Whether you store your inventory across multiple warehouses, physical stores, or both, physical space for stocking products is valuable real estate. No matter how precise your demand planning, all retailers can relate to unexpected changes in available inventory. While there are tools that can help you prepare as precisely as possible, here are a few quick tips for making the most of excess inventory:
Offer Bulk Discounts: Bundling a bestseller with slow moving inventory and selling them at a discount is an effective way to keep items moving off your shelves. You can also use bundling to introduce new items.
Leverage Products as Incentives: Create a referral campaign in which you incentivize customers to promote your brand in exchange for a free product. This is a great way to use word-of-mouth marketing while also getting rid of products you need to move. Social media allows referral campaigns to be highly shareable and is a great way to market without exhausting your resources.
Sell to a Liquidator: Inventory liquidators will buy your items in bulk and sell them on your behalf. Many retailers use services like Liquidation.com or B-Stock Solutions to help clear out excess inventory.
Offer Items to a Subscription Box: When subscription boxes entered the market, consumers treated them as gift-like products—exciting, novel ways to incorporate surprise and delight into their buying habits. Now, however, retailers are realizing the importance of leveraging these services as channels—a means for consumers to discover new products to which they then become loyal. The subscription box model enables retailers to get their products off their shelves and into the hands of their target audience.
Host a Flash Sale: Create a sense of urgency by hosting a sale for a limited time. Build anticipation with an email or social media campaign as well as an onsite promotion, and offer additional savings to items that haven’t been moving as quickly as you’d like.
Donate for a Tax Reduction: Once you’ve exhausted your resources and simply need to clear your shelves, donating might be your best option. You can earn above-cost, federal income tax deductions for donating inventory. Alternatively, find a charity that is complementary to your brand, donate items, and promote your partnered effort for public relations exposure.
Excess inventory is an age-old problem faced by retailers of all sizes. The good news is you have little to lose when considering the best way to move this inventory—get creative and try multiple strategies or combinations of tactics and find what works best for your business.