As the holiday season approaches, retailers may find themselves burdened with excess
inventory that didn't sell over the previous months, which may make it difficult to invest
in new merchandise. But this presents an opportunity to find creative ways to sell what
you've got and make room for next year's wares.
Here are six ways to promote sales -- and free up some much-needed shelf-space -- by
reimagining existing merchandise with a little seasonal flair.
1. Create gift lists for hard-to-shop-for recipients.
Many of your customers may be shopping for small items for a random assortment of
people, from office colleagues and neighbors to distant family members or a friend's
young child. Help ease their shopping woes by curating a list of suitable items. This is
your chance to move those humorous coffee mugs, less expensive toys, outdoor
games, board games, and books.
2. Promote items with a purpose.
When you label a product with a practical name like a stocking stuffer or a hostess gift,
all of a sudden it has a purpose, rather than being just overstock. For example, all those
picture frames you intended to sell as graduation gifts can be repurposed to peak out of a stocking or presented as a thank you gift for a gracious host.
3. Re-photograph items using a winter theme.
Sometimes it just takes a little styling to reframe an item. Sure, you had planned on
people using those unbreakable picnic plates on their boat this summer, but instead
take a new product shot with them grouped near a fire pit, accompanied by hot cocoa
and homemade cookies. Now they are the ideal serving pieces for your customer's
winter outdoor gathering.
4. Rewrite your copy.
If your site is filled with items for summer beach trips or lazy vacation days, rebrand
them as gifts that will be ideal for an upcoming "winter getaway." It's all in the words you
use. For example, swap out talk of long, warm evenings and sandcastles with
references to snowbirds and cold weather escapes. All of a sudden that tote bag that's
been languishing all summer can be promoted as the perfect accessory for a winter
5. Prepare bundles of items that go together.
Buying just a book or just a stuffed animal might not seem exciting, but putting them
together with festive packaging makes them gift-ready. For example, you can gather
lotions, bath salts, candles, deluxe teas, and flip flops, and create a spa day basket.
You can also do the opposite by taking a pre-packaged set with a higher price point and
deconstruct it to become a number of affordable stocking stuffers.
6. Mark down items judiciously.
You want to avoid losing money by putting all your inventory on a blowout sale, but you
can still move some old stock by lowering your prices. Inspect each product to see if it's
"dated" -- either in terms of an obsolete trend or something that has an actual date on it
(like a calendar). The goal is to determine its shelf life.
Then focus your discounts on those items that are past their prime. You'll be surprised
at how many products will move if the price is right. While you shouldn't feel obligated to
offer all your older merchandise at rock bottom prices, a big sale on items that feel stale
in the spring can ensure your business generates some revenue and can help you
make space for new inventory.
Want more tips for your small business? Visit the Synovus Business Resource Center for all the latest news.
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