Accurately forecasting your sales peaks and valleys can help you avoid inventory shortages, plan your labor, maintain adequate cash flow and supply needs, and enjoy a variety of other advantages. According to inventory management services company Unleashed, looking at seasonal demand forecasting and seasonal demand examples can help determine if you can use the time of year to better forecast seasonal demands and your operational needs.
Annual Holiday Items
Christmas, the Fourth of July, Labor Day weekend, and other holidays do not require you to sell holiday-specific items. However, you might be able to create holiday promotions for most holidays by collaborating with your sales and marketing departments.
Examine your sales history and compare sales spikes to any holidays near those dates to see if the spikes were caused by the holidays. For example, Fourth of July weekends typically include a lot of outdoor eating, which results in increased sales of prepared foods, cooking items, soft drinks, paper plates, plastic knives, and decorations.
If you own a pet-sitting or landscaping business, contact your customers several weeks ahead of time to find out when they are going on vacation.
The Four Seasons
Do people prefer to use your seasonal product or service indoors or outdoors? Unfortunately, the weather impacts your sales and demand if you sell your products or services outside. So don't just plan your inventory levels using a calendar. If winter arrives a week earlier than usual or your area experiences high temperatures two weeks earlier, your competition may steal market share from you if you aren't prepared to capitalize on early seasonal goods demand.
Quarterly Clothing Sales
Seasonal weather influences the purchase of specific goods and services, but it also influences clothing purchasing habits in three ways. The fashion calendar is the first way that the seasons affect clothing sales. After Labor Day, many consumers stop wearing white, signaling the transition to fall wardrobes.
Seasonality has an impact on clothing sales. Bathing suits, for example, are best purchased during the winter when demand for these seasonal items is low. Prices on summer clothing drop again in the fall as retailers try to clear out inventory so they don't have to store it.
If you make school supplies, you might end up with a warehouse full of unsold items if you don't sell them before the kids go home for the summer. This is especially problematic if your products are trendy or fad-driven. Maintain contact with parents and children through your marketing department to determine the inventory you need on hand and when to make it available to capitalize on back-to-school demand.
Homeowners maintain their properties by following a seasonal repair and upgrade schedule. They might, for example, replace batteries and air filters every three months. Spring is the season for preparing yard tools, mowers, deck furniture, and grills. Winterizing outdoor furniture and tools begins in the fall. In the spring, homeowners power-wash their houses and driveways and stain their decks.
Seasonal demand can be challenging, but it doesn't have to be. Check out these tips for managing your seasonal inventory effectively. With a bit of planning, you'll be able to handle any surge in customer demand and keep your business running smoothly.
We've got you covered if you're looking for help managing your seasonal inventory. Our team of experts has years of experience in the 3PL industry and knows how to get the job done right. Contact us today to learn more about our all-in-one 3PL management solution, or look at our website to see what our software can do for your business.