As preparations continue for the massive Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales season, GD Commerce is helping your business prepare with our weekly blog series. This week, we’re discussing how you can effectively manage your stock inventory in advance.
Unfortunately, none of us can predict the future. This is why inventory management is such a common issue for businesses of all sizes – especially around the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales window.
Depending on which report you believe, its estimated businesses enjoy between 20 and 40 per cent of their annual sales in the period between Black Friday and the end of the year. You don’t want to miss out on this sales bonanza.
Begin with Preparation
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 Black Friday stock levels in the first week of November. And, while the clock may be ticking while you read this, it’s no problem. Preparation for next year begins now!
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 Black Friday and Cyber Monday 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 Black Friday periods. 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 Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 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.
Ready to Help
Want to make sure your business is ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday? GD Commerce is standing by to help. Contact Us and find out how we can lessen the load.