The time from October to mid-January is when you face your real test as a wholesale seller. With back-to-back holidays and customers looking to enjoy their time shopping and gifting, you have to be ready to take on the giant task of keeping your retailer’s shelves full throughout the shopping season.
It is a mammoth undertaking, one that needs a lot of careful planning and good execution to pull off a near hundred percent satisfaction rate for your retailers. When people are enjoying their summer holidays going to the beaches and riding waves, you as a wholesaler should be preparing for the end of the year sales.
You do not want to be underprepared so that the unexpected spike in demand catches you off-guard and that you’re not able to fulfill orders from your buyers.
A savvy wholesaler knows the best time to prepare for the year-end sales is around mid-summer when there is a lot of time to sort out issues with inventory management and sales process to get ready for the large orders that will start to come in towards the end of the year.
As a wholesaler, there are a few ways to better prepare yourself for the onslaught of orders you will face in the months of October, November, and December.
Entering data in a spreadsheet to track your inventories will not work.
Especially if you’re in the first year of your wholesale business and think that you can manage orders the way you’re managing now with Excel and Google Spreadsheet, take the advice from us and drop this idea.
You will not be able to handle the large number of orders that come your way during the shopping season.
If you want to focus on your business and not freak out about data entry of orders and generating invoices, you need to automate your accounting.
Invest in reliable inventory management software to automate your invoices and entries for payments. Depending on the needs of your business, you may choose a suitable inventory management solution to help you cruise through the holiday season chaos.
When you do not have to worry about tracking every single detail regarding your orders, you will be free to focus on procuring supplies and fulfilling orders.
Make Clever Forecasts Using Historical Sales Data
If you’ve already implemented inventory management solutions and have a good amount of data for previous years at your disposal, the savvy thing you can do is to make use of the data to make predictions on product demand for the upcoming shopping season.
Every Christmas season, there is one toy that becomes the ‘big’ thing that boys and girls around the world want to get their hands on. While there is no accurate way to predict what that breakout toy will be, you can make educated guesses using the historical data saved.
By stocking on the toys and products you think will be in hot demand in the upcoming season, you can get an edge over competitors and be able to serve more retailers when they request for restocking of goods from you.
Dump Slow Moving Products with Clearance Sales
You have to remember that slow-moving products stuck on your shelves take up the room for the addition of more seasonal products.
As a wholesaler, you have to make the choice of whether to sell the slow-moving goods at large discounts or hang on to them while stocking up on products for the shopping season.
If you have the data to make calculated guesses on the future demand of certain products, you will be better off clearing the stock of the slow-moving products to make way for products that will soon be in high demand.
You may have to grin and take the small pain of having to sell off products at big discounts to enjoy massive sales during the year-end shopping craze.
Fill Retailer Shelves Early
As it comes time for Black Friday, you must already have filled your retailer shelves with products.
Black Friday marks the beginning of the shopping frenzy and you do not want to be left behind. As a wholesale seller, you have to get your products on the shelves of retailers well before the shopping season begins.
Your production and operation teams have to work in sync to make this possible. Having a streamlined and reliable process is of utmost importance during this stage as you do not want to delay the shipping and unloading of products at the retail stores of your buyers.
Continuously monitor the production schedule and be ahead of time as this will determine your success as a wholesale seller during the holiday season. Have the goal of finishing the year strong and push your internal team to do their best job with extra commissions and incentives.
Supply Chain Management
By doing an effective job at ensuring the constant entry and exit of new supplies synchronizing with the buy and sell patterns observed will make sure you are not stuck with backorders and rushing to fulfill the demands of shopping-overwhelmed partners.
Keeping track of your inventory, properly managing it, knowing the products that are selling like hotcakes to ramp up their production, tracking what’s going out and what’s coming in, and how your fulfillment centers are handling and shipping orders will allow you to ensure smooth business operations.
The best thing you can do for your wholesale business ahead of shopping seasons is to automate a lot of standard operating procedures so that you do not have to worry about them. When you do not have to constantly monitor the quality of products and instead focus on delivering them faster to your buyers, you will gain a lot of trust from your retailers who will appreciate your quick turnaround times to fulfill orders.
Have a Backup Plan
Always have a backup plan in place.
Events can backfire and delays can happen.
However, what separates the average wholesaler from the mindful wholesaler is that the mindful seller will have a backup plan if things do not go as planned.
If your stocks do not sell out within the year-end and you’re left with excess stock to dispose of, you need a backup plan that minimizes your losses on the excess inventory.
Take a strategic approach to prepare for the holiday season and remember to always have a backup plan.