Stock Management: Creative Ways to Clear Summer Inventory

As fall approaches, it’s “out with the old and in with the new” when it comes to stock. For small businesses, inventory management can be a headache when the seasons change. But making room for new products shouldn’t mean slashing prices to the point that you’re basically giving products away. Here are some creative ideas to help you make space for fall.

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Start dating.

Holiday and seasonal sales are great opportunities to move product. But those aren’t the only dates to remember. Smaller, quirkier, social media–friendly occasions like National Waffle Day and Siblings Day can also offer great opportunities. For instance, National Dog Day could present an opportunity for customers to bring their furry friends in for a discount.

Mix things up.

Moving summer inventory doesn’t have to mean offering deep discounts. Simply changing the way you present a product to customers can reframe it as seasonally appropriate. For example, if you own a clothing boutique, reposition some summer items as “pre-fall” with a few style tweaks.

Give shoppers a reason to return by offering future discounts on new merchandise when they buy select summer items. Or, if customers spend a certain amount, consider thanking them with a Square gift card to your business.

Get out there.

Take advantage of the late September sunshine and try nontraditional sales opportunities, such as setting up a pop-up shop, or a booth at an outdoor concert, street fair, or festival. Not only will you clear out seasonal inventory, it’s also a great way to get your name out to your local community.

Team up with other businesses in your neighborhood to make an event out of it. Get local shops and restaurants involved to turn it into a full-blown experience with food, drinks, and entertainment.

Get sales data savvy.

One of the best ways to manage inventory is to keep track of the best (and worst) times for your business, sales-wise. You probably already have a general idea of the ebbs and flows, but analytics tools like Square’s Customer Insights can give you a clear sense of the patterns. This can help you determine and plan for the best times to move summer inventory.

To make your inventory management even more of a breeze, link your Square account to tools like Stitch Labs, Shopventory, Intrakr, DEAR and Shopseen in the Square App Marketplace.