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Prep Your Seasonal Inventory

We asked Square sellers how they prep for a busy season – Here’s what we learned. 

Leading up to a busy season, you can: 

  • Learn from your customers: Ask about their favorite products and what they're planning on gifting so you can stock accordingly for the season. Utilize social media accounts to see what products/categories are trending – know what influencers or bloggers your customers follow. Influencers and bloggers provide seasonal gift guides that include trending and top-selling products for you to identify and stock up on.   

  • Forecast inventory from reporting: Look over quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year sales reports to see which items to stock (it’s best to look at the last 2-3 years for trends). Focus on items that are growing or declining in popularity so you have the right stock on hand to meet demand.

  • Stock up based on your current inventory: Start with an updated inventory count to understand what you have available to sell, including pending purchase orders and customer orders. Check-in with your vendors ahead of time for seasonal ordering/lead times to receive your stock. Prioritize items that sold out or had low stock at the end of the previous season. Work closely with vendors (go local, wherever possible) to restock items that sell out quickly or have longer shipping times based on changing customer preferences and fluctuating demand.

Post busy season, you can: 

  • End with an inventory count and clear the shelves: After a busy season, your stock might be at an all-time low where updating an inventory count is simple and provides real-time stock levels for your reporting. Utilize discounts and promotions to quickly clear out seasonal or slow-selling items so you’re set up for the next season. 

  • Rest and Prep: Start prepping for your next busy season well in advance, which can sometimes take months of prep work. For example, you can review your inventory reports in the summer and strategically plan to stock items ahead of the winter season. When you have the occasional slow period after the busy seasonal rush, take advantage of that time to get organized and stay on top of your inventory. If you have the resources to take time away, schedule time to care for yourself, your family, and your staff. 

Inventory tracking is available with Square for Retail Free and Plus plans. With Square for Retail Plus, you have access to four powerful reports: Cost of Goods Sold, Projected Profit, Vendor Sales, Sell-through, and Inventory by Category. These reports are not available with Square for Retail Free.