The 2024 seasonal stock shake-up

Category: Data & Insights
The 2024 seasonal stock shake-up

In this guest post, Upasana Gupta, GM of eBay Ads UK, discusses how brands and retailers can handle their seasonal stock profile through 2024.

Like every year, the start of 2024 marks a moment of reflection for retailers, and an opportunity to take stock of operations, finances and inventory after the busiest trading season of the year. However, as part of these assessments, many sellers will have a conundrum on their hands; an abundance of remnant goods which serve limited purpose now the festivities are out of the way.

Research from Inventory Planner shows that almost half of retailers are stuck with excess stock after the New Year sales. The consequences of these unwanted items collecting dust can lead sellers into panicked discounting as they urgently look to clear their shelves – a short-term solution to a long-term problem that can significantly harm profitability.

Whilst this is a significant concern for retailers in the immediate aftermath of peak season, shifting seasonal stock remains a challenge across the year. How retailers navigate and eliminate this surplus will be a key theme throughout 2024.

In this article, we’ll explore three tips for sellers to shake-up seasonal stock and eliminate surpluses in 2024.

1) Tap into seasonal spikes

Looking ahead to seasonal moments throughout the year, sellers should ensure they’re promoting calendar-specific items weeks in advance to minimise potential surplus stock. We know, for example, that Easter typically triggers the start of the outdoor living season. With Easter starting earlier than usual this year, savvy sellers would do well to line up their promotions and marketing further in advance than usual. Additionally, building hype by running a flash sale can be a great way to offload stock that could risk becoming surplus to requirement.

Furthermore, this year’s major sporting events include both UEFA Euro 2024 and the Summer Olympic Games and will likely prompt an influx of social gatherings and sport-related purchases. Whilst both are part of longer retail moments like outdoor living, they must also be treated as standalone retail events. Sellers should be cognisant of this and plan their stock and promotional activity accordingly.

2) Get storage savvy

Being able to shift stock starts within for retailers, who as a first port of call need to ensure they’re running at optimal inventory levels. Striking the right balance between having enough products to meet customer demand whilst not having excess stock will be key in the year ahead.

One strategy which can save valuable square footage in physical stores is hosting an eBay Brand Outlet, as seasonal stock can be set aside in line with consumer demands. Having out of season or end of line items available for year-round purchase means retailers won’t need to worry about the unwanted load. By efficiently storing and managing seasonal stock, retailers can stay competitive and meet customer demands with added ease.

Retailers selling cross-border should also consider capitalising on eBay’s international reach through its Global Shipping Programme to extend the season of their stock. For instance, whilst we’re now in the depths of winter in the UK, by using eBay’s Global Shipping Programme, sellers that stock summer items can ship them to customers across the continent (and beyond) where temperatures don’t drop, freeing up warehouse space for new ranges.

3) Harness the power of AI

In the year ahead, AI will continue to revolutionise how sellers do their business. A recent study by Small Business Britain revealed a significant trend in the adoption of AI among small businesses, with over a third (38%) currently using AI or considering its implementation.

Getting to grips with AI is not only helping level the playing field for sellers looking to compete with the bigger players, but it’s also an effective solution for enabling sellers to locate a willing buyer for stock that is no longer needed.

Solutions such as eBay Ads’ smart targeting functionality, available through Promoted Listings Advanced, is boosting sellers’ ad portfolios whilst empowering them to set up automated campaigns that target consumers who are in the shopping mindset.

Setting sellers up for success

2024 is a time of opportunity for retailers able to adapt. Mastering the art of inventory management to effectively shift seasonal stock with the help of eBay Ads’ solutions will both alleviate current cost burdens as well as maximise sales.

Learn how Promoted Listings Advanced can help you today.

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