Don’t Get Caught in the First Place

While there are some products that simply don’t sell, one overlooked strategy by retailers is improving their pricing strategy. Far too many retailers rely on rule-based or manual pricing calculation, which doesn’t take the competition or user behavior into consideration.

Introducing a digital transformation to your pricing calculation, through a dynamic pricing platform that utilizes artificial intelligence in determining prices could be the most important tool you have to avoid overstocked and undersold merchandise.

Don’t get caught next holiday season with overstocks. Download our eBook, Pricing the Holiday Season, to see how you can introduce dynamic pricing into your retail strategy.

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