How to Avoid the Pitfalls of Excess Inventory

Learn to resolve the issue of excess inventory for your brand without having to lean on discounts and find more strategies in our comprehensive guide!

Consumers can shop from any device these days, which means their introduction to your product could come from anywhere. The challenge for wholesale brands: maintaining a consistent identity in the minds of these consumers.

Brands don’t always prioritize marketing or merchandising through their wholesale channels, resulting in disjointed experiences for consumers. Even worse, this leaves your retailers to market and merchandise your products any way they see fit—which may go against your brand messaging. And when brands want to sell excess inventory, they lean on discounts to move the inventory. You don’t want to be the “discount” brand. How can you resolve the pitfalls of excess inventory in a way that doesn’t cheapen or damage your brand?

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How to Work Better with Retail Partners

According to the Business of Fashion, “Retailers overall will aim to hold 30 percent less inventory by the end of 2024.” Brands should work with retail partners and stop treating wholesale inventory as an afterthought. In short, you should merchandise excess inventory thoughtfully. But what does this mean in practice? 

  • Merchandising at scale. Assortments give your team the ability to manage your merchandising plans across departments and categories. This helps you identify gaps in your merchandising, avoid duplicates, and streamline the preseason planning process to avoid many of the wholesale inventory problems you may face.
  • Leveraging data. The better your data is, the better the conclusions you can draw about your inventory. With NuORDER, for example, virtual assortments can use ERP and backend integrations to reflect up-to-date product data and imagery. This means there’s no time wasted trying to find out what’s unavailable and what needs to get sold.
  • Build a centralized hub for your marketing collateral. This hub should let you upload, store, and share this collateral with all retailers, giving you the brand consistency you’re after. Include product and lifestyle imagery as well as marketing campaigns and videos. Brands using NuORDER by Lightspeed often use the “media library” feature to handle the creative aspects of wholesale branding.
  • Better personalization. Spanx worked with NuORDER to create a D2C approach to wholesale. The idea? Leverage cross-department data to improve personalization, maximizing how much inventory they could move because they effectively matched products to the buyers.

Think from the Retailer’s Perspective

What does effective merchandising look like from the retailer’s point of view? What do successful brands do to move the needle? You’ll likely find that retailers are collaborating with brands to better tell their brand story.

You can tell a better story through assortments, as well. Assortments provide a holistic approach and view of your brand—less like a “wholesale” approach, and more like D2C strategy. A good customer data and merchandising platform will help you choose the promotional and pricing actions to move inventory without steep discounts. It’s a combination of two approaches: having the infrastructure to support a more D2C approach to wholesale inventory…and having the gumption to make wholesale a priority in the first place.

Want to know more? Download our latest eBook, How to Avoid the Pitfalls of Excess Inventory.

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NuORDER is dedicated to providing thoughtful, informative B2B eCommerce industry insights. Brands use NuORDER's platform to deliver a seamless, more collaborative wholesale process, where buyers can browse products, plan assortments and make smarter buys in real-time.