Trick or treat yo’ self with these order fulfillment practices as Halloween is approaching once more, and stores are promoting everything from sweets and pumpkins to outfits and decor. Halloween spending is anticipated to hit a record $10.6 billion this year. Halloween order fulfillment shouldn’t terrify shopkeepers, despite the season’s theme being frightening.
Halloween has developed into a significant commercial opportunity for retailers. If a retailer is well-prepared with inventory planning and control, Halloween order fulfillment may be quite profitable — provided you can avoid having to liquidate tons of excess inventory.
Order Fulfillment Explained
Although a new sale is almost always an occasion for celebration, the work is finished once the order is filled and the customer receives it. Order fulfillment includes the crucial tasks of putting together the order and sending it to the customer and the processes that help with those tasks.
Strategic sourcing is the first step in the entire order fulfillment lifecycle, which consists of five main steps before shipment. Order fulfillment is a term used by many firms to describe activities such as inventory control, supply chain management, order processing, quality assurance, and customer service.
So, how can you ensure that you have the correct amount of goods on hand to increase sales while avoiding waste?
Classify Your Seasonal Products for Effective Inventory Management
Seasonal goods can be broadly divided into three categories by the following three factors:
- The product life cycle alludes to whether or not the product has a life outside the season it is most frequently associated with. Sales occur during certain times of the year for particular things, like Halloween decorations. While some products, like confectionery, are available all year long, seasonal peaks nonetheless exist.
- The length of the season typically dictates how well it can meet actual in-season demand. When a season is modest, you must deliver the entire quantity anticipated to be in demand (possibly a little extra, to be safe). On the contrary, longer seasons allow for several store replenishments.
- The purchase lead time is determined by whether you must commit to the whole purchase quantity ahead of the season or if you can obtain more stock during the season if necessary. The degree of risk associated with pre-season purchases is determined by lead time; if in-season purchases are possible, you can safely postpone some of your purchasing selections until you receive sales statistics for the current season
How do you ensure your goods are eerie-sistable to your customers?
Planning for Halloween demand
Planning seasonal inventory for Halloween demand can make or break a retailer’s annual profitability. Inaccurate demand forecasting leads to incorrect product placement, resulting in lost revenues in some places and unsold inventories in other locations, which become obsolete after the season ends.
Before Halloween, if you overstock a product, you’ll have to pay expensive storage fees. On the other hand, if you wait too long to stock your business with Halloween items in the early fall, customers may only return if they can find what they’re searching for.
Profit from reliable, allocation-specific forecasts
Since here is a fresh set of products every year and it cannot be easy to estimate how well and when they will sell, retailers may find it challenging to allocate Halloween merchandise. Predicting demand accurately is the key issue, particularly in uncertain environments with dynamic trends. For instance, the Netflix thriller “Squid Game” became quite popular this year, and Squid Game costumes are already a big favorite for Halloween. Retailers were unable to forecast demand a few months ago.
Additionally, the Halloween season leaves little time for restocking. This product has a very short shelf life; if you don’t sell it by October 31st, you’ll have to mark it down needlessly, cutting your already modest profit margins. Therefore, retailers need to make better decisions regarding their merchandise strategy to boost sales, reduce the cost of stranded inventory, and reduce markdown losses. Additionally, they should make the most of their inventory and use allocation-specific predictions made possible by AI to predict demand, particularly for brand-new items with a unique combination of product attribute data.
Create distribution decisions that maximize profits.
Halloween preparation puts a lot of strain on supply chain planning teams and systems, but it doesn’t have to. You can escape the scare by achieving the ideal inventory allocation during Halloween. Today, it’s possible to avoid needless markdowns by making profit-optimized inventory selections that balance the risk of lost sales vs. left-over inventory at retailers.
The process of managing seasonal inventory can be difficult and time-consuming. Retailers must, however, outperform the competition to increase sales. And can handle seasonal changes and maintain healthy inventory levels with the correct inventory management approach. They can track seasonal trends and alter inventory levels with modern merchandising tools. While preventing overstock of less popular items, automatic replenishment of fast-selling items can ensure that popular items are constantly in stock. Inter-store transfers can be used to maintain stable inventory levels at all times, redistribute inventory in response to variations in demand, or prevent stockouts.