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How to avoid overstock in your eCommerce

Learn how to avoid the problem of overstock in your eCommerce.


One of the main problems in eCommerce is to know how to properly manage stock to avoid losses generated by the accumulation of stock from other seasons. Therefore, this week in Planet's blog we talk about what is overstock and how to avoid it.

What is overstock?

Excess stock are products that have not been sold in a reasonable period of time, for example, those products that have not been sold in 3 months.

We must consider that when talking about products in eCommerce, we also include the variants, since a product can sell 100 units in size S and 3 units in size M, so it is important to differentiate between the two terms.

How to avoid overstock?

To avoid this problem, it is important to think before acquiring the products or raw materials needed for our eCommerce. In this way, we will avoid that there is excess stock, or at least, that the excess generates losses in our business.

To prevent this, there are 3 possibilities, which can be used combined:

1. Analyze the demand

An analysis of demand, possible fluctuations and the market will help us to forecast how many products from our collection will be sold. To do this, we can obtain information from the history of previous seasons, from competitors or market reports.

2. Use pre-sales strategy

By using this strategy, customers will pay for our product, in full or in part, to reserve it before it is available for sale. Pre-selling products allows us to know exactly how many units will be needed, therefore, avoiding overstock and out-of-stocks.

This is a strategy usually employed in technological products such as the latest generation of telephones and videogames, allowing us to know in advance how our product will be accepted by the market.

3. Acquisition in small quantities

The possibility of acquiring products in small quantities will depend on the import time of your products and the distribution companies, since, if the import time is long, this strategy will not be possible, because it will end up limiting our sales and producing a shortage of stock.

However, whenever possible, purchasing products or raw materials in small quantities will prevent us from having a large amount of accumulated stock.

How to sell the excess of stock?

In case you have not been able to avoid overstock, we show you how to solve your problem in a simple way, following the example of top brands such as Zalando or Aliexpress.

To sell products from past seasons, you can offer last-unit or liquidation discounts, that is, you offer your customers the possibility of acquiring items at a significantly lower price, which is a benefit for them and also avoids the accumulation of stock from past seasons or products that have not been sold.

Offering special discounts will make your products more attractive and you will avoid the losses generated by the accumulation of stock. To do this, in addition to including discounts on the products/variants you want to sell, you can create an Outlet page in your eCommerce, so that users have direct access to the clearance offers.

How to create last-unit discounts on Shopify?

If you have an eCommerce on Shopify, we show you how to automate your liquidation or last units discounts in just a few clicks thanks to Planet, which will help you manage your discounts and update them according to the available stock automatically.

Planet is an app for scheduling and automating discounts for different use cases, however, we will see below how to create a discount to avoid overstock.

1. Select your products

Once you have installed the app, you can create a discount rule, selecting products and variants using an advanced filter according to stock. For this option, we recommend adding the "greater than 0" filter so that the discount is not applied to products that are out of stock and adding the discount "less than or equal to X". In our case, we have selected those products with stock lower or equal to 10.

2. Set your discount

You will be able to choose what fixed amount or percentage discount you want to apply to your liquidation products. In addition, you can optionally add tags, to group the "outlet" products in different sections of your eCommerce.

3. Schedule the discount

Finally, you must choose a start date for your discount. Optionally, you can include the end date, however, being a dynamic filter, your products will be updated automatically, so when the rule is updated (every hour) products that meet the conditions of the product selection will be excluded or added.

In this way, in a few minutes you will be able to configure a discount rule to liquidate the last units of the products in your eCommerce automatically, without the need to add products one by one or create discounts in different periods.

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