Don’t Run Out of Stock This Holiday Season.
Retailers eye the holiday season to attract more customers and boost sales. This is the best time to harness the power of technology to win over more customers. The holiday season is when consumers are in a great shopping mood and looking for attractive deals. It’s the best time of year!
The prime purpose of retailers is to launch attractive offers in order to get consumers buying. However, if items run out of stock and the retailer has no idea about it, it can prove costly.
According to an IHL Group study commissioned by DynamicAction:
Retailers had to bear $1.75 trillion in overstocks, out-of-stocks, and returns
Out-of-stocks alone causing losses worth $634.1 billion in lost sales in 2015.
According to a recent study by Gallup, B2B companies face a high risk of loss of business, with a great risk of losing two-thirds of their customer base. In order to win customers for life, it is important to keep them informed.
In fact, the basis of strong customer relationships is collaboration. If you share a good relationship with suppliers and manufacturers, you can certainly use it to your advantage to keep customers informed and get a competitive edge.
Holiday Season Sales
During the holiday season, it is critically important to move the inventory rapidly and ensure real-time availability. Besides, it is important to follow best practices if you have multiple retailers pulling from the same stock. Unhappy retailers may look for other suppliers and manufacturers.
Adequate support on the part of retailers and suppliers throughout the holiday season can help build lasting, happy, and profitable relationships. A good relationship between suppliers and retailers can build the foundation for a happy customer base.
A study by the GT Nexus supply chain network found that 63% of US shoppers have come across an out of stock item online. As a result a majority of these shoppers shop elsewhere to buy what they were looking for.
Here are some best practices that you may want to follow to support retail customers:
- Automated, real-time access to inventory stock is crucial. Support your distributors and retailers with automation, so customers have access to latest and updated product information. When looking to outsource order fulfillment, make sure you find out how their inventory reporting software works.
- Inventory data and reporting should provide ample information of stock availability beyond just an SKU count. Make sure customers get a clear picture of out-of-stock items and when stocks would be replenished. Your back end data inventory systems must either be automatically in-sync with your front end website OR you must manually update it every single day!
- Adopt a proactive approach with outbound communications to get alerts for low stock. Send orders electronically.
- Include shipment notifications with expected arrival time, so retailers can correspond with their customers regarding the order arrival time.
A good relationship with retailers can make lives easier for manufacturers or suppliers. Post-holiday season is a time for retailers to assess performance of suppliers. It is the time when they identify those manufacturers who supported them best during the rush holiday season and those who did not.
With a focus on growth & development, it may help to work with retailers to find how you can offer them the best support, so you do not run out of stock through the holiday rush season. It is the busiest time of year and the time when most retailers generate a high volume of sales.
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