How to forecast for peak trading season
Seasonal shoppers are vital to many retailers. To really capitalise on your seasonal shoppers, smart inventory planning is a must. That way you can be sure you access funding to have sufficient stock to meet sales demands without running the risk of over-stocking and having to sell off the excess at clearance prices. After all, there are some dangers involved in discounting that can affect your bottom line and cash flow health. So to help you out, we have put together a quick guide to forecasting peak trading seasons. Follow these tips to get your detailed sales and inventory plans in tip-top shape well in advance of your peak trading season.
Step back in time
Your sale histories for last year are a goldmine of information. Review these as a starting point then factor in adjustments for new promotions, current sales trends and sales potential research. This will shape your sales plan and ensure you are in prime position to have a bumper peak trading season.
Plan your inventory
You need sufficient inventory to serve two purposes: meet sales demands and provide killer merchandise displays. Take your inventory planning in bite-sized monthly chunks. If you commit to inventory orders too far ahead of your busy season and bring in the whole season’s worth in one hit, you will almost certainly find yourself overstocked. Another important part of inventory planning is ensuring you can access funds to purchase the required stock according to forecasting. Connect in advance with reputable SME lenders like Capify to get any necessary finance solutions sorted. Remember to allow for inventory delivery lead-times, particularly if you are sourcing stock from overseas.
Forecast new product demand
Are you adding to your family of product offerings in time for peak season? Make sure you have sound data and a brilliant forecasting engine on your side. These two ingredients give you the best shot at pinpointing likely best sellers and planning your inventory accordingly. Thanks to supportive SME lenders like Capify, it is simple and swift to access funds needed to invest in a new or upgraded forecasting engine.
Bring structure to your discounting
Having a clear discounting plan prevents you from falling prey to common discount pitfalls that can undermine your brand and profits. Planning both your peak season promotional discounts and your end-of-season clearance discounts is crucial. Your goal is to protect your profit margin, cash flow, reputation and customer loyalty. So you should know in advance your discount percentage and discount timing throughout the season, right down to the date of your first markdown offer.
Are you ready to fire up your inventory forecasting for the busy season? Pop these handy hints into practice and speak with Capify to access funds for easy inventory purchase.
Or call 1300 760 930 to speak with one of our friendly Lending Consultants now.