A big fear in ecommerce, especially for newcomers, is running out of a hot selling item. On the other hand, many ecommerce merchants also face the issue of dealing with backstock. This is a surplus of product that is not selling well, leaving you left to front the cost of the items as well as storing them.
It can become just as annoying as it is costly for those who have limited space. In many ways, backstock can be a huge burden, stifling your ability to grow. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to approach backstock that will move the product, while keeping your business relevant and exciting.
Consider Giving Back to the Community
Donating backstock to a charitable organization is a solid play. If you sell furniture online through Shopify, for example, it can be tough to hold onto backstock due to the size of your merchandise. If you need to free up some space, find an organization that could use that product but cannot front the cost.
Donating items to charity does not allow you to see any money back, but it works wonders for press and integrity, two things that customers enjoy their digital stores to have when they consider shopping. It also reduces your tax burden.
Makeup companies are well known for this, with many donating to women’s shelters or crisis homes. Many customers respond positively to donations, which can translate to sales down the road.
Put It on Sale
Another popular method of moving backstock is to put it on sale or clearance. There are a few issues with this, but overall can be a very great method of moving product that seems stuck on the shelves.
A clearance price of 50 percent off or better can really move items that have frozen in your shop. Even if customers are only mildly interested, a low price can sway them. Make sure with every clearance event you emphasize how much the buyer is saving. This leads to more sales, because customers love feeling like they “won” the purchase. In reality, you are the one winning by moving a product you have been trying to get rid of for a long time.
Start a Giveaway or Contest
Giveaways are another type of backstock transfer with a hidden advantage. A social media giveaway requiring users to follow your posts can help expose your brand to new audiences.
You may eat the cost of the product, but you’ll have a larger following to which you can market other items. Not so popular articles may reach more eyes on a giveaway than if you just put the items on clearance, so consider a prize giveaway when you are wondering what to do with excess stock. Everyone loves getting free stuff and following someone on social media is cost free.
These tips can help move unsold product off the shelves to make room for more inventory. While it may seem counterintuitive to give things away for free, donations and giveaways on social media can go a long way toward building your brand name. This is often harder to do than selling non-popular products. In the end, creativity is key when your ecommerce business hits a standstill, so hopefully these tips spark an idea for your digital store.