Having a solid handle on your inventory is the best way to guarantee you’ll always have enough stock on hand to meet demand. Having excess inventory or the wrong product can slow your cash flow and reduce profits if you’re forced to mark items down. But under buying a product can result in missed sales opportunities, hurt your profit, and damage the customer experience. But creating an open-to-buy (OTB) plan can help retailers selling multiple brands — as well as direct-to-consumer brands — decide how much inventory to buy or manufacture while keeping cash flow positive.
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Trade shows can be an effective sales and marketing tool for small businesses and retailers. But they can also be a waste of time and more importantly, a waste of money. Trade show success can depend highly on how you prepare for them in advance.
For many retail entrepreneurs, the idea of designing, developing, and producing a product is already overwhelming. Creating content to share alongside product launches can feel like an immense task. But a merchandise marketing calendar can help you create a plan and organize promotions, campaigns, and related information in advance. Planning one month at once alleviates you from the pressure of asking yourself each morning, "What should I post today?"
Today, we live in an increasingly on-demand world. We watch TV shows and movies on-demand through various streaming services, we rent a car through Zipcar, and we hail a taxi (or Lyft) on-demand.
With these changes, many companies aspire to become the on-demand version of the product or service they’re bringing to the market (groceries delivered on-demand, anyone?). A similar transformation is happening in the manufacturing industry.
With the rise of technology and a shift in the way new products are introduced to the market, crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter can help connect retailers with buyers — opening the door for new ideas to come to life without the need for a major upfront investment. This new approach to launching and selling products has ignited the need for better and faster production alternatives for retail businesses. One such option is on-demand manufacturing.
Part of running a business is learning how to delegate. Because let’s be honest: We can’t do it all — even if we try.
Letting go of certain tasks is important. It frees up your valuable time and allows you to focus on building your retail business. It may be hard to trust other people to work on your "baby" with the same passion as you. Or, you may have budget constraints. However, if you can afford to, there are certain tasks that are easier to let go of — and one of those is order fulfillment.
For merchants who sell only online, the idea of selling in-person can be overwhelming. Successfully selling online requires merchants to learn a variety of new skills, but the potential benefits usually far outweigh the downsides.
Getting offline and physically in front of your customers is one strategy to help increase brand awareness, interact with people to gauge their interest in your product, and hopefully make a few sales.
There are also ways to sell offline that are relatively inexpensive. For example, you can create a mini pop-up shop in an existing brick-and-mortar store. Also known as a "pop-in," this form of offline selling means you don't have to worry about renting a storefront for an extended period of time, furnishing it, and building up foot traffic.
The day-to-day of inventory management and planning can be different for each retailer. But the components you need to build a scalable inventory management system are generally the same. Part of an inventory management system is tracking what comes into your warehouse or store, as well as what leaves through online or in-store sales. We'll look at five components to consider which can make inventory management and planning easier for your retail business.