As the saying goes, the holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year – especially for eCommerce businesses. With total sales during the holiday online shopping season exceeding $204 billion, this is a fantastic opportunity for your online business to get a piece of the pie. The holiday season has a way of sneaking up on you, and it frequently causes problems with print on demand inventory management. If you are not prepared for the holiday sales surge, you may encounter dissatisfied customers and lose potential revenue. Fortunately, there are many things you can do right now to better prepare for the holidays.
8 BEST PRACTICES FOR MANAGING HOLIDAY PRINT ON DEMAND INVENTORY
1. Mark your calendar.
Create calendar reminders to keep the holidays from sneaking up on you unannounced. Keep your organization informed, particularly your marketing and eCommerce holiday ad teams, so that they are ready to run campaigns. Here are some important holiday dates to remember in 2022:
• Thanksgiving: November 24
• Black Friday: November 29
• Small Business Saturday: November 30
• Cyber Monday: December 2
• Christmas: December 25
• New Year’s Day: January 1
• Valentine’s Day: February 14
To avoid overstretching, consider implementing a cutoff date for orders delivered by a specific holiday based on the carriers’ holiday shipping deadlines.
2. Contact your suppliers ahead of time.
Because demand will skyrocket during the holiday season, it is critical to notify your suppliers and vendors ahead of time. Share information on expected order volume to ensure that you order enough to avoid stockouts. Like you, they also require time to deliver orders successfully.
3. Make your orders in advance.
Using historical inventory data, such as SKU performance, you should have a good idea of what your top sellers will be, which will allow you to make more accurate estimates before ordering more inventory. However, if you are a newcomer, simply conducting some online research, including social media, can assist you in determining which items in your store are in high demand this season. You can then list what you need to stock up on.
4. Determine stock levels.
Carefully planning inventory puts your company in a much better position to deal with increased demand during peak shopping seasons. Once you’ve determined what you’ll require for the holiday season, there are simple ways to ensure that your inventory never falls below that level. Tracking stock levels and automatically setting reorder notification points is a valuable tool if you work with a tech-enabled print on demand service provider or use inventory management software. It is recommended that you increase reorder points and reorder quantity during the holiday season to cover a spike in sales.
5. Conduct inventory audits.
During this busy season, you may want to conduct inventory audits more frequently to maintain inventory accuracy and ensure you always have enough stock at all times. Inventory audits can be performed in-house or by a third party, such as a print on demand company, and they can be as simple as performing more frequent spot checks.
6. Implement inventory control.
Keeping track of your inventory is critical whether you run a single-channel or omnichannel business – especially during the holidays. Fortunately, there is inventory management software from your print on demand provider that can do the majority of the work for you: keep your business running as usual while saving you from having to deal with inventory stockouts or over-ordering.
7. Purchase holiday packaging.
The holidays are a thrilling and joyous time of year. Your packaging should be as well. Look for something that will make your customers happy when they receive their package, and if your packaging is recyclable, that’s even better. It will improve your customer’s unboxing experience and encourage their friends to buy as well. However, make certain that it will not impact your profits.
8. Monitor your inventory closely during holidays.
On Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas, keep an eye on your inventory numbers because these are the busiest days for your retail business. Take notes on how your inventory flows and make adjustments and improvements for next year. You can also seek assistance from your print on demand service provider. They are subject matter experts, and you can benefit from their knowledge and experience.
WHEN IN DOUBT, LET THE PROS HELP OUT!
While plans may not be carried out exactly as planned, they eliminate inefficiencies and errors during peak sales periods. You may not be able to predict everything. Still, by implementing some of the holiday best practices outlined above, you will likely generate more revenue this holiday season. We admire and applaud your desire to accomplish as much as possible on your own. However, there will come a time when reaching out is the best thing you can do for your company. Fulfillplex, a top eCommerce fulfillment company, can help your company reach its full potential. After all, even Santa requires assistance. Reach out to the pros now.