In the realm of online business E-commerce, retailers face many hurdles in their business. The most common persistent issue is deadstock products.
The accumulation of Deadstock is the most significant concern area and can lead to a rise in operational and warehouse costs. The cost of storing increases with more products entering the warehouse, and if it is not controlled in time, it will lead to the financial resources to drain off soon.
It becomes difficult for the retailers dealing with seasonal items to clear off the Deadstock completely.
Let us go through some tips as a preventive measure to accumulation of Deadstock and to clear it off on time.
First, let us understock which stock falls under the definition of Deadstock?
Dead inventory in simple terms is known as the Deadstock. Every business should have a proper inventory system in place. There are items which are seasonal and not been sold and are not likely to sell shortly. Such things soon will be seen piled up in the corner of the warehouse and forgotten.
Another reason for piling up the stock is to wait for the price rise of the inventory and hence keep it stored for the right time to sell arises. But here we will not be going through this area.
Next question which comes to mind is Is Deadstock excellent or bad for business?
Any stock comes with a price, and so does Deadstock. Unwanted items will increase the cost, occupy the space in the warehouse and the longer the storage, the higher will be the cost involved. Other values of stock maintenance, insurance, rental, equipment and security cost will still add on to the overall costing.
It has an opportunity involved in case the stocks lying go for a sudden price rise and in turn, increase in demand. However, the chances of this are not quite feeble. More or less, space which the Deadstock occupies could have been utilised for a headstock or a highly profitable selling item.
How to avoid the Deadstock piling up
Deadstock should be avoided as much as possible. The business of fashion reports that dead inventory costs around $50 billion every year in the US retail industry. Similar is the case with the rest of the countries too.
Below are some tips to avoid Deadstock:
- Inventory Management: Improper inventory management is a significant cause of Deadstock. An effective management system can guarantee you well-monitored stock management. Some of the popular inventory management systems are
- InFlow Inventory: It is a potent inventory software system which is capable of managing up to 100 products
- Sortly Pro: It is a cloud based inventory management system known as a Simplest Inventory Management Software that can manage up to 100 transactional entries per month
- Odoo; A well-known Open Source ERP and CRM solution software
- ZhenHub: A cutting edge software which is a hassle free solution for calculating rates and tracking and getting the products delievered wherever the need be. The small and medium-sized business mostly uses them.
There is nothing like a good or flawed inventory system. It depends on the business, the product you are selling and the costs involved.
Once you have decided’ upon the inventory system, keep track of the products on your shelves, their expiry dates and those are at the verge to be counted under Deadstock. Compare with the products which had low or no sale last year.
The inventory system if followed strictly, can identify your best selling products, flopped products, expired products and highest selling product at a glance.
- Deadstock items with discount potential: A successful businessman has his best selling businesses at his fingertips. His knows when to sell which product at what price. Keep an eye on the current trend. Which products are like selling hotcakes which will empty the shelves in no time? The excitement of buying any product fades away soon. Analyse your past trends and separate the products which have the discount potential and are the chances of them to turn into Deadstock is high. Clear this stock off fast with end of season promotion. This works will work with perishable products or which have a lesser shelf life.
It may happen that the profits you earn on these discounts will be lesser than average sales, but as we say, something is always better than nothing. So instead of incurring a total loss of goods getting perished and thrown off due to expiry dates, it is better to sell them at discounted prices. In the long run, you are saving a fair amount of cost of storage, insurance, maintenance etc.
- Identify the target audience: Being in business, you should know what your customer needs. Which product should be launched and when if the same did not sell well, then what is the reason behind it? It many times happens that the product, despite doing excellent promotions, doesn’t work well. Then probably here you have been targeting the wrong audience or at the wrong time.
Any product launch should be done post most research. It is very crucial step for the success of any business. Other factors such as gender, location, the interest of the audience, current trend and the socioeconomic factors predict the outcome of the sales of any business.
Next effective option is conducting surveys to find out what the audience needs in the current times. The survey can be circulated both to the existing as well as your new list of customers. Having the best selling products on the shelves will give you better sales and least Deadstock.
- Diversify your products: Keep a check in the variety of products you are offering for sale. The chart-topping products also need a check on whether they are of the same features or varied. Selling similar items may increase the chances of Deadstock. All customers are not of the same temperament; some are brand oriented and some features. Giving complementary products along with faster selling product, will sweeten the deal. For example, if you are a phone merchant, you can provide phones cases or other accessories as a complementary deal. So in future, the customers might contact you for both the items.
How to Get Rid of Deadstock?
Do you already have a Deadstock lying in your warehouse? Its time now to clear it off as soon as possible. We have already gone through the pros and cons of having a deadstock but clearing it off is a concern for all businessmen. Below are some things which will help:
Return: If you have this option, it will be the best one. You might have to incur a cost to return the stock, but that is much less than the loss incurred on the same goods being stocked unnecessarily, expired or to dispose of as waste. So try to keep the return policy as part of the contract with your suppliers. Suppliers may charge a return fee as per their terms and conditions, but all is affordable against the headache of clearing it off in future.
Put the Deadstock for clearance sale: This option is used by many of the retailers and a very well known and a thriving chance. Whenever you visits stores you often such stocks lying in the eye catching areas and are been picked up fast by the customers due to the disocunts offered. Likewise, in online purchase, such items are shown on the home screen of the mobile app for customers view on quick login. So in case, the product is perishable and hot selling; otherwise, this is the best option to clear off the sale. For example, you can sell the winter wear collection at discounted rates when the summer is approaching.
Offer freebies and giveaways. Customers always like free items, and they will revisit your store to get the benefit or may refer others to visit your store or site to take its advantage.
Donate in charity: This is the last option with a noble cause. After all your efforts to sell the product, you are still not able to sell then the best thing is to donate the stock in charity. However, this option is not available to sellers due to their products which cannot be given charity. You can also claim this amount as a tax write off and get an advantage of doing a noble cause in front of the people.
Conclusion: Being in business, we all know how to manage the business well, but it often happens that at times the things are not in our control and all our plans go for a toss. The recent pandemic is the most prominent example wherein people in business have faced lots of challenges in terms of managing the stock and clearing it off.
So be prepared for all and keep your systems under control. Be ready with the preventive measure on hand so that the loss incurred is not beyond limits and control. Here we do not say that the above points are the most effective ones. You are the best judge of your business, and we can only suggest the best.
Happy selling now and always !!!!