One of the biggest fears of every online business owner is having to deal with slow moving inventory. This is a sign that the business is not going as it should be, sales usually are as slow as the inventory turnover rate and this is a major threat for the business itself.
Merchandising is the process which best helps any seller to sale his or her products to a retail-based consumer. If we think about merchandising at physical store level, the practice best refers to the display of a large variety of products available for sale in such a way that it often stimulates the interest of the potential client or simply entices customers to make a purchase.
Selling on an e-commerce platform changes things, though, especially if your product is not fast moving. Owning the fact that your inventory is slower than most because your product is niche-based is the first step to not panic when you see yourself not selling fast. Here are some other key factors that will help you get rid of your slow-moving inventory.
We told you about physical store merchandising and what it means, but most of you will wonder how is that relevant since you are selling online.
Well, running an online business does not mean that you cannot create – through your very own website or webstore – a retail shop ambiance that will entice your visitors to act and buy your merchandise. In order to do so, we suggest focusing on online visual merchandising. This is the act of creating an enhanced overall experience on your site by using visual elements.
Online Visual Merchandising starts with smart branding and professional photos for the products you have for sale. The practice evolves to more advanced visual marketing concepts like the right placement of customer photos and star ratings, which in turn increase customer trust.
We advise you to add detailed product descriptions that help customers picture how they might use your product, on site client photo galleries or the integration of customer Instagram photos, showing how your product looks in real life, on real people.
Oh, and, of course, a clean website design that adapts for the mobile online shopping experience is a must, as shopping has become not just online, but also mobile-friendly.
Slow moving inventory is resolved faster by adding those products to bulk offers or by simply offering gifts to your customers when they buy your slow moving merchandise.
Everybody loves a freebie so why not entice your shoppers with small tokens of your appreciation for their activity on your webstore when buying the products you so eagerly want to sell?
Christine Guillot, retail consultant and founder of Merchant Method, suggests to “consider complementary items and merchandise accordingly.
Slow movers could gain momentum if they’re an add-on to something that’s more desirable. A slow-mover might also benefit from the fact that it’s placed beside a top-performing item”, so sometimes the same rules apply for online merchandising, just like in real life stores.
Another way of improving your slow-moving inventory turnover would be to use all your human resources work for you by promoting your products on their own personal channels.
This is not an ordinary method, but sometimes does the trick! Basically, if you have employees or even a sales team, start turning them into mobile merchandising statements which allow you to move your products faster.
Having your team promote your products by actually using them and posting about it online or posting pictures of the slow moving products in your business’ warehouse can create a buzz around your merchandise which can translate into more sales.
Never underestimate the power of a smartly shared Facebook or Instagram post. Use social media to your advantage even without actually investing money in marketing campaigns.
Last, but not least, don’t forget to follow trends when selling online. Also, changing the merchandising order or style more often than rarely is a great idea, as your customers are always looking for that feeling of new and fresh in an ever-changing world.
Fashion, color, style and holiday trends are an awesome way to attract visitors to your website and thus start improving your sales, which means more freed up space in your warehouse.