eCommerce Strategies

How should I restock my products?

Zachary Long
April 14, 2019

Lead With Your Hits, Keep Them With Your New Stuff

What made you love your favorite music artist? Likely one of their hits. What keeps you listening? Their new stuff…

The same principle goes to your brand's products. No matter the industry or niche, keeping your best sellers in stock at all times is the key to growth. Even if it’s just 3 or 4 items, you can scale your business with those!

What about keeping things fresh? Won’t my customers & website visitors get sick of looking at the same things?

No, to new site visitors, all of your products are fresh. AND, you’ll be surprised how many people buy the same thing more than once for themselves or someone else.

Just like the artist is sick of the hits, they know they have to play them to keep growing their base and to keep their fans happy.

How much should you restock?

We find that doubling or tripling the amount of inventory for best sellers is the smartest and most effective growth strategy, while investing in new ‘complementary’ inventory of those best sellers. Items that are similar enough someone who bought the initial item will come back to buy more.

Here’s The Deal...

You already have an amazing gut instinct on what to buy, so we recommend continuing those efforts without straying too far from the path. Every dollar counts with growth, so we recommend staying away from items that move slow and require a heavier investment. And invest in Items that historically have shown to sell well. History really does repeat itself.

The Budget Split

We recommend around a 60/40 or 70/30 split in inventory investment. Where the higher number is bestsellers (items you know sell) and the lower number is new items similar to those best sellers. This will give you the fuel for growth with new customers, while also affording you the opportunity to increase the value of current customers.

How Much To Invest?

The hard number is difficult to say, but we recommend at least doubling down on the items you know are selling.

NOTE: Don’t buy 10X what you usually buy, but 2 or 3X is usually safe bet so you aren’t sitting on a ton of inventory of something happens and women stop buying a certain style. The 2 or 3X multiple as long as they are moving is usually safe and smart. 10X is not as ideal, especially when ordering in higher quantities.

Common Pitfalls

There are common pitfalls with inventory investment we see brands fall into, and the following are a good guide to help you avoid investing in the wrong items.

  • Did you second guess buying? Your gut is usually right.
  • Are you buying it to be ‘different’ or ‘cool’? Both the wrong reason to buy, you can’t change preferences, you can only ride the wave.
  • Is it similar to best sellers? Would the people who bought a best seller also want this? If not, it’ll be hard to sell even to current customers.
  • Have you seen trends with items that generally sit around for a while? They took a while to sell? If so, stay away from those. They won’t help cash flow. And learn from those as well. If you sell apparel and you notice the jeans rarely sell, don’t buy jeans anymore.
  • Is it instagram worthy? Many people buy things because they think it’ll look cute in photos.
  • Don’t try too hard to keep things fresh. Keep that 30 to 40% fresh with items your consumer will buy, and the rest let’s use to grow the brand. Everything on your site is fresh to a new visitor. And there are TONS of new visitors waiting to land on your site.

Your inventory investments can make or break your business. Be smart about it, and you’ll grow. Mess it up, and you’re likely to go out of business.