According to WASP Barcode, one of the top reasons startups and small businesses fail is because of poor inventory management. As you prepare your online business for the busy holiday season, it’s vital to be organized about your item inventory. Getting all of your ducks in a row now will save you time and stress later. Holiday shoppers won’t wait around for you to be ready for them - get organized so you don’t miss out on holiday sales.
Ordering Inventory Ahead of Time
The time to stock your holiday inventory is now. If you purchase your items from a dropshipper or wholesaler, don’t wait until the last minute to check availability. Make sure you also stock up on packing materials so you don’t have to worry about finding boxes, tape, and other shipping supplies once you make a sale.
It’s a nice touch to include a thank you note for your customers, so we would recommend preparing those in advance, so you aren’t pressed for time later. Stay tuned for more ideas on creating a memorable unboxing experience.
Organizing Your Inventory
Getting organized now will help prevent disasters during the holiday season. Assign SKU to your inventory, label each product, assign storage locations, and make sure your items are safely placed in their appropriate storage location so they are easy to find when fulfilling your orders.
Some sellers are careless with their items, leaving them in danger of getting damaged or dirty before shipment. To avoid this, it is best to inspect your inventory thoroughly and take care of anything that is damaged now so you don’t have any issues when the time comes to ship the item. Be sure to hang up clothing items so they don’t wrinkle, and keep them out of the sunlight so they don’t fade. Keep these items in a room where there is no smoking or pets nearby so as to avoid smells and allergens.
If something gets broken or lost during its journey to the buyer, you’ll want to have a contingency plan in place. Whether you’re a big business with a warehouse of items or an independent seller with a few items around the house, it’s beneficial to take the necessary precautions to ensure your quantities are accurate.
Storing Your Inventory
At-home sellers often run into the issue of space for storing their inventory. It’s important to resist simply housing your items anywhere they fit. Instead, find a central location for your inventory and keep track of every item. It’s helpful to use an inventory management system or electronic spreadsheet that details the SKU and location of each item, so you can find them quickly. Then, label the items with their SKU and storage location so you know where it belongs in the event that something is misplaced.
Once an item sells, you can use your spreadsheet to locate the item and prepare it for shipping. Make sure you update the quantity on your spreadsheet so you keep track of all the inventory you have in stock. Verify the quantity remaining after you pull each item for an order. It is very important to be diligent about this, especially once an item is low in stock.
Using the Importers
If you’re considering selling on multiple platforms including Bonanza, now is the perfect time to test it out. Listing your items on many sites increases the chance of your items being seen and purchased.
If you have listings on Amazon and eBay, you can use our Importer tools to automatically sync your inventory across platforms. These importers will grab all of your active listings and copy traits like item title, description, price, and images into your Bonanza booth. Importing items is free and usually is completed within a few hours, though it might take longer depending on how many items are being imported and how many imports are in the queue.
If you sell an item on eBay or Amazon, Bonanza will update or remove the listing on our end so you don’t sell out of an item because it’s double-listed. During busy holiday times, it’s a good idea to manually check your inventory count every few days to ensure that your quantity is accurate.
If you sell on another site and would still like to import your listings, you can always upload a CSV file of your listings. You can learn all about importing CSV files here.
The Tough Get Going
Managing inventory properly is a necessity for your online business. Businesses with physical storefronts don’t face the same inventory challenges as an online business, because their items are removed from the site the instant they make a sale. Online businesses have a longer timeframe from purchase to delivery of the product, so you need to be careful to keep track of your inventory accordingly.
Avoid the pitfalls that many other small businesses face with inventory management - take extra precautions to ensure that your inventory is ordered ahead of time, organized efficiently, and ready to be shipped the moment a sale is made.