Slow Moving Inventory: How to Deal with It (Part 2)

Slow Moving Inventory

You have determined your slow moving inventory items, now what? 

Stock that sits in your warehouse and does not sell or sells extremely slowly costs you money!  The space and the capital they take up can be better utilised on faster moving products.  Once you have identified your slow moving inventory, you have to put a plan in to action to reduce your slow moving merchandise quickly and efficiently.

Some of the simplest methods to reduce stock consist of ‘Special Offers’, where the pricing is reduced to try and turn over the stock as quickly as possible.  There are however a few other methods that you can try before you go this route.  How are the items marketed?

There are a few ways of changing your marketing that might boost sales of these particular items.  Try a few of the following strategies of marketing the items better. This can result in an increase in sales without price unnecessary reduction.

Slow moving inventory improvement strategies

Your website.  Have a look at the layout and navigation of your website.  If your items are in a long, unwieldy ecommerce catalogue, it is possible that they fall off the radar as far as your customers are concerned.  They might be on some of the last pages and possibly not be easy to search for. In this case you should review your site navigation.  Move the slow movers to a more visible position in the catalogue and ensure that items can be found easily via a search tool or easy catalogue categories.  Perhaps run the slow moving inventory items as ‘featured’ items on your main pages for a period of time. This will help you determine if they don’t sell due to visibility issues on your site. This may also indicate a different problem to deal with.

Site Images.  What the items look like on your website could be a major determining factor on whether or not the product sells.  Look at the pictures you use for your fast movers versus your slow moving inventory. This will show you if they are of the same quality and quantity in order to entice your customers.  The more appealing the image is, the higher the potential for sales.

Items description.  Do you provide enough detail on the items that are not selling well?  Perhaps put in more detail, providing more relevant information such as shipping information and price, sizes, colors, materials used, brands, positive ratings received, features specific to the item or comparative to a more popular item or any other possible selling point.  Do not flood the listing with information though. You should try and keep it efficient and easy to read, while still giving all the pertinent information.

More suggestions

Promotions.  Once you have made the necessary changes on your website and perhaps run a feature on the item or any other form of advertising campaign, analyse the changes to your sales data on the slow moving items.  This will determine if the changes you have made had any impact on the movement of these inventory items.  If all the marketing has had little or no visible impact to the sales, then the next step would be to relook at your pricing strategy. You can always run a promotion on the item to reduce the slow moving stock quantities.

Goods liquidation.  Using a liquidator should be as a viable option to reducing your slow movers if you have not managed to reduce the inventory any other way.  There may be a slight loss in capital investment in the items, but this will free up space. It will also produce some liquid capital to invest in faster moving items or other aspects of your business.