It’s the holiday season – peak season, for many online retailers – and that means that maintaining appropriate inventory levels is more important now than ever. In this guest post, SkuVault’s partner, Wiser, goes into how to achieve just that.
Data is your inventory’s best friend. The two can’t be separated in retail because data holds the key to an optimized inventory. We’re going to dive into the relationship between the two and what they have to do with the holidays.
Getting inventory right the first time is a tough feat for many retailers. There are three big issues that retailers of all sizes face.
- What’s the right inventory to carry?
- How can I tell that I have too much, too little, or the right amount of inventory?
- How do I price my products to optimize for profit and sales?
That’s where data comes in.
What your competitors carry has a huge impact on your bottom line. That’s because if your inventory comes up short, shoppers will gladly visit one of your competitors instead. Performing a gap analysis can tell you how your inventory ranks, compared to competitors. What do you have? What don’t you have? Where does your inventory overlap with the competition? Data provides the answers to these questions and sets the stage for well-informed decisions, such as learning what products you need to stock up on. Filling in the gaps where your inventory is lacking can make your store more appealing to shoppers.
What to Carry
By crunching the numbers from holidays past, retailers can figure out what sold well and when. There’s nothing more tragic for an online retailer than having virtual customers lined up to get a product that has already sold out because it leaves money on the table. The flipside is also something to be avoided; having way too much of a product that won’t budge. Mining and analyzing data can solve both of these issues. Learn what did well last year, but always keep an eye out for the latest trends. Unless you live under a rock, you know that anything “Frozen” is selling like crazy. If you happen to sell toys, you’ll definitely want to double up on your order of all of the dolls, and other “Frozen” themed items that kids will be begging for this holiday season.
How to Price
Now that you have your competitors’ products you were previously missing, it’s time to price them. Pricing isn’t a stagnant thing in ecommerce. Retailers often have sales and promotions, on top of just simply changing their prices. Another side to competitor inventory insight is knowing how those products are priced. There’s no need to beat or match your competitors’ prices (unless that’s your thing), but being aware of where you stand is important to pricing effectively.
The holidays are here and it can easily be the most wonderful time of the year. You can succeed where many retailers struggle, so mine early and often to stay up to date on the state of the market. Many find it difficult to keep up with all the competitor data collection, but there are always automated assortment solutions to help retailers stay up to speed.
Angelica Valentine is the Content Marketing Manager at Wiser, the leading pricing intelligence suite. Wiser’s flagship product, WisePricer is a full-featured pricing and merchandising engine that monitors, analyzes and re-prices retail products in real-time. WisePricer enables retailers to grow profit margins, price with confidence and improve merchandising through powering the development of a sound pricing strategy.