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Get your shop ready for Black Friday 2021. Proven ways to avoid selling out of stock

The great sales holiday that is Black Friday is approaching. How do you avoid selling over your inventory and not selling more goods than you physically own? Check out five tips from IdoSell, manage your inventory more effectively and protect yourself from overselling a particular product, especially during the peak shopping season.

  • Overstock sales occur when you list the same item in multiple channels simultaneously (e.g. on Allegro, Amazon, your online store). Then it is easy to sell the same item several times.
  • Good management, well-thought-out logistics and the right sales platform are the key to avoid over-selling a given product.
  • If you sell a product that you don't have in stock, try to get it as soon as possible and send it to the customer. Remember to apologise to the customer for the delay. It's also worth giving the customer the choice of whether they want to wait longer for delivery or prefer a refund.

You can easily avoid selling overstock by following a few rules. Here are the most important ones:

1. Skilfully manage your warehouse

With well-planned logistics and thoughtful warehouse management, you can avoid selling the same item multiple times. Barcodes, which identify products, are useful in planning the release of goods for shipment. It is also important to arrange products in the warehouse so that they are all visible when packing orders.

If you own a larger shop, it's worth taking an interest in fulfillment and putting certain processes in the hands of specialists. This will relieve you of your duties and improve the work of your shop.

Integration with Frisbo

2. Platform with a built-in WMS

It is worth choosing a shop platform with a built-in WMS (e.g. IdoSell). A WMS is a warehouse management system which is indispensable for fast and flawless fulfilment of your customers' orders. Its goal is an efficient, repeatable and controlled shipping process.

WMS capabilities

If you do not want to sell more goods than you have, it will be crucial to administer the dispatch stock (inventory minus reservations) and not just the inventory itself. Why are disposable stocks important for good logistics management? Because they give you information about how much merchandise you can actually sell. In IdoSell you have the possibility to track and show historical available stocks, thanks to which you can analyze what number of a given commodity was available e.g. a month ago and a week ago. On this basis, you will be able to analyse trends and indicate which goods are selling well and which are selling poorly.

A seller who lists on several sites must have precise information on how many products have sold on a particular sales site. In addition, the short intervals at which orders from different channels flow into the central warehouse system are important. The platform should automatically send information about the resulting reservation to the other sales outlets. The faster it does this, the better.

3. Choose the right sales platform

The right sales platform, which uses modern solutions, is a very important way to make sure you don't sell beyond your means. What should you look for when choosing a platform? In addition to a rich range of features and integrations, the way data is stored (whether it is integral and whether queries are recorded in the trading system) is important. Also pay attention to whether the platform offers inventory management.

Inventory management in IdoSell is fully automated and provides all the information you need to fully control dozens of warehouses and thousands of goods. Always up-to-date stock levels will give your customers a sense of security and increase trust in your online shop.

4. Separation of stock levels:

- stationary from online
It often happens that the same piece of merchandise will be bought stationary and online. Even if your shop updates inventory every second, you can't be sure that stationary customers aren't just lining up the last items at the checkout. As a retailer, you are not in a position to monitor your offline shop and look in customers' baskets.

For this reason, it makes sense to separate the stocks of goods for online and stationary sales. This is common practice in large shops that have a central warehouse and in-store warehouses. Small and niche shops usually cannot afford to separate their warehouses.

- complaints and returns in separate warehouses
Separation of warehouses for goods from complaints and returns is a practice used by large and very large companies such as clothing companies. This makes it possible to separate goods that require additional preparation (e.g. cleaning) from those that are ready for sale.

5. Plan the pre-sale

Pre-selling involves the retailer first collecting orders and then producing them (or having them made). This is a popular practice in the home or fashion industry, where the models of, for example, trousers are unique and the customer decides on the final look himself - i.e. he can choose the colour, type of fabric and size.

However, it happens that the number of orders exceeds the capabilities of the shop or manufacturer and it will not be able to deliver the previously assumed number of goods. In order to avoid this (and not to sell overstock), it is advisable to make a simulation and analyse the sales of a similar assortment at the same time.

You have sold more than you have in stock, what next?

If you've sold more goods than you have in stock, figure out the fastest way to get that stock. Speed matters especially during Black Friday when you are hitting a lot of new customers. If you make a customer wait a week for an ordered item, you may discourage them from your shop.

Additionally, you should apologise to the customer for the situation and offer a choice of a solution, i.e. a refund or a discount on future purchases. It is up to the customer to decide if they want to wait.

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