6 Tips for Boosting Sales by Managing Inventory
Last year over 57,000 unique books were sold in our industry. Plus, almost 16,000 different Kids Books and 8,000 unique Bibles skus. But, it’s also likely that you have some inventory that simply isn’t selling. Very few retailers escape this, and while regularly-scheduled returns are part of maintaining a healthy inventory, let’s explore what else you can do to control inventory.
For starters, never let managing your inventory fall behind on your to-do-list. Between employee relations, merchandising, promotional marketing, social media and more, we know you have a lot to do. But balancing your inventory to sell should always stay top of mind.
- Place new product in high-visibility feature areas.
Merchandising new product in high visibility feature areas will help your customers notice it easily and highlight products that are ideal for immediate sales. This is particularly important for high-volume, time-specific selling periods such as holidays or sale events. Rotate and re-merchandise your feature areas monthly to ensure customers see something new each time they visit your store.
- If a new product line isn’t selling – move it to a new location.
Ideally, a new product line should see sales activity in the first 30 days. If it isn’t selling, move it to a new location as sometimes that’s all it takes. Consider what props or staging of the product might increase its visibility and remerchandise.
- Rely on re-orders.
Working with vendors and distributors that have immediate availability allows you to replenish goods on an as-needed basis. Once the product starts to sell, the ability to replenish quickly allows for the opportunity to react to demand and create higher turns.
- Use online tools to manage potential overstock.
By having the right balance of products on the shelf, making sure you’re not missing any bestsellers, and never running out of promoted products you can ensure your store is better suited to sell itself. The tools necessary to make those inventory improvements are built into ParableConnect. In addition to helping you identify titles that you’re missing, ParableConnect also has a potential overstock tool that will help you find excess inventory, so you can free up space and cash. This will allow you to bring in promoted products, bestsellers and new releases that your customers want.
- Plan events for increased sales.
Creating special events, promotions or parties to elevate sales on specific items—especially seasonal goods—helps to create buzz and increase sell-through; thus, alleviating mark-downs. Most vendors are open to creative options to generate sales, including greater discount on product promoted for an event, and some may even send sales support to help educate customers and staff (think VBS workshops and Bible journaling).
- Strengthen core customer relationships.
Developing store loyalty with customers is integral in creating interest in your store’s product. Being aware of key customers who support specific authors or artists in your store allows for targeted selling and can even result in sales before product hits the floor. The ability to special order products from your store can allow for a strong customer following that appreciates their ability to order goods specific to their needs. Encourage this extra TLC among your sales team and ultimately, your customers.
Bonus tip! Be sure to stay dedicated to your store reputation. Many people shop at one place versus another simply due to the reputation a store has. Take pride in your store and the people who work for you. Set high expectations of your customer service, store merchandising, in-store events, community involvement and product assortment. It’s your responsibility to deliver the best you can and make changes when things are not working. Customers take notice of this, and in return they keep returning to your store.
Finally, remember to utilize the handy tools on ParableConnect to manage, review and analyze data again and again and again to help keep your inventory clean and your sales moving.