Tips for Eliminating Your Holiday Backlog

The holiday shopping season in America officially starts on Black Friday and extends until Christmas Eve, when eleventh-hour shoppers scramble to get in their last-minute purchases. But as is the case every year, there are some products that won’t sell out.

If you are stuck with a backlog of merchandise from the holiday season, you might feel a bit frustrated. What are you supposed to do with all this stuff? Do you put it into storage and wait for next year? To be honest, that’s probably more trouble than it’s worth. Especially when you factor in storage costs. Do you toss leftovers into the dumpster like a dried-out fruitcake? No, that’s just plain wasteful.

Fortunately, there are ways to eliminate your ecommerce holiday backlog in a wise and frugal manner.

Spring Season Flash Sales

Out with the old and in with the new is what spring cleaning is all about. The same concept can be applied to your holiday backlog.

If you are looking to relieve yourself of unsold goods, while still turning a profit, motivate shoppers with a spring season flash sale: “For one week only, get 40 percent off select items!” Notifications like these motivate customers with deep discounts. It also gives them a brief timeline, pushing them to seize the opportunity before it disappears forever. Of course, this is just an example. If you have a tried-and-true method for flash sales, stick with your instincts. After all, no one knows your customers better than you.

Bundle Up Product Offers

Another idea is to bundle up similar products to motivate sales. This strategy can work for everything from cosmetics to electronics. For instance, if you sell makeup online, you can bundle together various lipsticks, cosmetic brushes, foundations, lotions, eye shadows and the like into a cute designer package. If you sell electronics using a platform like Shopify you might want to consider bundling devices, extra batteries, protective cases and other add-ons into a single, sellable package.

Bundling gives consumers more for their money, while simultaneously combining shipping charges and introducing shoppers to products they may not have encountered before.

Host Giveaways & Contests

This next suggestion won’t necessarily earn you money, but it’s still a clever way to unload holiday holdovers. Try hosting a giveaway or contest. Examples include asking social media followers to tag three friends, post an image of themselves using your products, or simply asking them to share their email address through an online form.

While all these ideas are fun and exciting for customers, they also have additional benefits for ecommerce vendors. Asking followers to tag friends in exchange for entry allows for new potential customers to find your brand. Requesting customer-sourced images and video encourages an engaged customer base.

Inviting them to submit email addresses allows you to send marketing emails to contest participants. Yes, the primary goal is to move unsold goods. But it’s nice to take advantage of these added benefits as well.

Push Your Products Through Third-Party Partners

Can’t seem to sell these products through your own website? That’s discouraging. But don’t give up hope just yet. You might be able to sell excess merchandise to other ecommerce websites or partners. Yes, you may have to accept a cut rate, but it’s better than making nothing at all.

Plus, it might foster a partnership for future cross-selling.

Consider Giving Unsold Goods to Charity

If all else fails, consider donating unsold merchandise to charities in your area. It’s better than seeing products go to waste and it gives a little something back to the community. Sure, you won’t make a profit and you won’t find new customers. But it’s still a nice thing to do—and it’s tax-deductible.

If you absolutely have to turn it into a business decision, try taking photos of the donations and posting those on social media. If done correctly, it could be a public relations bump for your e-store as well.

So, now that you’ve read our five suggestions for eliminating holiday backlog, it’s time to try out the strategies for yourself. Want to share your success stories? Let us know in the comments sections!

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