Fall Feeling: Planning Ahead For Seasonal Products
For many retailers, the holiday season is critical to ending the year in the black. These tips will help you plan for a successful holiday sales season.

1. Create a calendar and mark your key holidays.

There may be others that appeal to your niche and customer base.

Most Popular Fall Promo Holidays:
  • Thanksgiving
  • Black Friday
  • Cyber Monday
  • Giving Tuesday
  • Green Monday
  • Free Shipping Day
  • Hanukkah (start/end)
  • Christmas
  • Kwanzaa
  • Boxing Day
  • New Year’s Eve/Day
Determine cut off dates with your shipping carriers so you can consider your own shipping cut off dates and add them to your calendar. Be sure to schedule newsletters to go out ahead of cutoff dates to inform your client base as well as prominent signage on your website at checkout so that expectations are managed.

2. Determine which products you want to highlight.

Work on your marketing and merchandizing to make sure the items purchased fit with customer demand, marketing campaigns and produce your desired profit margins.

Consider the following:
  • Buying trends from last year. What products sold well during the same time last year?
  • Trends from non-seasonal sales this year. What hot new trends can you incorporate in your holiday merchandising?
  • Are you going to launch new items? Are there holiday-specific items to make available during the fourth quarter?
3. Decide what stock is needed and determine when you need to receive inventory.

Do you need autumn-related items by Halloween? Are Christmas items needed before Thanksgiving? 

Add the timing of delivery of your stock arrival into your planning calendar.

If you typically plan to have enough stock for 30 days but want to have a cushion of stock for the holidays, be ensure you’re reflecting this in your forecasting.

4. Check in with your vendors.

Touch base with key suppliers to ensure you’re both on the same page for holiday inventory needs.
  • Are promotional prices or bulk discounts available? Even if promos are not advertised, it doesn’t hurt to ask!
  • Are volume discounts available? 
  • Will lead times be affected? 
  • Do they anticipate production delays or backorder issues? 
  • Are shipping lead times different due to holiday volume?
  • Do they have a holiday shutdown schedule? 
5. Plan your cash flow.

Now that you know what you need to order and when you need to receive it, when you will you need to pay for your purchasing? Does your supplier offer terms? 

Estimate your revenue for the current year. Be sure to factor in your expected revenue based on last years numbers. You will also need to take into consideration seasonal factors like shipping surcharges.

6. Increase your lead time and inventory as needed.

Take into consideration factors such as weather delays and shipping delays due to increased volume. Factor in damaged or lost shipments. If you plan to offer specials that move a lot of inventory, take that into consideration when forecasting how much stock you need to have on hand.

7. Place orders according to schedule.

Now that you’ve created your schedule and adjusted lead time and days of stock, start ordering to coincide with when you will need product.

8. Have a contingency for slow movers during holiday season

Create your contingency plan before Black Friday so that you know what dates you will examine your sales data. Put a plan of action into place for which levels of sales volume trigger promotions or needed reorders from your vendors. Make these decisions now so that you can act quickly when needed.

Add Comment

0 Items