Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales dipped for the first time in 2021, which means many small businesses are facing an overabundance of holiday inventory. Dead stock eats away at profits through sunk costs and by taking away storage space for high-velocity goods and increasing labor costs as employees have to work around items that aren’t selling. Plus, unsold holiday inventory is more susceptible to damage or theft during long-term storage.
It’s critical to shed weight after the holidays –– not just from Christmas dinner –– but from holiday items that you didn’t sell through before year-end.
Take Stock and Examine Your Costs
It’s time to take stock of your supplies and analyze the cost of the holiday inventory you’re stuck with. Once you know how much inventory you need to move and how much it will cost you to acquire, you can build a strategy to sell it off during the post-holiday season.
While you’re taking year-end inventory, spend some time evaluating your eCommerce inventory management system. If you’ve been struggling to keep an accurate list, or you’ve noticed that stock is taking up too much time, consider investing in better storage solutions or upgrading your inventory software.
Decide What To Sell and What To Keep
Black Friday and Cyber Monday aren’t the only holiday shopping time of the year to make seasonal sales –– some seasonal items may have appeal beyond the rest of the year.
While a Christmas-themed wreath won’t see much off-season demand, a peppermint candle might see post-holiday sales all year. Designs featuring evergreen trees or snowflakes may sell through January and February if they’re remarketed as winter-themed items instead of holiday items, and warm-weather apparel could sell through April –– or even year-round for brands that ship internationally.
For your holiday-specific items, decide if you need to sell them right away, or if you could hold onto them until next year. Perishable items will need to go ASAP, but some things might be worth holding onto and listing again next year. Certain holiday items like ugly sweaters and themed decor will see a spike in demand next year –– and you could be one of the first brands to list it in early September like many businesses did this year.
Tips to Sell Through Holiday Inventory
Drop Your Prices
For the items you need to move quickly, start by reducing your markup by 50%. See what happens over a week or two, then drop to 25%. Wait again, then drop down to 10%.
Once you’ve marked your seasonal items down to cost, you need to decide if you’re willing to sell a few items at a slight loss to increase your cash flow. Balancing cash flow and profit looks different for every small business, but remember –– dead inventory becomes a 100% loss.
Offer Free Shipping
One way to move seasonal items after the holiday is to offer free shipping on seasonal items during the last two weeks of December and the first two weeks of January. By creating a limited-time offer, you’ll develop a sense of urgency for shoppers who have their eye on some of your stock but simply haven’t made the purchase yet.
In preparation for free shipping offers, it’s wise to evaluate your shipping options and reduce your shipping costs as much as possible.
Consider building creative bundles to eliminate your slow-moving seasonal items during the post-holiday season. If you’re still holding onto seasonal stock from spring, summer, and fall, you could offer a year-round decor bundle that includes items from every season. You could also pair low-velocity holiday items with high-velocity winter items –– maybe a neutral winter sweater with candy cane socks and a snowflake sticker.
Leverage Your Loyalty Program
Your loyalty program presents an excellent opportunity to move dead inventory. You can turn your low-cost seasonal items into rewards that customers can claim with loyalty points. This is a low-risk way to shed some dead weight and make customers happy in the process.
Plus, you can use free holiday items to incentivize loyalty program sign-ups. If you include an opt-in for your email list, then your loyalty program can double as a way to collect your customers’ email addresses for email marketing campaigns.
Turn To Other Channels
It’s wise to cast a wide net when you want to move lots of holiday stock during the post-holiday season. If you usually sell on Amazon, you could list bulk lots of holiday items on eBay at a low starting price. You can also promote your items in Facebook groups and even Craiglist for local pickup as a way to save on shipping.
Prepare Your Funding for 2022 Growth
New year, new strategy. Now that the holiday surge has died off, it’s time to launch your growth plans for 2022. Don’t let a slow cash flow hold you back –– grow on your schedule with Payability.
Instant Access provides daily marketplace payouts for eCommerce sellers, and Instant Advance offers immediate access to up to $250k in growth funding. When inventory ordering on a tight schedule is vital, it doesn’t matter what shopping season you’re in. You need cash flow, and you need it pronto.
That’s why Payability moves fast. There’s no need to wait on credit checks or paperwork –– apply online and get funding in as little as a day. Access your money on your schedule with Instant Transfer, Same Day ACH, or wire. Lastly, earn up to 2% cash back on every purchase you make with the Payability Seller Card.
Slow money is old-school. Start growing today with efficient funding solutions from Payability.