What to consider when relocating your business as the holidays approach
The 2021 retail holiday season is in full swing. With that come waves of shopping and shipping, both in-store and online. The management of holiday stocks is essential to better control the continuous influxes. Organization, strategy and automation are the 3 main steps to stay on top of inventory this year. Deliberate use of these will create a better setup for the months to come.
The organization takes several forms. In the warehouse, a messy workspace will slow down sales and shipping, rendering the entire store inefficient. However, with the right classifications, labeling, and management, the warehouse can become the most uncluttered place in the store.
First, stores need to have a point-of-sale system that can neatly organize everything into actionable data, according to Software Advice. When a transaction occurs, the system records it, and from there, employees can better understand which inventory is selling the fastest.
In the back, employees can change the inventory layout to prioritize the items that are selling well. Keeping this area fully occupied at all times may be the best decision during the retail rush for the holiday season. For example, employees can categorize clothing by material, size, and color.
The store should use a comprehensive inventory management system. With it, employees can accurately track what goes in and out of the store by scanning barcodes and recording shipments. With better control of consumer needs, its location in the reserve and better tracking, backorders and out-of-stock orders can decrease.
2. Develop a strategy
Retailers need to have a clear holiday inventory strategy. Otherwise, precipitation, high demands and high orders can easily overwhelm employees and lead to lost income. We are already seeing orders falling behind due to multiple shortages, including chips and even the employees themselves. Combined with organization, a plan should involve prioritizing customer needs and interests and increasing accessibility of items.
Just as employees can organize the warehouse based on what consumers will buy the most, they can also rearrange the store to put those items forward. This way people can get what they are looking for right away. This strategy will also work online – where the site advertises popular articles on the main page.
Then, based on reports from point-of-sale and inventory management systems, managers can pre-order the most wanted items. At home or in person, consumers get what they want without the frustration, while retailers know the exact numbers of their inventory.
Another crucial area to focus on is in-store pickup. Some consumers don’t want to pay for shipping. Instead, in-store pickup ships their order to the nearest point of sale, where they can claim it quickly. Especially during the holiday rush, designating a separate section for these items will be essential for a strategic inventory.
Automation is a big topic when it comes to vacation inventory. With this broad reach, however, retailers can integrate countless systems to beat rushes more effectively. Useful gadgets and organizational equipment include Internet of Things sensors and big data. They will go a long way in monitoring inventory at all times.
IoT sensors are small and convenient. While they can attach to any item in the warehouse, they will be invaluable to everyone along the supply chain. The sensors indicate the exact location and specifications of the merchandise, which an inventory management system will automatically present in an actionable way.
When retailers use sales and inventory information, it falls under the category of big data. With the right analysis and prediction software, employees can use this data to understand upcoming trends and better understand what to order and when.
If businesses (like retail businesses and warehouses) are looking for an efficient way to find inventory without wasting time, they can use bots to retrieve it. These autonomous robots reduce search times when they know the exact location through IoT sensors or barcode scanning.
4. Make changes after the holidays
The work continues even after the end of the holiday season. However, businesses can take steps to optimize their setups for months to come to continue attracting people during the holiday season next year.
The first step is to declutter. Get rid of things that will no longer be a priority for most consumers. A sale or liquidation section is an effective way to profit from outdated inventory.
Then it’s time to take a step back and reassess the landscape. What has changed for consumers? What new trends are emerging? Social media will be invaluable in tracking how customers want to spend their money over the coming year. It is also an essential place to establish an e-commerce presence for the future.
A sustainable central inventory
All year round, but especially during the holiday season, inventory should be a critical factor for any retailer or warehouse. With better organization, strategy and automation, the workplace can run more smoothly. These factors will also improve communication throughout the supply chain, making vacations a profitable breeze for all retailers.