As a marketplace seller, there are several components to a sound growth strategy—one being inventory management. More specifically, how quickly you turn inventory. The key to any successful eCommerce business is to move product quickly without running out of stock or sitting on a surplus of inventory. That way, you can quickly invest in buying—and turning—more without worrying about the repercussions of going out of stock or trying to liquidate product that’s just collecting dust on your shelves.
So how can you actually move more inventory to grow your business fast? You want to sell the right amount of product at the right price and have an efficient system in place to restock. Here are three ways to get there:
1. Optimize Product and Price
To start, you need to consider a product that’s actually in demand, otherwise it won’t sell at all. Thankfully, there are a number of third party services that can help you determine what to sell—these product research tools look at the selling histories on sites like Amazon so you can get a sense for its popularity and price before you actually invest in a bulk order of it.
Once you are confident in a product, you need to get and set the right price—doing so will help you maximize your ROI. To get the right price, you’ll need to shop around at different suppliers to see who will give you the best deal. To set the right price, consult a product research tool or repricer to see what selling price will increase your chances of winning the Buy Box and improving your margins.
2. Understand Sales Cycles and Sales Velocity
As a marketplace seller, you likely know by now that sales are not always steady. As with any retail business, there are busy and slow periods throughout the course of a year. To prepare, you’ll need to adjust your stock levels and price so you can continue to sell at a rate that allows you to grow. In other words, you need to figure out how much inventory to have on hand at a given time — otherwise, you risk going out of stock during a busy period or having too much when it’s slow.
Figuring out your sales cycles and sales velocity will allow you to better understand your optimal inventory levels as well as how much and how often to resupply. You can calculate this information by figuring out when (and how drastic) your sales spike or dip. Look at your sales reports over the last year, consult your marketplace’s inventory reports, or consider using Cin7 to track all of your inventory management needs.
Not only will this help you maintain the right inventory levels, it’ll also improve your supplier relationships, which could save you money in the long run. If you can give them a heads up (or better yet a guarantee) on when and how much you’re likely to order at a given time, they may be willing to negotiate their price. Not to mention, you’ll be less likely to hit any delays in production so you can get—and turn—your inventory more quickly.
3. Improve Cash Flow
Cash flow is vital to move more inventory—after all, how else are you going to invest in a new order when you need it? Or, how can you take advantage of a supplier’s flash sale if you don’t have a reliable source of cash? In a perfect world, you’d always have the right amount of cash so you can invest in and turn more inventory more quickly. But marketplace selling is far from perfect. In fact, you likely have to wait to cash in on your sales, making it difficult to build up the reserves you need to buy more inventory and cover your other expenses.
Thankfully, there’s a solution: Payability, a financing company that makes daily cash flow a reality for high-growth marketplace sellers like you. They offer two products depending on your needs: Instant Access and Instant Advance. Here’s how each one works:
- With Instant Access, Payability pays you 80% of your Amazon income one business day after making a sale. The rest is kept on reserve to cover any necessary returns or chargebacks and is then paid out according to your marketplace’s regular payment schedule. For example, if you make $1,000 on Monday, Payability will pay you $800 of it on Tuesday — it’s that simple. It’s not a loan or a cash advance, it’s your income as you earn it, for a 2% flat fee.
- With Instant Advance, Payability purchases your future receivables, giving you a large lump sum of cash. For example, they would purchase $5,000 of your future receivables and give you $4,000 of it today. Repayment is expected within 16-20 weeks and each week’s cost is 1% of the $5,000. So the total cost depends on how long you take to pay back, and if you pay back the full $5,000 before 20 weeks, you’ll get a rebate of 1%/$50 for each week it’s early. Not only that, you’ll be eligible to refinance when you’re at least halfway paid down.
This marketplace seller uses Payability to turn more inventory on Amazon and has seen her business grow as a result. But she’s not the only one. In fact, Payability’s 2,000+ marketplace customers grow 2.5x faster than their competitors thanks to the daily infusions of cash. To see how you can increase your cash flow, move more inventory, and grow your business fast, visit go.payability.com/cin7 to learn more and get your $200 sign on bonus. Find out what real customers top ecommerce experts have to say about Payability on Trustpilot, BBB and Web Retailer.
Victoria Sullivan is a Marketing Manager at Payability. She has over eight years of social media, copywriting and marketing experience. Prior to joining the Payability team, Victoria developed social media content and strategies for top technology brands such as Skype and Samsung.