How can retail stock management boost sales?

In the past, retailers with unsold stock would likely put that stock up in the end-of-season sale, discounted until it was sold. Today their options for selling off excess stock can be more imaginative.

Many retailers today set up flash sales sites or clearance-type events, but another option, with a lot of potential, is to sell cross-border.

“End-of-season items from the UK will not always be on-trend Down Under”

Georges Berzgal, Pitney Bowes Ecommerce

Georges Berzgal, vice president for Europe at Pitney Bowes Ecommerce, says: “This strategy not only allows for more full-price and profitable sales, rather than selling goods at cost or even at a loss, but offers an export opportunity to reach a far wider audience.”

Nonetheless, there are challenges that need to be dealt with, including making the right buying decisions.

“End-of-season items from the UK will not always be on-trend Down Under, for example,” says Berzgal.

“Unless brands are buying for that kind of dual season approach, by the end of the season they may end up having to mark down the inventories in both regions.”

Local logistics

Another key challenge lies in localising the customer experience and logistics.

“Most international retailers, for example fashion retailer ASOS, now sell through country-specific websites, that include local language, currency and payment options, as well as free worldwide delivery above a certain spending threshold, supported by warehouses in different continents,” says Berzgal.

“The key is to localise strategic elements, which doesn’t necessarily need to involve raising individual web shops for each market, but to use new solutions that overlay on the main site.”

The use of the latest technology and establishment of smart partnerships offers retailers a huge potential growth opportunity for stock management, with a relatively low upfront investment.