Merchandise & manage your stock
Making sure your stock is correct for your target market helps you deliver world-class customer service – your customers are ultimately visiting your shop or online shop to buy your stock or to experience your service. You need to ensure that everything is perfect, with the right stock, in the right place, at the right price for your customer segments that your business targets.
Stock, whether to sell or to provide a service is extremely valuable and should be viewed and treated as if it were cash. The stock has two financial values: the first is the stock value which is the price for which you bought the stock; the second is the retail value which is the price for which you intend to sell the stock. For services you need to consider productivity even more so and what stock and premises are needed for you to provide that service.
The difference between the two is the margin. This could be very large or small depending on whether you are in a high-value or low-value business. The size of the margin is linked to the way you manage your costs and will make you a profit or loss. The end sums will always be reflected in your £ profit….as % of nothing = nothing!
- The right stock
- The best initial stock levels
- Managing your continuing stock levels
- Develop a commercial/buying plan
- Cost price negotiation
- How much to order – minimum order levels
- Maintaining display stock – minimum stock levels
- Calling off stock
- Develop a markdown strategy
- Decide which platform to sell discounted stock (EBay, facebook etc)
Buying the right stock for your brand and image needs to be thought of when you plan the merchandising of
Merchandising describes the methods you use which contribute to the sale of your products or services.
In a physical shop, merchandising refers to the product, service or experience range available and the display of your products in such a way that it stimulates interest and entices customers to buy your products.
Really amazing merchandise is called “The Invisible brilliant Sales Assistant!”
Fantastic merchandising is just like having an amazing silent sales assistant! The same rules apply online – great navigation from setting out your homepage and catalogue structure of products or services is essential to understand for good customer service.
When you plan your range, you must think about how the products or services will look to the customer, and how easily the customer will be able to find the products or services they need.
Arranging your product or service range is very important; your customers need to be able to find easily what products you sell and identify where the products are located in the store or online.
- Sell what your customers want to buy
- Develop good relationships with your customers, your team, and your suppliers
- Keep in touch, and keep listening – what do they want from you?
- Give great advice, share your knowledge and build trust
- Forecast your stock requirements – it’s cash!
- Plan your stock required for promotions and events
- Ask your suppliers to help you
- Have a clear mark-down plan for slow sellers
- Be clear about your margin and price accordingly for your target customers, keeping them loyal
- Merchandise to inspire, excite and entice
- Cut out the clutter and keep your PoS messages simple & consistent
- Take customers on a logical journey through your shop, provide them with solutions to their needs