Customer Research

6 Brilliant Ways to Sell Excess Stock Fast

Slow moving inventory happens to every retailer from time to time. No matter how well you try to forecast sale trends and manage your supply purchasing, there’s always the chance that a product will sell slower than expected. That’s why every business should have a good inventory management system that includes a detailed plan for excess stock.

Inventory management is an important part of any successful business. It requires the constant monitoring of slow-moving products, and calls for clever and creative ways to move such stock. Without proper monitoring and smart sales ideas, your cash flow is hindered, and as you well know – cash flow is the lifeblood of your business.

So what effective sales concepts should you be thinking about? What ideas will keep stock moving off the shelves or tough season without putting you in the red?

1. Trade In, Trade Up

One such way is to offer a Trade In, Trade Up program, which allows customers to freely purchase despite the possibility of a soon-to-be-released upgrade. Let’s say a customer buys a laptop from your brand only to find a new release six months later. A trade in, trade up program allows a customer to return their laptop and upgrade to a newer version.

Apple, for example, have Apple Renew, a trade-in and recycle incentive program for eligible devices. Shoppers can go into any eligible Apple store with their old device (it can’t be older than an iPhone 4 or iPad 2) or go online to the Apple trade in page for a free mailer sent to their address. Once traded in, the shopper will receive a free gift in the form of a gift card.

HP in the UK is another tech company to regularly implement trade in, trade up initiatives, offering a huge range of promotions on stock.

In short, trade in, trade up offers the opportunity to get shoppers to spend and stay loyal to your brand. Trade in, trade up arrangements keep shoppers in your ecosystem and offer value that drives business growth. They also stop stock from slowing out of suspicion that a newer version will soon be along. Shoppers aren’t afraid of buying a “soon to be fazed out” product if they know there is a worthwhile incentive.

2. Remarket it

Promote slow selling products and excess merchandise more heavily in your store and your marketing materials. Move it to the front of the store, add a banner to your website, and use prominent signage to draw shoppers in. Make sure the merchandise is displayed neatly and is organised, as a jumble of castoffs won’t call out to customers.

3. Use your data

If you have data on your customer’s preferences, use this to create personalised emails about a sale item that best suits them. Even if you don’t get a sale out of it, customers appreciate the attention to detail and will feel more loyal to you for future purchases.

4. Add a clearance section to your website

Bargain hunters love a good website clearance section. Once setup, you can add any stock that takes longer than say, 120 days to sell, or when you feel it’s time to clear the shelf. Shoppers love the idea that they can always save by choosing your company, and you’ll be surprised how often they scour your website’s sales section (so try to keep this section updated often!). 

5. Use branded items as incentives

One of your major online goals should be to collect the email addresses of your traffic. Email converts at a 4x higher rate than any other traffic source, making it the most effective form of marketing for driving sales. By presenting traffic with a token of appreciation (such as a set of branded headphones) for signing up to exclusive emails, you flush out your excess stock while building your email list. One well known Australian company that creates memorable and unique promotional products is: Minc Marketing.

6. Upsell incentives

Threshold offers such as “spend $300 to receive a free bluetooth speaker” will benefit you in a multitude of ways. It will help you get more out of each sale, it will clear low cost stock, and also make your customers feel appreciated (and that they received a handy gift!). It’s a win-win situation. The upsell incentive adds value for your customers as well as improving your bottom line.

We hope you’ve been inspired to get into that stock room and clear out that dusty stock that has been causing you concern. Arm yourself with a few of these strategies and be prepared to increase your bottom line this quarter. The best thing about most of these sales methods is that not only will you clear out old products, you’ll make your customers feel like they have scored a bargain in the process.

Think positive. Be creative. And sell, sell, sell! 

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Michael Jess

Michael Jess

Commercial Director at Edge Pri
Starting off as one of Edge's Customer Service employees whilst completing his degree at Deakin University many-many moons ago, Michael (or MJ) now leads the sales team. With one finger on the pulse of the many promotions in market and just another flight away from a client meeting, Michael has experienced promotions from every aspect and understands what makes a great promotion, great!