10 Tips On Clearing Surplus Sale Stock

10 Tips On Clearing Surplus Sale Stock

Are your stockrooms and warehouses getting more and more jam-packed by the day? Are you struggling to shift your surplus summer stock and still make a profit? Fear not! Our top 10 tips for clearing sale stock will have you freeing up storage space for your new autumn product ranges in no time at all.

1. Summer isn’t over yet!

Autumn stock may have started to land in stores and online but the summer has only just begun, especially for families who are planning to go away during the school holidays. This is great news if you’ve still got lots of summer stock left. Make sure that you aren’t focusing too heavily on autumn stock when planning your marketing activities and merchandising your landing pages. Your customers may not be ready to start shopping for wooly jumpers and coats just yet, so show them all the beachwear and sunglasses you still have in stock.

2. Short of sizes

This tip stands for both full price and reduced items. One of the most frustrating things about browsing a website is seeing something you want on the category page, clicking into the product page and realising that they don’t have the size you need. To prevent your users from experiencing this negative feeling (and associating it with your site), if you don’t have full size ranges then display available sizes clearly on the category listing page so that the user can see whether or not you have what they are looking for before clicking through. You can also provide size filters on large category listing pages so that customers can easily identify the products that meet their requirements.

Many users browse sale sections of websites without a specific item in mind. Depending on the size of your sale section, it’s unlikely they will go through every single item. Therefore the quicker you can get suitable items in front of them, the more likely they are to buy.

3. Be clear on delivery charges

Many retailers exclude sale items from counting towards their free delivery thresholds. If you are one of those retailers, make sure you are displaying the delivery pricing clearly on sale items. Delivery charges are a big cause of basket abandonment so make sure you are clear from the outset.

4. Make it as easy as possible for users to find what they are looking for

We see many retailers adding all of their sale items (sometimes hundreds) to a single listing page. Some don’t even offer category or product type filters! This is a nightmare for users in this time-poor age of impatience. Why make your customers work to find what they are looking for? A few additional landing pages will save them time and improve your chances of ranking organically for sale-related search queries. Break your sale into sensible categories but don’t go overboard – make sure you have enough product to fill each of the sub-categories.

5. Create a sense of urgency

It’s likely that you’ll only have few units per size/colour left by the time you go into sale. Use this to your advantage and highlight when there are only one or two left. This will create a sense of urgency and encourage the user to order now so they don’t miss out.

Source: http://www.topshop.com/

6. Marketplaces and comparison engines

As you’re in a hurry to sell your stock, make sure that it can be found in as many places as possible. Lots of users visit sites like Amazon, eBay and Google Shopping when looking to find the lowest price for an item. If you aren’t already, get your products listed and make sure that the feeds to sites like these – and any other third party sites – contain up-to-date pricing.

7. Highlight your returns policy

Let your users know that it is within their rights to change their mind and make sure that the returns process is as simple as possible. Offer a collection service and the ability to return to a local store, for instance. This will encourage them to act on impulse and not put too much thought into completing their purchase. Offering this kind of customer service may increase returns in the short term but it is likely to give you a competitive edge and increase lifetime value through repeat custom.

8. Cross selling

Don’t exclude sale items from the related/complementary items displayed on your basket and product pages. Their lower prices make them ideal as ‘add ons’ as users are far more likely to purchase discounted items on a whim. So long as you have your targeting set up right, this feature could be a great way to increase your average basket value during sale time.

9. Checkout optimisation for devices

As the purchases of many sale items are completed with less thought and consideration, the customer is also less likely to have a real need for these items. This means that if they have any problems completing their journey through the checkout they are more likely to drop out than persist.

Make sure you know which devices your visitors are using and ensure the checkout is optimised accordingly. Many retailers make their checkouts responsive but fail to optimise them for touchscreen users. Typing on a touchscreen can be painful so avoid making the user type where possible. Add placeholders to your fields and add validation ticks as confirmation that they’ve been filled out correctly – this will prevent them from having to go back and re-enter their details if they get them wrong. Offering options like PayPal, postcode look-up and saved card details all make the process much easier for a touchscreen user.

10. Highlight the saving

Make sure that your users know exactly how good your offer is. If you believe that you are selling at a competitive price then be clear and display the amount the customer is saving. Highlight this in red along with the sale price so that it stands out on the page.

To discuss unified commerce for one great customer experience, why not give John or Chris a call on 0845 521 0444 to see if we can help!

Stephanie Fenton
6th August 2018

Fulfilment, Logistics & Stock Management

Fulfilment, Logistics & Stock Management

Getting customers to your site and selling a product is just half the battle. Fulfilment is just as key.

Here’s a few thoughts and recommendations from the team at Venditan to round off the week…

  • Fast or free? Delivery options range – make sure you give the customer choice when it comes to cost and speed of service
  • Reliable – don’t get logistics wrong. It might not be quite as sexy as the front-end portion of your business – but get it right and you can save yourself a whole load of headaches and make the fulfillment process simpler for everyone
  • Invest in technology – stock management systems need to scale up as your business grows. As the volume of orders starts to increase you need to be sure that you are managing stock correctly – from goods in, to invoicing and packaging
  • DPD, Royal Mail, TNT, Parcel Force – the list of third party logistics/fulfillment/delivery companies is a long one. Shipping costs are a part of the business you can have a significant amount of control over. Do the research, understand your delivery offering and use the right services to ensure your margin isn’t squeezed
  • Amazon offer a fast, reliable and competitive fulfillment option. Send your stock to them and they’ll store it, sell it, pack it and ship it. Job done. Fulfilled by Amazon is a great opportunity if you’re looking to improve the service your customers receive while increasing revenue through a new stream
  • Yesterday. The most popular day of delivery – most customers would like their latest online purchase to be delivered to them as soon as feasibly possible. And they are willing to pay for it. Look for the fringe delivery services – for example, London Same Day delivery – not everyone will use it, but try and offer something that makes you stand out when it comes to fulfilling customer orders

Stephanie Fenton
11 June 2018

Warehouse Management – Thinking About Efficiency

Warehouse Management – Thinking About Efficiency

No matter what size operation you’re running, warehouse organisation, inventory management and fulfilment are key to the successful running of a retail business. From single store rooms to multiple warehouse locations, improvements can always be made to help with efficiency and ultimately save time and costs at an operational level.

Fulfilment is quite clearly a vital part of any retail business – and from our perspective the process has to start with a well organised warehouse. With so much focus on increasing conversion rates and site visits, improving back office systems can sometimes drop down the to-do list. But it shouldn’t. It’s all well and good building up a better stock mix, improving email campaigns and PPC ads to drive sales growth and increase your traffic levels – but if your warehouse is in disarray it’s going to be hard to keep up with demand when orders start flooding in. So make sure stock locations are clearly set and the fulfilment process is understood across the team responsible for getting orders out the door.

Real time stock views – levels and location. It’s important for the pick/pack dispatch team to have visibility of stock at all times – be it the volume of stock remaining or the location of an individual item. From single storerooms to multiple warehouse locations, the principal should remain the same – a “single inventory view”. This is the best option for retailers to ensure they maintain an accurate picture of stock levels and movements across the business – at any given time.

Insights are important when it comes to warehouse planning. What’s selling fast? What products sell as single item orders? What’s the projected sell-through rate? Getting your head around this information can make a real difference to productivity and efficiency.

Re-arranging a warehouse can significantly speed up the picking process and get orders out the door faster. Products that sell together should also be placed near each other in the warehouse – again, helping to smooth out the picking process.

Retailers with a large number of products should be thinking about warehouse layouts that put quick-sellers or single-item order sellers near the packing room.

Digital picking is the way forward when it comes to efficiency. Long gone are the days of ticking items off a picking sheet. When orders start pouring in, you want picking teams able to collect stock from the warehouse as quickly as possible while maintaining accuracy. Handheld scanning for product barcodes and location labels helps to alleviate the issues of missed products while ensuring the right product is picked with the help of error alert systems.

Accuracy is important when it comes to warehouse management, picking and packing. Spending time correctly setting up a warehouse can make all the difference – ensuring you have the best layout of racks, shelving and bins. Venditan Commerce “Pack Check™” system helps dispatch teams with items loaded into a delivery, ensuring only the right products make it in. Improving accuracy can make a big difference in terms of time savings across the fulfilment and dispatch process – as well as ensuring retailers have happy customers who receive the right products in their order.

Year on year revenue comparisons are of course a key metric for any business. While focus must remain on finding new customers and taking more orders, a retailer’s bottom line comes down to small marginal gains in the operational side of the business. Speak to the experts – it’s not always the case that a complete warehouse system overhaul is needed. Identify areas of your system where the most time is taken and re-think your process in this area. Bite-sized system and process improvements can make all the difference.

Stephanie Fenton
27th January 2017